Jaguar XKR-S GT vs. Aston Martin V12 Vantage S: Throwback Thursday
Dialing the wayback machine not so far back to take a look at two of our favorite British brutes.
It feels odd calling anything from less than five years ago a “throwback,” but things change pretty quickly in our industry. We’re feeling a bit nostalgic for the final days of the XK…no, not the XKE, the most recent XK.
This video from Motor Trend pits the 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT against the 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. Who wins? We do!
First off, it’s nice to see host Carlos Lago again. He’s at Edmunds now doing a great job, but we always liked his work for Motor Trend. He begins the video by going over the cars’ similar features: 560 horsepower, carbon ceramic brakes, they’re even both running Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires.
The V12-powered Aston Martin is a little lighter than the Jag, and is shorter as well, both horizontally and vertically. However, the Jaguar’s impressive aerodynamic aids and suspension upgrades should more than bridge the gap between the two.
While the Aston utilizes a seven-speed automated manual, while the XKR-S GT uses a six-speed automatic.
Acceleration, braking, lateral G averages, and lap times were almost too close to call. While the Aston Martin may have been able to beat the Jaguar in a drag race, Lago couldn’t get the transmission to cooperate. Later on, he expresses disdain for poor low-speed shifts. They’re neck-snapping, and not in the good way.
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Still, he loves the way the V12 Vantage S drives when it’s driven the way it should be. However, he acknowledges that the Jaguar is faster. Similar to the Aston Martin, the Jaguar truly comes to life when it’s driven aggressively. That sort of driving rewards the pilot with tremendous cornering speeds, no doubt helped along by the massive downforce and wider track of the XKR-S GT. It’s confidence-inspiring.
Despite that performance, it’s apparently a wonderful car to drive on the street, which, according to Lago, concedes a bit to the Aston, which feels like more like an event.
Finally, Motor Trend’s tame racing driver Randy Pobst wheels both coupes around Willow Springs to see which is faster, and which he prefers. It’s a hard choice, but the Jaguar takes home the trophy in the end. Still, should you find yourself in a position to buy a gently (or not-so-gently) used British sports coupe, it’s hard to go wrong with either.