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Jaguar Xkr Convertible: Americas No.1 Summer Road Trip Car

Jaguar's supercharged XKR Convertible was voted number one in Kelley Blue Book's list of cars which were best suited for road trips.

Compiled by the road test editors of Kelley Blue Book, the Jaguar XKR Convertible was short-listed against ten other new product lines. The editors surveyed purchasers on which vehicle they would most like to take on the road this summer. At the top of the list was the Jaguar XKR Convertible and it well ahead of BMW's 3-Series Convertible and the Chevrolet Suburban.

"In choosing our list, we wanted to include a vehicle for every journey - from weekend jaunts of one or two people, to week-long escapades that involve one or two entire families and maybe a dog and a boat," said Jack R. Nerad, the executive editorial director and executive market analyst for the Kelley Blue Book and "Our selection criteria included all the tangible and intangible need-to-have attributes such as driving enjoyment, passenger comfort, fuel economy and cargo space."

The 420-horsepower convertible from the luxury automaker is equipped with a reliable Jaguar catalytic converter, a navigation system, 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, an all-leather interior, burl walnut trim, and side airbags. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is made an optional feature. Also, 19 and 20-inch wheels could be had for extra cost.

"The same sexy sheet metal found on the Jaguar XK is adorned with sportier accoutrements that reflect the 420-horsepower supercharged V8 and livelier suspension underneath," Kelley Blue Book added.

Earlier, auto journalists have been given the chance to experience the thrilling ride offered by the convertible. "When I left, design director Ian Callum was doing battle on a few key issues. Many executives and dealers wanted a retractable hard top. Callum was willing to fall on his sword for a soft top, and eventually he won. A hard top would have forced the rear of the car to be a foot wider, there would have been nothing sexy or sporty about that," said Sue Callaway, an auto journalist.

He added, "Fast-forward four years, and here I am, stepping into a car I knew so well but hadn't seen finished. Experiencing the new XKR in the flesh was a jolt: Callum has done nothing short of put it through a sex change. Where the old XKR was an elegant female - feline, voluptuous - the new XKR is all male. Aggression smolders through the shrink-wrapped body panels; it is the automotive equivalent of a bodybuilder wearing a wet T-shirt. It works. Jaguar's heritage is as a racing and sports car company, so the taut lines are a direct nod to history."

Callaway noted, "Inside, optional blond wood or aluminum trim feel thoroughly modern. The seats are well bolstered; the carpet is thick. And so is the tire smoke you can create with one good push on the throttle - in most any gear. What else? Steering-wheel-mounted paddles for shifting. An excellent and intuitive touchscreen navigation system. Clean, clear gauges. A ride that is invitingly plush yet performance-oriented."

According to J.D. Power and Associates, and the top automotive information site by Nielsen/Net Ratings, Kelley Blue Book's Web site has been North America's most-visited auto site for eight years in a row. Kelley Blue Book has provided vehicle purchasers and sellers with the information about new and used vehicle. The informative tidbits are essential in accomplishing their goals with confidence. The company's Web site,, provides the latest pricing and values. It offers the New Car Blue Book Value which reveals the reasons why people actually purchase new cars.

About The Author Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.
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