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Sports car stars at Geneva Motor Show

New Jag XK, Lotus Elise and BMW M3 at Geneva

The Geneva Motor Show next month will host the world debut of the fastest ever Jaguar XK, a revised Lotus Elise with new engines, and an updated BMW M3 with start-stop engine technology.

Jaguar XKR Speed Black

Speed Black pack gives Jaguar XKR even more performance

Jaguar XKR Speed Pack

Jaguar has chosen Geneva to announce the introduction of two new special equipment kits for its range-topping XKR coupé – the Speed Pack and the Black Pack.

The Speed Pack raises the Jaguar XKR’s electronically limited top speed from 155mph to 174mph, making it the fastest Jaguar XK ever. Achieving this has meant recalibrating both the 503bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine and the six-speed automatic transmission, as well as modifications to the aerodynamics.

All Speed Pack XKRs feature a new front bumper, boot spoiler, side skirts and rear diffuser, while the steering sensitivity is also reduced at very high speeds. It also comes with 20-inch alloys, extra chrome and a unique choice of paint finishes.

The Black Pack can be added to the Speed Pack to give the car extra menace. Gloss black alloys and body detailing are joined by optional XKR graphics on the side.

All 2011 model year XKRs get red brake calipers, and all XKs have the spare wheel replaced by a puncture repair kit, freeing up an extra 30 litres of boot space that can be filled with a specially tailored suitcase.

Prices start at £61,955 for the regular Jaguar XK. An XKR costs from £74,955, with the Coupé-only Speed Pack at £3,500, and Speed and Black Packs together at £4,000.

Lotus Elise

Elise gets a new look, and low-CO2 engines to match

Lotus Elise lowest CO2 sportscar?

New engines for the 2011 model year Lotus Elise will probably make it the most CO2 efficient petrol sports car in the world.

The introduction of a new 134bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine should see the Elise achieve sub-155g/km CO2 emissions (an improvement of 13% over the previous entry-level model) and around 46mpg once official EU testing results are returned. The 0-62mph sprint is predicted at 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 124mph.

The existing Elise R and Elise SC 1.8-litre engines continue as before; all are Toyota units in origin, with Lotus electronics adapting them for performance use and the SC featuring a supercharger.

Bodywork changes introduced at the same time give the Elise a smoother look but also better aerodynamics, which should improve real world fuel economy. The 2011 Elise also features a new close-ratio six-speed gearbox and cruise control in the optional Touring Pack.

Prices will be announced in March.

BMW M3 Competition

BMW M3 has always been a performance star – now it gets stop-start engine tech too

Start-stop for BMW M3

Changes to the BMW M3 include auto start-stop for lower CO2 and a new Competition Package for sharper performance.

BMW says the M3 is the world’s first high performance car with auto start-stop; we suspect Porsche might disagree – all of its Panamera models also feature this as standard. Nonetheless, a 24g/km CO2 reduction is a worthy result, and it’s achieved without dampening the M3’s performance.

Coupé and saloon models now emit 263g/km, the convertible 269g/km – accompanied by a small improvement in average fuel economy (figures for M DCT paddleshift automatic gearbox-equipped cars).

The Competition Package costs an extra £3,315 in addition to the Coupé’s basic £52,730, and adds sportier suspension settings, less strident stability control and lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels.

All new M3 models go on sale 20 March.


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