Widely regarded as one of the best-kept secrets of the modern classic car scene, Jaguar's (X150) XK Coupe is a fast, luxurious and well-built alternative to the Germans.
Words and Images: Hannes Oosthuizen
- Year, Make and Model: 2007 Jaguar XK Coupe 4.2 V8
- Engine: 4.2L V8 petrol
- Power/Torque: 219kW/411Nm
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic with paddle-shift and Sport mode
- 0-100kph: 5.6 sec (claimed)
- Top speed: 250 kph (claimed)
- Fuel economy: 11.3L/100km (claimed)
- Mileage: 56 690km (as tested)
- Service History: Complete
- Price: R349 000
I'll always remember the X150-generation of Jaguar's XK coupe well - after all, it is not often that the world launch event of a car such as this happens in my home city, Cape Town, and more specifically, Stellenbosch.
Back in early 2006 Jaguar flew the world's journalists to Cape Town to experience its highly-anticipated, Ian Callum-styled, second-generation XK coupe. Unlike its predecessor, which used a version of the Aston Martin DB7's chassis, the new XK featured a bonded and riveted aluminium chassis shared with the then-recently launched (X350) XJ series. Still, at 1 595kg, it was not exactly a lightweight.
But I'll always fondly remember piloting the XK with vigour on some of the Western Cape's best roads, and being surprised by its sporting abilities. It uses the so-called "CATS" adaptive damping system to counter pitch and roll and, for such a large, heavy car, the XK handles very well, indeed, without sacrificing its grand touring abilities.
So, it was a pleasure to get reacquainted with XK on home soil again recently. This particular car is a 2007 4.2 V8 Coupe, and is currently listed for sale at R349 000.
It has done only 56 690km (at the time of my test) and so looks and feels like a new car. It has also obviously been very well-cared for. It boasts a full service history as well. The only sign of wear in the otherwise immaculate cream interior can be found on the slightly worn door-pulls, but that's to be expected given the light hue of the trim.
This dark metallic blue car has a classically-trimmed Jaguar cabin - soft cream leather and carpeting, with polished burr walnut wood trim. The seats are superb - nicely padded to ensure great long-distance comfort. Both the front seats feature electric adjustment and memory settings.
Housed underneath the cream-leather hood, the instrument panel is minimalistic, with two analogue dials flanking a digital display. The steering column, by the way, is also electrically adjustable.
The XK features a touch-screen infotainment system with built-in navigation (everything works) and there is also dual-zone climate control.
Under the bonnet
The XK is powered by a 4.2L V8 that delivers 219kW at 6 000rpm and 411Nm at 4 100rpm. The claimed 0-100kph time is 5.9 seconds and it has a 250kph top speed. To put that performance into perspective, its acceleration time is similar to that of a period BMW 650Ci, so it's certainly no slouch!
This car fires up cleanly and the engine settles into a smooth idle immediately. The V8 drives the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission, and I have to say it's one of the highlights of the car. Throttle response is excellent - very measured - and although you might need some time to get used to its sensitivity and long travel, this is a very responsive machine. If you want it to be even sharper, then you just tap the gearlever left into Sport. For even greater engagement, you can use shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
Out on the Western Cape's roads the XK feels composed, quiet and supple. I have to admit to being surprised by how well this car's interior has aged and how well it must have been built, because there is not a rattle or a squeak! It also handles exceptionally well, particularly when viewed as a grand tourer first, sportscar second. You could very easily daily this car with the greatest of comfort, and then on the weekends take it for a more "enthusiastic" drive on a challenging piece of road. Pushed near the red-line, the engine also emits a lovely, throaty roar.
Negatives? Not much to be honest - Jaguar says this is a 2+2, but those rear seats are really token items, and so it is no wonder that this car's rear seats look completely unused. At least the luggage area is generous. Oh, and yes, it's not the thriftiest of cars at the pumps - expect a consumption figure of around 13L/100km in general driving, although Jaguar claims a figure of 11.3L/100km.
At R349 000 this Jaguar XK Coupe represents an enormous amount of car for comparatively little money. This example still feels new, and offers a great combination of sporting ability, as well as luxurious grand touring talents.
If you are interested in arranging a viewing or test driving this car, go here.