By Marissa Baecker
(As published in the Kelowna Daily Courier newspaper Wheels Jan 31 CVR)
Luxury is a gift that we all award ourselves. To some, it is the daily fancy coffee where we converse with others and occasionally drop our jaws over a statement in conversation like when someone mentions the $200,000 price tag of a rare supercar. “A $200K Jag? Here?”
It’s true. Kelowna has been graced with the presence of a Jaguar supercar available for the drooling until it is either sold or departs for the auto show circuit in about three weeks.
When I walked in to the showroom of AutoSport Kelowna on Leathead Rd., the gentlemen there were more like museum curators than automobile enthusiasts. They spoke of this car as a work of art, and, quite frankly, it is.
There it stood in the crowded showroom looking as unassuming as a Ford Mustang until you got close and began unwrapping the luxury details.
A car so sexy it required ceiling mirrors.
Production specific to Polaris White and the black graphics are paint, not decals. Open the paper-thin hood and there are no surprises, no padding, in fact, not much of anything to see but artistry and simplicity right down to the welds.
With all the detailed illumination, we tried to adapt to darkness by turning off the showroom lights and turning on all the vehicle lighting. LED daytime eyelashes – I like to call them – right above the adaptive HID Xenon gas headlights. Evening lights under the illuminated side mirrors, door handle lights and rear hatch light illumination over the licence plate.
The entire car is aluminum and carbon fibre and every other material used is authentic – no fabrication anywhere. The interior, entirely leather and suede with detailed baseball stitching and every luxury option you can think of from customized seats at the touch of electronic door panel buttons to contour each body to a top of the line stereo.
The wood detailing in the interior is the same mahogany wood used in classical grand pianos and if you sit in the car long enough, you can almost hear pianos play.
The XK R-S GT Jaguar is a limited edition supercar. Only 30 have been made, 20 of which were sent to the U.S., 5 to the U.K./Europe, 5 to Canada only on pre-sold orders and how Kelowna got one without a pre-order is a bit of mystery but who cares? It is the only one in British Columbia, and it’s ours for three weeks.
“Kelowna is the No. 1 top sports car market for Jaguar per capita in Canada,” says Andrew Carter, business manager of AutoSport Kelowna.
A surprising statement but I suppose plausible enough with our summer influx of professional athletes with money to burn.
Burn it will . . .rubber that is . . . this rocket ship powered by a 5 litre supercharged V8 packing 550 HP goes 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds but don’t worry because the electronic limiter on the motor will hold you at 186 mph (about 300 km).
The aerodynamics of the XKR-S GT will keep the car on the ground with carbon fibre twin dive planes and wheel arch extensions plus the front-end spoiler matched with an elevated rear wing.
At one point in our conversation it was said that the dive planes and wheel arch extensions are designed to manage air-flow and reduce turbulence. “Turbulence,” I grinned at the use of a term typically reserved for air travel.
If that doesn’t excite you, listen to it. The ‘curators’ were as eager to start the car as I was and for a mere few moments, that aggressive growl teleported us track side and is now forever embedded into my iPhone.
“Can I sit in it?”
Staring past the signature silver cat between my hands at the LED dash, my fingers played with the aluminum paddle shifters and I pictured the checkered flag waving on the Streets of Willow Springs where the car was tested and compared to the Aston Martin.
When I think about dropping a hard earned 200K, I can usually picture where the furniture will go but there will be no living with this price tag. In fact, if you can afford this car, I imagine the house you live in has ample room for it.