Image credits: © Jaguar.

2012 Jaguar XK Artisan Special Edition news, pictures, specifications, and information

Jaguar XK and XKR Special Edition Global Press Release

• New XK and XKR Special Edition models are available to order now in both coupe and convertible form

• The Special Edition models introduce enhancements to the XK's already luxurious hand-crafted cabin in addition to discreet exterior changes

• New 'Artisan' interiors utilise sumptuous scraffito grain leather on the seats, instrument binnacle, door and rear quarter casings, and Poltrona Frau® leather headlinings

• Customers can choose from two Jaguar Design team-specified interior colourways, each available wîth a choice of new veneer finishes - Shadow Walnut and Dark Figured Aluminium

• 16x16 way heated Performance front seats, a 525W Bowers & Wilkins sound system, unique treadplates and stainless steel pedals are all standard

• Exterior paint palette includes Celestial Black - exclusive to the XK range in Special Edition form - and two new 20-inch wheel designs


Every Jaguar XK represents a compelling combination of advanced engineering and cosseting luxury, yet the latest additions to the evolving range - the XK and XKR Special Edition models - further enhance that luxury quality through the introduction of hand-crafted 'Artisan' interiors.

Available in both coupe and convertible form*, the Special Edition model's Artisan interior introduces the use of tactile 'scraffito' finished leather to the front seats, instrument binnacle, door and rear quarter casings. In combination wîth Poltrona Frau® leather headlinings, two new veneer finishes - Shadow Walnut and Dark Figured Aluminium - and standard features including a 525W Bowers & Wilkins sound system, 16 by 16 way adjustable heated Performance seats, a heated §teering wheel and keyless entry/start, each Special Edition model promises a heightened level of opulence and comfort.

To compliment the sumptuous use of materials, Jaguar's design team, led by Director of Design Ian Callum, specified two exclusive Artisan interior colourways for the Special Edition models; Navy wîth Jet headlining and Truffle wîth Canvas headlining. Convertible hood colours have also been carefully selected and include Black, Blue, Grey and Brown. Special Edition treadplates and stainless steel pedals are additional discreet enhancements.

An exterior paint palette of six colours includes the exclusive Special Edition colour of Celestial Black, wîth Crystal Blue, Lunar Grey, Polaris White, Rhodium Silver and Últimate Black being the alternative options. Two new 20-inch alloy wheel designs complete the exterior changes; Venom wheels are diamond turned wîth a dark grey finish, the Orona style having a polished finish.

XK: an advanced choice


Whether in coupe or convertible form, each Special Edition model benefits from the advanced engineering techniques inherent to the entire Jaguar XK and XKR range. Jaguar is -leading in its use of aluminium technology, and both coupe and

convertible models utilise riveted and bonded aluminium monocoque construction that means light weight, exceptional rigidity and strength. In combination wîth continuously variable adaptive damping - standard on all models - and 5.0-litre direct-injection V8 petrol engines in either 385PS naturally-aspirated or, for the XKR, 510PS supercharged form, the result is a beautifully damped yet controlled ride, precise handling, and effortless performance when required.

For an even more focused driving experience, for the 2013 Model Year all standard XKR convertible and coupe models are now available wîth the optional Dynamic Pack (previously offered on the XKR coupe only). The Dynamic Pack raises top speed to 174mph, and includes the addition of side sill extensions wîth new rear diffuser, 10mm lower ride height, revised adaptive dynamics, spring and damper rates, plus a new front §teering knuckle for optimised precision.

*XK/XKR Special Edition variability varies by market. The Special Edition models are not available in the North American market

Editor's notes: XK/XKR

• Both XK and XKR models use Jaguar's Adaptive Dynamics system which continuously monitors the suspension and, courtesy of active dampers, can alter damping rates up to 500 times a second to ensure optimal stability and handling wîth no loss of comfort. A driver selected 'Dynamic' mode works wîth the Adaptive Dynamics system to further increase body control while also sharpening throttle and gearshift responses.

• The XKR additionally features Jaguar's electronically-controlled active differential to maximise traction in all conditions.

• Six-speed automatic transmissions also offer manual driver control via §teering-wheel mounted paddles.

• A seven-inch touch-screen is standard on all models and offers control of the navigation system and a range of other features.

• Advanced safety features include Jaguar's Adaptive Restraint Technology System - which helps ensure maximum driver and passenger protection ­- and an innovative Pedestrian Contact Sensing System which raises the bonnet in the event of contact wîth a pedestrian to help prevent contact wîth hard points under the bonnet. Adaptive Front Lighting and Adaptive Cruise Control are additional optional features that enhance safety.

Source - Jaguar
By the early 2000s, cars were evolving at an unprecedented pace. Every year manufacturers seemed to be eking out more power, more efficiency, and more performance, all backed up by more computers and more electronic driving aids. Emerging technologies were bundled into the automotive package, creating cars that could double as cell phones and MP3 players.

Yet at the dawn of this technological revolution, Jaguar was out on a tea break. That proud jungle cat, the producer of some of the world's finest and most advanced sports cars in the 1950s and 1960s, had grown lazy and set in its ways under foreign (read: Ford) control.

Ford was by no means incapable of running Jaguar well, and the American giant at least helped improve Jag's reputation for unreliability and poor quality control. The approach to running Jaguar was conservative, though, and aimed to keep a few traditionalists happy at the cost of potential new buyers. The advanced performance and styling that had once defined Jaguar had grown stale, leading to quaint caricatures of the brand's past legends. The XJ-series looked like the XJ-series always had—since 1968. The XK-series followed the controversially-styled XJS with a design that borrowed heavily from the original E-Type—of 1961. Jaguar had successfully established a model lineup that effectively looked 30 years behind the times.

That's not to say that Jaguar's cars weren't still beautiful—they were. But the design language had grown far too stale to attract new buyers, and, with dangerously low sales, change was needed to save the company from financial ruin.

Enter the 2005 Jaguar Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept, Ian Callum's ingenious interpretation of what a modern Jaguar should be. This concept, with refreshingly few changes, formed the basis for the Jaguar XK that would be released in 2006 for the 2007 model year.

Though it retained enough design DNA to remain unmistakably Jag, the 2007 XK was a thoroughly modern car. Its design was many years ahead of the outgoing model's, styled by Callum with respect for Jaguar's past but eyes towards the brand's future. The Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept's name was well-founded, and its advanced and lightweight use of aluminum made it into the production XK. The production car was built on a remarkably rigid platform that used aluminum extrusions extensively to reduce weight and increase rigidity. The XK was designed from the beginning as a convertible (Ian Callum considered it easier to make a coupe of a convertible than the other way around), and that fact meant that the XK convertible not only looked as good as the coupe but was also impressively stiff.

The XK debuted with a 4.2L, 32-valve V8 that made 300hp and was coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The supercharged XKR version made 420hp. This was ample power for both cars, but, in an effort to keep up with the competition and avoid the problems witnessed at the outset of the millennium, Jaguar gave the XK and XKR brand new engines for 2010. With displacement increased to 5.0L, the new V8s now produce 385hp in naturally aspirated form and 510hp in supercharged guise.

The XK, now complemented by the impressive XF and brand-new XJ, helped to revitalize Jaguar's ageing image. It represents the sporty car in Jag's small, cohesive lineup, and is a thoroughly modern piece that has earned the right to call itself by those two famous letters that first established Jaguar as a builder of benchmark sports cars in 1948.

Sources:

'2010 Jaguar XK / XKR Coupe and Convertible - Auto Shows.' Car and Driver Jan 2009: n. pag. Web. 15 Jul 2010. http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/09q1/2010_jaguar_xk_xkr_coupe_and_convertible-auto_shows.

MacKenzie, Angus. 'First Look: 200 Jaguar XK.' Motor Trend Oct 2005: n. pag. Web. 15 Jul 2010. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_0510_2007_jaguar_xk/index.html.

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