Jaguar was good enough to have us out to Monticello Motor Club to sample their new and improved line of 2010 “R” spec models. Not only does that “R” stand for racing but we figured that the track was an ideal setting to properly experience 510 HP and one of the more impressive suspension systems we have encountered lately. Sure, we drove around the beautiful Monticello back country to get a sense of real world road manners, which were silky smooth and bank vault quiet, but nothing beats punching the gas on a long straight away or holding on for dear life during a physics-defying powerslide.
You may or may not be aware of the AMG-esq performance variants available for each of Jaguar’s classy offerings [XK, XF, XJ]. Think of the 2010 XKR and XFR (XJ is all new for 2010 so expect a new XJR model to follow) as sophisticated London gentleman with nasty additions to anabolic steroids. They are plush, comfortable and supremely composed when you want them to be but are ready to unleash the beast when the urge arises for excitement and speeding tickets.
Jaguar figured that a traditional TV campaign would not quite cut the mustard when it came to conquesting owners of competitive European hot rods like BMW M5/M6 and Mercedes E63/SL63. That is where the Legendary Performance Tour comes into play, offering enthusiasts from around the country an up close and personal experience with these British power mongers. Even better, they hired a slew of professional race car drivers to accompany consumers on drives and provide instruction [check out the slideshow picture with Davy Jones and JD Ellis] during this multi-city effort. Trust us, one hot lap with with a guy like Davy Jones and these things are as good as sold.