Ultra cool cat a heady mix of grace, grunt and growl
Seven days, 168 hours - or to be really precise 10080 minutes. That's how long I was lucky enough to have the Jaguar XKR in my sweaty little palms ... and as sure as hell I was determined to make the most of every single one of those valuable minutes.
Sleep was not an option, the gym was a no-go area, meals could be skipped and the PVR would have to be used to digitally record those must-see weekend sporting events.
Suddenly time became a very, very precious commodity with this super big cat.
The XKR is that type of car. The more you drive it, the more you want to drive it and the more you admire its capabilities and silhouetted presence.
Time and again I found myself immersed in its company - and it wasn't just me.
Long, wide, sleek and sitting on intimidating 20-inch tyres, the XKR will attract admirers no matter where it is parked - and you should expect the odd cellphone and i-Pad to be whipped out for a memento shot.
It's a lethal cocktail of style and performance ... in equal measure - shaken, not stirred. I'm not surprised it featured in the Bond classic, Die Another Day, with Pierce Brosnan enjoying its qualities - including front-grill machine guns and boot-mounted mortars. Unfortunately my test car came minus those gimmicks, but it was stacked, nonetheless with an assortment of other deadly features.
Officially, it is a four-seater but, as I quickly found out, even an eight-year-old will find he has to sit with his knees around his ears if banished to the rear. But, being the car that it is, you can be sure there won't be a whimper of complaint as this is a car to be enjoyed by all - no matter where you sit.
Striking features on the elongated bonnet are the twin air intakes, with SUPERCHARGED neatly engraved on the rim of the intake - a subtle reminder of the pleasures that lie beneath.
But before we get there, a little bit about the interior. An unusual feature is the brushed velvet covering on the front pillars that reaches down to the soft touch of the leather dashboard, which is thankfully, clutter free.
There are no superfluous switches and dials - just the basic elements so essential for the genuine sports car experience.
Nothing less than the best leather has been used for the performance seats, which provide plenty of lateral support - if a little stiff at times - and the 16-way electric positioning helps you find that perfect driving position.
Now for the meat of the car.
Press the start button and you cannot but be impressed by that volcanic, rumbling sound emanating from beneath the raked bonnet.
It abates within seconds ... but it is enough to bring a schoolboy grin to the face of anyone who loves that throaty growl of a V8 engine.
Another trick straight out of the movies is the Jaguar Drive Selector, in other words the gear lever, which rises when the start button is pressed. The selector is then simply turned to engage transmission settings - and for the fun to begin.
The XKR is insanely quick and races through that 0-100 km/h sprint in a staggering 4.8 seconds. If you have the nerve to keep your foot to the floor, you should get a top speed of 280km/h.
It's the sort of car that will get you over the 200km/h mark in the blink of an eye, while offering you the feel of safety and security that comes with a vehicle of this quality and class.
Gear changes through the six-speed gearbox are seamless as the vehicle hurtles forward. If you are a driver who prefers a little more involvement in the driving experience, gears can be selected via the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
Even driven hard, the vehicle is reassuring. And though the active differential, which is standard on the XKR, is designed to detect any abnormal movement and vary the power supplied to each wheel, it is those massive slabs of rubber on all four corners that provide the most security to those behind the wheel.
With summer just about saying goodbye, it was an ideal time for a bit of open-top motoring and the fabric roof spent a fair amount of time tucked neatly away beneath the tonneau cover. And it is one of the quickest opening-closing mechanisms around, doing the job in just 18 seconds.
In 2007 Jaguar did away with its pompous-tweed jacketed, pipe-smoking image to become what it is today a producer of sports cars and sedans that equal the best that the leading manufacturers around the world have to offer. The XKR is ample proof of that.
Engine: 5000cc V8 Supercharged
Power: 375kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 625Nm at 2500rpm
0-100km/h: 4.8 seconds (claimed)
Top speed: 280km/h (limited)
Fuel consumption: 12.3l/100km (claimed/combined)
Awesome combination of looks and power
We don't like:
The fact that there is a XKR S out there!