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Jaguar unveils XKR-S Convertible

542bhp, an exhaust note like thunder and no roof. Perfection...

Jaguar has unveiled the 2012 XKR-S Convertible at the Los Angeles motor show today.

The XKR-S Convertible comes with the same supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine with 542 bhp and 501 lb-ft of torque as the XKR-S Coupe, coupled to a six-speed automatic gearbox. That allows for a sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. 

On the styling front the Convertible gets the same changes as the coupe, meaning a new front bumper with nostril-like vents at the leading edge of the bonnet, a large air intake centrally and neat 'side spoilers' on the edges of the bumper. These are allegedly proper aerodynamic devices and contribute to the car's high speed stability. Also helping with that is the large rear wing with central carbon fibre panel and the carbon fibre diffuser nestling in the rear bumper. The XKR-S Convertible gets the same gorgeous graphite 20" alloy wheels as the Coupe, along with the high performace braking kit underneath them. With all this, we're really struggling to find a better looking convertible sports car than this XKR-S. Stunning doesn't even come close.

All of these additions help to keep the car controllable at 186 mph, as the car itself was only ever designed to go around 155 mph so it wouldn't step on the toes of the Aston Martin Vantage when they were part of the same company. Now they are rivals, Jaguar can up its game.

The soft-top roof of the XKR-S opens and stows in 18 seconds which allows occupants to be fully exposed to the Performance Active exhaust that produces a sound that Jeremy Clarkson described as 'God gargling with thunder'. Very apt. Additionally, Adaptive Dynamics for the suspension provides safer and more exciting handling for the driver. To hear how incredible that V8 sounds take a look at the Jaguar video below:

Inside the XKR-S Convertible gets carbon-leather trimmed Jaguar Performance seats, a multifunction three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and Jaguar-embossed stainless steel pedals, along with coloured stitching for the whole interior which matches the exterior colour.

Prices for the XKR-S Convertible will begin at around £103,000, which is a lot for a Jaguar XK, but similarly powerful soft-top rivals all cost around the same. As a car to ferry you to the south of France via the Route Napoleon, we can't think of anything better for the job.

Images and video courtesy of Jaguar

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more