For 2005, the Jaguar XK8 and the supercharged XKR coupe and convertible receive a minor freshening-up. A new lower bumper intake, deeper rear bumpers, new side rocker panel extensions, a more prominent mesh grille on the XKR and a full-width grille splitter give the car a more aggressive appearance, without unduly affecting its classic X-Type styling roots. The XK8 gets larger tailpipe finishers, while the XKR gets new quad tailpipe finishers. The XKR also receives a larger rear spoiler.

Three new multi-spoke wheels are available, there are 15 body colours including 11 metallic paints, and black window surrounds replace the grey found on 2004 models. A driver-controlled automatic speed limiter function is now standard on all models.

Both the XK8 coupe and convertible are powered by a 4.2-litre V8; the XKR coupe and convertible also use the 4.2-litre, but with an Eaton Roots-type supercharger with twin intercoolers. All models use a six-speed automatic transmission.

Features on the XK8 include 17-inch alloy wheels, electric tilt and telescopic steering wheel, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic speed limiter, reverse park control, burl walnut veneer, leather interior and wood and leather steering wheel. The convertible comes with an automatic electric power roof with a glass rear window.

The XKR adds sport-tuned suspension, a larger bright mesh grille, hood louvres, quad tailpipe finishers, colour-keyed rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel Brembo brake discs and callipers, Xenon headlamps, navigation system and a premium Alpine stereo.

When the automatic speed limiter (ASL) is programmed, rather than just sounding a warning as many systems do, the ASL monitors the throttle input and engine speeds, and will not allow the vehicle to accelerate past the pre-set speed. For safety reasons, the ASL automatically cancels if the driver applies full kickdown to the throttle. Available adaptive cruise control uses microwave radar technology to detect slower vehicles ahead and overrides the set cruise speed to maintain a safe gap.

Like the classic Jaguars from which it draws its heritage, the XK is a tight fit, especially in the rear seat, where the most comfortable occupants will be children. But with up to 390 hp and 399 lb-ft of torque on tap, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to be anywhere but behind the wheel.

The XK8 and XKR are built in Coventry, England.

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