Jaguar XK-R 5.0 V8 Supercharged Coupe – A Big Cat Ready To Prowl
The 5.0L V8 supercharged XK-R surprised many when it roared on to the scene in 2009, not least as many car manufacturers were in the processes of downgrading engines rather than ‘super’ sizing them. However, remarkably quickly, the critics forgot about the extra cylinders and focused instead on the beast Jaguar had created! The new direct-injection engine with independent variable valve timing delivers 502bhp, 625 Nm of torque, equivalent to 461 ft-lb, spread over a pleasingly large rev range, propelling the XK-R from 0-60mph in just 4.6sec making the 2010 Supercharged XK-R the fastest Jaguar since the XJ220. Electronically limited to 174mph, the XK-R’s unrestricted speed would see the needle nudging the 200 mark on the speedometer.
But the Supercharged XK-R is about more than simply speed and power. The smooth 6-speed automatic gearbox takes the driver effortlessly up and down the gear ranges – unless the driver prefers to interfere via the paddle shifters. With a fantastically responsive throttle, fluid steering and progressive brakes, the wonderfully balanced rear wheel drive coupe handles bends with thrilling agility. Yet the Jag is remarkably comfortable over longer distances thanks largely to the Adaptive Damping System (ADS), capable of variably adjusting the damping rates hundreds of times per second. With its own version of auto predict, the ADS also reads road conditions to predict lean, roll and pitch – and then prepares the car in advance, eliminating the millisecond of lurch so often felt with luxury sports cars. In short, the 2010 Supercharged XK-R delivers great performance presented in an exceptionally stylish yet understated package.
The owner of this XK-R decided it was time his cherished vehicle had a spruce up, so he booked the car into UF Studio, Brands Hatch, for a number of cosmetic detailing services including Gloss Enhancement Treatment to restore the colour clarity and depth of shine to the paintwork. In addition, the alloy wheels were to be protected with a ceramic coating and the leather interior was also to benefit from a deep clean and protection.
The years take a toll on any vehicle, particularly one that’s used regularly. A number of factors conspire to dull the paintwork – poor wash techniques result in swirls and scratches; environmental and industrial fallout etch into the clear coat. Tar and tree sap bond with the paint and disrupt the light’s reflection, spoiling the appearance. Every now and then, measures need to be taken to remove the bonded contamination. Typically, owners who have had their cars detailed are stunned when they collect them, amazed at just how much of a difference there is in the cars appearance. It’s great to see! – Matt Back, UF Studio
Before the machine polishing stages, the car first needed to be thoroughly decontaminated.
As to be expected, the wheels were particularly dirty, with brake dust, tar, rubber and general road grime build-up visible, especially along the joins of the spokes to the rims.
The wheels were first cleaned with Valet Pro Bilberry Wheel Cleaner, acting as a degreasing agent and general fallout remover to loosen surface dirt. A trolley jack was used to increase the gap between the wheels and the body to allow for more thorough cleaning of the wheel arches, which are natural traps for a significant amount of debris.
The solution was agitated with a small detailing brush, getting right into the corners of the rims to aid the removal of baked on dirt.
The areas were rinsed with a Kranzle K-1152 TST pressure washer.
The engine bay was also heavily contaminated, where road salts and grime from wet roads had entered through the front grille.
Using Auto Finesse Citrus Power, the engine bay was degreased. A detailing brush was used to agitate the solution, working the solution into the baked-on contamination and helping to loosen it.
To tackle brake dust build up on wheels, along sills and across the bodywork, Bilt-Hamber Korrosol was applied. Then Ultimate Snow Foam was used to act on larger particles of dirt and grit bonded to the paintwork. Korrosol’s colour-change function showed up clearly against the white of the foam revealing iron contamination from the car’s brake pads and also other vehicles whilst driving on the open road.
Ultimate Snow Foam is applied through a foam lance attached to a pressure washer to create a clinging lather that dwells for longer, even on vertical surfaces. The foam lift particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the panels allowing them to be easily rinsed away before a wash mitt comes into contact with the panels. This helps prevent swirls being introduced to the clear coat during the wash process – a leading cause of gloss diminishing over time.
The XK-R was washed using the Two Bucket Method, keeping wash and rinse water in separate buckets to prevent reintroducing dirt back onto the paintwork. A wash mitt is dunked into the Wash Bucket, containing a Grit Guard and Nanolex Pure Shampoo, loaded with soap solution and a section of the car washed. The dirty mitt is rinsed in the Rinse Bucket, containing pure clean water and a Grit Guard. The mitt is brushed repeatedly over the Grit Guard to dislodge contamination trapped in the pile. The particles drop to the bottom of the bucket and the Grit Guard helps to prevent them swirling around in the water. The wash mitt is then wrung out before being reloaded with soap solution from the Wash Bucket and the process is repeated until the vehicle is completely clean. Using a pressure washer, the car is rinsed and, as Pure Shampoo is a free rinsing shampoo without gloss enhancers or additives, the suds rinse away without leaving streaks or residues on the surface.
Finally, an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached in-line with a hose, rather than a pressure washer, (preserving the life of the media inside the filter responsible for neutralising spot mark deposits) and the XK-R was given a final, pure water rinse. The Jaguar was then brought into the detailing studio and placed on a hydraulic ramp. Using a BigBoi BlowR Pro, the XK-R was air dried. The BigBoi BlowR Pro is the most powerful unit of its type in the industry, with two 1400-watt motors that use warmed and filtered air to chase water off paintwork, metal and glass, drying a car up to seventy times faster than conventional drying solutions. Being touchless, BigBoi units are a safer method of drying too, as they eliminate contact whereby scratches may inadvertently be introduced into the paintwork. Air forces trapped water out from behind badges, head and taillight surrounds, mirror housings and other hard to reach areas. This prevents water droplets from escaping during the application of the ceramic coating when it will interfere with the optical clarity and also the coating’s ability to form cohesive chemical bonds with the clear coat.
Now clean and dry, a comprehensive visual inspection of the condition of the paintwork could be undertaken using SCANGRIP detailing lights, high-intensity lighting which mimics the sun, illuminating problem areas. Details of damage were noted on a Vehicle Appraisal Sheet (VAS) for reference during machine polishing. Multiple paint depth readings were taken over each panel and also noted on the VAS to record clear coat levels, ensuring there is sufficient coverage to allow for effective paint correction.
Occasionally, readings are significantly higher in certain areas, indicative of a respray or smart repair, typically as a result of an accident. Sometimes, the owner won’t have realised the car had been involved in an accident especially with pre-owned vehicles. However, in this instance, the readings were as expected and the damage strictly surface swirls with the odd random deep scratch (RDS) – the type of defects we’d expect to see on a vehicle of this age. – Matt Back, UF Studio
Using a RUPES LHR 15ES BigFoot dual action machine polisher and a RUPES Blue Coarse Polishing Pad, the paintwork was corrected using a medium speed and Koch-Chemie H8.02 compound. For narrow areas such as along door pillars and sills, a RUPES LHR 75E Mini dual action polisher was used, as the smaller head is optimally suited to working smaller areas.
The paintwork was surprisingly ‘grabby’ so a highly lubricating polish was needed so I could work the compound for long enough to break the diminishing abrasives down to produce the required result. It took a couple of tries with different pads, but the RUPES Blue with its open cell construction combined with the central hole which allows for improved air circulation helped keep the heat build-up to a minimum, allowing for enough cutting power without causing the paint to become ‘sticky’. – Matt Back, UF Studio
Refining took place using a Chemical Guys HEX-LOGIC Black Finishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish 3500 compound, burnishing the paintwork to a high gloss shine. Once refined, Gtechniq Panel Wipe was used to treat each panel, removing any polish residues, preparing the surface for the ceramic coating.
The owner specified Kamikaze Collection ENREI be applied as the protective coating. This two-stage system represents the pinnacle of nano-ceramic technology. ENREI No.1 Base Coat Primer acts, quite literally, to prime the clear coat to receive ENREI No.2 Top Coat. No.1 Base Coat Primer has a high affinity for the top coat, encouraging a greater number of bonds to form in a densely compact way, increasing the durability of the final finish. Once cured, ENREI repels dirt, oils and contamination with the unique chemical bonds eliminating the water spot issues common to many traditional ceramic sealants.
The results ENREI produces is nothing short of remarkable – not only does it help preserve the original clear coat against swirls, environmental and industrial fallout but it delivers an incredibly high gloss shine. Treated surfaces are easier to maintain, so the weekly wash becomes effortless. However, in order to ensure maximum performance, ENREI must be applied under tightly controlled environmental conditions and using a methodology extensively researched and developed by Kamikaze Collection International. Detailers have to undergo training and receive certification from Kamikaze Collection. Only then do they have access to ENREI to be able to offer this coating as a service to their clients.
After consultation, it was agreed the leather upholstery would benefit from a Leather Protection Treatment and this was carried out using Colourlock products. First, Mild Leather Cleaner was used to provide gentle but effective cleaning, in combination with a leather brush to lift dirt out of the leather grain. Then, Leather Shield was sprayed onto the clean, dry leather, providing a hydrophobic barrier that will help prevent stains from accidental spillages, dirty water and mud. Leather Shield contains UV inhibitors to help prevent the leather from becoming dry and brittle and helping preserve the colour pigment.
The alloy wheels were protected using Kamikaze Collection Stance Rim Coat, providing a heat resistant, hydrophobic barrier, repelling greasy contamination and inhibiting the build-up of brake dust whilst enhancing the shine of the alloy rims.
With the extensive detailing work now complete, the XK-R was ready for collection, fully protected for another eight years against anything the urban jungle can throw at it!