Hot New Jaguar XKR Posts 7:58 Nurburgring Lap

The Goodwood Special last year
The Goodwood Special last year
A year after Jaguar revealed its XKR Special at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, PistonHeads has learned that a new production version of the car has lapped the fabled Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7min 58secs.

PH spoke to Jaguar's managing director Mike O'Driscoll at Le Mans, where the marque had been hoping to celebrate its 75th anniversary with (at least) a finish for the XKR GT2 racer entered by US-based but factory-backed team JaguarRSR. (More on that below.)

According to Mike the new XKR derivative is "basically the production version" of the harder-edged XKR Goodwood Special concept which so wowed us when it was demonstrated at the Festival of Speed last year. As well as having a sub 8 minute 'Ring lap time under its belt, it seems the production version will also boast a top speed circa 186mph making it a paid-up member of the notional '300km/h Club' - which Mike tells us is important to customers in the German market.

Expect a production version soon...
Expect a production version soon...
The new production model's lap time was posted by one of the company's development drivers, and not 'some hot-shoe racing driver', according to the Jaguar boss. Either way, it was evidently a proud moment for Jaguar's ride and handling guru Mike Cross, who rang his boss the moment the times were in.

"Mike (Cross) was so excited by the time that he called me up from the Nurburgring to let me know," Mike (O'Driscoll) told us at Le Mans. "This is definitely not a level of performance anyone would have associated with the XKR before now."

No specific details have been revealed for the new production car, which hadn't even been officially confirmed before the weekend. For reference the Goodwood Special from last year featured an uprated version of Jag's 5-litre supercharged V8 making 523bhp and 516lb ft of torque, as well as lowered suspension, 21ins alloys and a tweaked exhaust for greater 'stage presence', all of which seem likely to make it into the production model.

Indeed, XKR prototypes have been spotted recently sporting what looks like a revised front splitter, a larger rear spoiler and with various elements of brightwork trim having been replaced by a satin-effect graphite finish, as per the Goodwood car. We look forward to more 'official announcements' on the subject soon - including how much it's going to cost, and when you can buy one!

Paul Gentilozzi with Mike O'Driscoll
Paul Gentilozzi with Mike O'Driscoll
Meanwhile, Mike also confirmed to us Jaguar's intention to stick with the JaguarRSR racing program, in spite of the marque's unfortunate withdrawal from the Le Mans 24hrs on Saturday.

"We've had better weekends," he told us dryly over a subdued Sunday afternoon lunch in Jaguar's Le Mans hospitality unit, "but if I'm confident of one thing it's that Paul Gentilozzi (the JaguarRSR team owner/driver) will commit whatever is necessary for us to become competitive."

The XKR racer hasn't yet got up to speed in its native American Le Mans Series, partly (we hear on the grapevine) because it is the only GT2 car running Yokohama tyres against stronger Michelins, but also because there have been other teething troubles in the handful of races it has entered thus far.

XKR GT2 racer was retired early
XKR GT2 racer was retired early
At Le Mans the car withdrew from the race in the first few laps suffering from an electrical problem that caused a big power drop at 5750rpm, some way short of the engine's 6,800rpm limit, and which would apparently have made the car 20-30secs a lap slower than its rivals.

The cause hadn't been traced when we spoke to Mike on Sunday, although your roving reporter picked up a hint that it might have been interference from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's own 'black boxes' installed on every car to supply timing data. If this was the case, nobody else appeared to suffer similar ill-effects, but we're not ones to shy away from reporting the birth of a rumour that the A.C.O. might have (inadvertently) 'spiked Jaguar's guns' at Le Mans. Could such a thing be true?

Comments (44) Join the discussion on the forum

  • hardmouse1 09 Jul 2010

    300bhp/ton said:
    hardmouse1 said:
    Im not sure if i like this car... i think i would rather spend my money on something else..... fair enough the lap was fairly quick, but that still not going to make me buy one!!

    I think the car needs upgrading......paperbag

    Edited by hardmouse1 on Tuesday 15th June 08:56


    Edited by hardmouse1 on Tuesday 15th June 08:57
    How and why?

    Just curious smile
    Im not quite sure where to start really....


  • 300bhp/ton 17 Jun 2010

    Dagnut said:
    300bhp/ton said:
    Dagnut said:
    I don't think a car with 330bhp per ton that's had suspension tweaks specifically for the job doing 7.55 is that impressive..obviously being "impressed" is a suggestive term but you have to compare it to other manufactures achievements especially if they are going to advertise the fact.
    Dagnut said:
    The f430 was done about 4 years ago..tyre technology improvements alone would get the time down significantly
    On PH, people often harp on about such things as tyre tech. So, just curious, what tyre tech that the Jag used wasn't available to the F430 less than a handful of years ago?

    Dagnut said:
    never mind the suspension set up
    Same as with the tyres really, has anything really changed? What is this tech?


    Dagnut said:
    I'm sure an experienced driver could get the time down but they should of just waited until getting a better driver
    That's a pretty bold statement, I assume you know the driver of the Jag to be able to personally vouch they are pretty rubbish behind the wheel then??
    On tyres are you serious? Nissan came back after 3 MONTHS with improved tyres and lowered their time. Honestly, if you think tyre technology doesn't even move on from year to year let alone 4 years you have no experience of driving at the limit on good tyres. That is a completely ignorant statement which I'm surprised has come from you.

    The F430 that went around was standard, my point about suspension was that jaguar made suspension revisions for the purpose of doing a time attack on the ring.

    The point about the driver was simply echoing the claims by Jaguar that it wasn't "some hot-shoe racing driver', according to the Jaguar boss.

    Hope that answers your remarks.
    ta smile

  • Chris-R 17 Jun 2010

    GrahamG said:
    Chris - Thanks for the response - and mild (if not absolute) apologies for my rather acid tone. The reason we were given for the Jag's retirement were a) burned out wiring loom and b. (from a team insider) blown engine. Either way it is very bad form to blame an external factor - and not at all clever to blame the ACO!

    I'm always happy to give any new programme the benefit of the doubt but the team's performance all week was pretty unimpressive.

    I, together with hundreds of thousands of others, would LOVE to see a Jaguar sportscar programme back banging heads with the big boys but th evidence of the past several months would seem to indicate that this isn't the one!

    That's a damn shame for all involved but I suspect that if things aren't a whole lot better come Silverstone then this effort has some major explaining to do.

    On the upside the car sounds fantastic - On the downside the soundtrack and the visual evidence just don't match up!
    All I can say is that on Sunday afternoon, Jaguar's MD described the problem to me as purely engine management related - with the power drop at 5750rpm as described in the story. There was no suggestion of a burned out loom or engine failure at that time, and the internal view was that some sort of electrical interference was a possible culprit. As the mechanics hadn't been able to trace anything in the pit garage, it was all shrouded in a bit of mystery - or fudge!

  • GrahamG 17 Jun 2010

    Chris-R said:
    GrahamG said:
    Oh for god's sake!

    Rumours of the ACO 'spiking' the Jag effort - Utter and total rubbish - If the ACO hadn't wanted the car there they would not have invited it - and the timing system is the same as its been for years - If there was a conflict (and I'm about 4500% certain that there wasn't!) then whose fault was that?

    Yokohama tyres blamed for lack of competitiveness - Well there's a simple answer to that isn't there? Put the car on Michelins, Dunlops or Hankooks

    No excuses, no flannel - this effort is nowhere near good enough for a factory-backed effort - Jaguar's history deserves far better.

    Perhaps Chris next time you might spend less time having lunch and more time looking at this programme's record before touting jingoistic rubbish - That was as awful a piece of journalism as I've seen in quite a while.

    Edited by GrahamG on Tuesday 15th June 12:54


    Edited by GrahamG on Tuesday 15th June 16:44
    Er, sorry Graham. Tongue now removed from cheek ref. ACO spiking Jaguar's guns!

    Ref. the black boxes, I reported one suggestion doing the rounds on the day. However, the conclusion you draw on that (if it happens to be true) is the same one that I would. Sounds pretty inept doesn't it?

    Ref. tyres. The team would love to get its hands on Michelin tyres, but they made a deal with Yokohama when putting the team together and sadly you can't just buy racing Michelins 'off the shelf' so it's nothing like as simple as you say. (It's such a competitive business the Jag team can't even get hold of a spare set of Michelins to test with.) However I wouldn't be surprised to see the car on Michelins next season unless Yokohama gets its act together - which could also happen.

    Ref. Not good enough for a factory effort. Not sure many people would disagree with that, and there was at least one cruel headline in the French press to that effect on Sunday. I suspect there are people inside Jaguar thinking the same thing.

    Ref. The team's record. To be fair the article does state the team isn't up to speed in the ALMS.

    Ref. Lunch. Well, at least that was good even if you thought the journalism wasn't. Although you do seem to have successfully drawn your own conclusions from the story, which was pretty much the point of writing it in the first place.

    Either way, I will definitely be interested to see whether JaguarRSR has managed to turn anything around by the time they get to Silverstone in September.
    Chris - Thanks for the response - and mild (if not absolute) apologies for my rather acid tone. The reason we were given for the Jag's retirement were a) burned out wiring loom and b. (from a team insider) blown engine. Either way it is very bad form to blame an external factor - and not at all clever to blame the ACO!

    I'm always happy to give any new programme the benefit of the doubt but the team's performance all week was pretty unimpressive.

    I, together with hundreds of thousands of others, would LOVE to see a Jaguar sportscar programme back banging heads with the big boys but th evidence of the past several months would seem to indicate that this isn't the one!

    That's a damn shame for all involved but I suspect that if things aren't a whole lot better come Silverstone then this effort has some major explaining to do.

    On the upside the car sounds fantastic - On the downside the soundtrack and the visual evidence just don't match up!

  • LuS1fer 17 Jun 2010

    TheRoadWarrior said:
    LuS1fer said:
    Cadillac CTS-V - full-size saloon - 7:59.32
    So what your saying is the CTS-V is slower?

    tongue outrofl
    Than a full-blown Jaguar aluminium sports coupe - yes - by 1.3 seconds.

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