THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2007 Jaguar S-Type R midsize luxury sedan.
DOWN THE ROAD: Launched in 1999, the S-Type got its "R" (as in racing) supercharged label four years later. Since then, the rear-wheel-drive sedan has taken a huge leap into the hearts of luxury car buyers. Looking to scoot from 0-60 in just 5.3 seconds? Then this might be the car for you. Packing quite a punch, the S-Type R gets up to speed in a hurry and brakes just as quickly and with confidence.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: The 4.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine puts out 400 horsepower at 6100 rpm and 413 pounds-feet of torque at 3500 rpm. It's mated to a slick 6-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly and seamlessly. Jaguar's exclusive Computer Active Technology Suspension, with its electronically adjustable dampers, continuously adjusts the firmness of the suspension to suit fluctuating road conditions. The power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering system boosts the driver's confidence by providing good feedback. Brake feel is excellent, thanks to 13.97-inch front and 12.83-inch rear ventilated discs. The R is equipped with 19-inch Barcelona alloy wheels, shod with 245/35 front and 275/30 rear tires, which stay glued to the road.
LOOK & FEEL: An oval-shaped chrome mesh grille, flanked by quad Xenon headlights, enhance the athletic stance and elegant appearance of the S-Type R. Round, jewel-like taillights and dual stainless steel exhaust pipes bring in the striking rear. The interior is loaded with luxury goodies as is expected of any Jaguar, including plush leather seats with contrast piping, burl walnut veneer wood on the steering wheel, shifter knob, door panels and dashboard, 10-way power driver and 12-way power front-passenger leather seats, dual automatic climate control, heated front seats, navigation system, moonroof and a fine-looking J-gate gear shifter. The interior fit, finish and materials are first rate. I liked the user-friendly LCD touch-screen, which controls the audio, navigation and climate systems. There is plenty of headroom (36.4 inches) and legroom (37 inches) for the three rear-seat passengers ensconced in the bench seat, which splits 60/40. The trunk area offers plenty of luggage space for a weekend getaway.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain for both rows, antiskid system, stability control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist and a front and rear obstacle detection system, among several other security features are standard.
OUT THE DOOR: $63,335, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. Opt for the $3,000 R luxury package if you appreciate cruise control, burl walnut veneer, electric rear sunblind, leather seats with contrast piping, four-spoke wood/leather steering wheel and a wood gearshift knob.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 245/35ZR19 front, 275/30ZR19 rear; wheelbase, 114.5 inches; length, 193.1 inches; weight, 3,760 pounds; fuel capacity, 18.4 gallons; highway, 23 mpg; city, 17 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: With a base-price tag of more than $60,000, the sporty but luxury-laden S-Type R is not everyone's cup of tea. But if you're a racing-car enthusiast - with lots of money, of course - you'll enjoy the sportiness, agility and throaty growl of this supercharged engine.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.