• The 550-horsepower XKR-S Convertible is the fastest Jaguar convertible ever
  • Exterior upgrades include more aggressive bumpers, unique 20-inch wheels and exclusive rear wing
  • We expect the XKR-S Convertible to arrive early next year with a price tag around $145,000

Jaguar recently pulled the cover off its fastest convertible ever at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. Dubbed the XKR-S Convertible, the high-performance ragtop follows up on the XKR-S Coupe, which was revealed earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show.

While Jaguar's standard XKR convertible certainly provides a high-performance driving experience, the XKR-S adds a further 40 horsepower to the droptop's supercharged 5.0-liter V8 to reach a monstrous 550 horses. According to Jaguar, that means the XKR-S Convertible can hit 60 miles per hour from a standing start in a lightning-fast 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 miles per hour. Other upgrades include sport-tuned suspension, revised traction control designed to aid in competition situations, and standard Pirelli P-Zero tires.

Like its XKR-S Coupe sibling, the XKR-S Convertible offers a series of interior and exterior upgrades that help distinguish the high-performance special edition model from the standard XKR. In front, the XKR-S Convertible adds a new bumper with a wider, lower air intake and a carbon fiber splitter, while revisions to the rear include a large wing and new bumper that houses dual exhausts and a black diffuser. Also included are unique 20-inch "Vulcan" alloy wheels and high-performance brake calipers finished in either red or gray.

Inside, the XKR-S Convertible also includes a host of distinctive features. Jaguar says the high-performance ragtop uses its supportive performance seats finished in a unique carbon leather trim, exclusive stainless steel pedals and an available dark aluminum finish. The special edition convertible also includes a long list of standard luxury goods like keyless starting, a navigation system, a reversing camera and an interface for iPods and other MP3 players.

We expect the XKR-S Convertible to debut early next year. While Jaguar hasn't released a starting price, the soft top will likely add about $12,000 on top of the XKR-S Coupe's already hefty $132,000 base price tag. For Jaguar loyalists, though, nothing else will do.

What it means to you: Considering the competition, it's hard to justify a $145,000 Jaguar - but we'll wait to drive the XKR-S before we make our final decision.

See more LA Auto Show news.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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