PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — This week we celebrate the first weekend of summer with the top down and the sun shining on our heads in the 2013 Jaguar XK Convertible.

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 The 2013 Jaguar XK Convertible waers it's heritage proudly.

The 2013 Jaguar XK Convertible wears it’s heritage proudly. Photo Credit Vinnie Richichi

From the moment you lay eyes on it to the second you slam the door shut at the end of the day, the XK is a stunning automobile. Walking around the sleek low slung roadster, every line every crease leads to another with every one placed perfectly. Looking at the front grille and nose treatment that recalls the classic XK-E of the sixties with the front spoiler adaptive headlamps and LED lights of the current fashion it sweeps you with both nostalgia and hipness. Along the side of the car you are struck by the flow  of the lines with no wasted design cues…just muscular bulges over the wheel wells under a design line that is about as artistic as you will see in a touring/sports car…elegant simply elegant.

Inside the XK also blends tradition with modern. Aluminum trim panels work off black leather to create a  cockpit that feels like it was designed by a consortium of architects and designers.  As you touch the start button the circular dial type shift selector rises up from the center console making you feel like something special is going on. Heated seats are comfortable, the dash dominated by the touchscreen is modern meeting classic with white lit gauges that look like they were installed by Tiffany. A small back seat and trunk may make you think about packing economically or shipping ahead on a long trip.

The XK interior is comfortable, functional and elegant.

The award winning  XK interior is comfortable, functional and elegant. Photo Credit Jaguar USA

Hitting that start button is where the XK really lets you fall in love. The 5.0 V8 roaring to life much more in the note of muscle car rumble than you might expect from British royalty. Don’t turn the radio on…with the top down just listen and enjoy. Dial it into drive and take off and the 385 horses move the aluminum body XK out quickly getting you from 0-60 in under 5 ½ seconds. Paddle shifters let you move the XK through the 6 gears of the ZF transmission with zest. Top speed is set at 155 mph for this version.

Off the beaten path and through the country roads on the way to Berkeley Springs, WV the XK is a treat to drive. Jaguar engineers have used aluminum and alloys to create a car that feels solid in the curves with none of the twisty surprises that you find in some drop tops. The Adaptive Dynamics suspension plants the car to the road and eats up the bumps and bruises of the asphalt. The massive brakes and  19 inch wheels and tires gave me a lot of stopping confidence always feeling like there was more there if I needed it.

The 2013 Jaguar XK Touring Convertible I drove had a sticker price of $85,875 which makes it a bargain for what you get in my book. Gas mileage comes in at 16 mpg city 22 highway which are respectable numbers for a full size touring car with V8 power. The XK has not been crash tested. It does come with a number of safety features including backup camera and pop up roll bars.

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Jaguar has produced several versions of the XK including XK-R and XK-RS versions that turn up the performance factor until it is almost too much fun!

A quick stop at Maria's in Berkeley Springs, WV. Interesting Place.

A quick stop at Maria’s in Berkeley Springs, WV. Interesting Place.

The Jaguar XK Convertible is an incredible touring car. Winding through the back roads or on the interstates this car brings elegance and manners to the table while also letting the pure animal out in you. You want to drive it, spend the day in it, stop in scenic places and take pictures of it and be seen in it. It is as one might say a most impressive motorcar. Just remember to bring the sunscreen!

Listen to my review here:

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Get more reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.