Image credits: © Jaguar.

2009 Jaguar XK


In 1948, Jaguar created what would become one of the most famous badges in the world, as the all-new and highly advanced XK engine made its debut in the revered XK120 sports car. To mark this milestone the Jaguar XK Club in conjunction wîth the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club have arranged a series of fantastic events that will culminate in the XK60 Diamond Celebrations taking place over the weekend of 8-10 August 2008. The scale of the event means activities, which include an auction, competitions, trophies, historic exhibitions, star guests, track action and demonstrations, will encompass two spectacular locations: Goodwood - the spiritual home of historic motor sport and nearby Cowdray Park.

Motor racing legend, Sir Stirling Moss, and Formula 1 commentator, Murray Walker, will both attend the celebrations. The event is expected to attract perhaps the finest array of Jaguar sports racing cars, such as C-types and D-types, XK120s, 140s and 150s ever gathered and seen in action - over 600 to celebrate 60 years of the car's heritage. The feature-packed XK60 event will include a major sale of Jaguars and related automobilia by leading auction house, Bonhams.

The event will also feature parades and demonstrations on the famous Goodwood track, an open XK clinic, a show of rare and historic models and a fantastic display of Ecurie Ecosse cars. Specialist Jaguar and lifestyle exhibitors will also be present, as will a purpose-built XK village providing hospitality, live music and a fabulous fifties fashion show. A selection of rare cars from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust will be on display as well as the latest cars in the Jaguar range including the XKR-S which can be seen at the Jaguar stand.

Discussing the XK60 Diamond Celebrations, Jaguar XK Club co-founder, Philip Porter said: 'We are really excited to be organising this landmark event. The XK is one of the automotive triumphs of the 20th-century: the immense success of the original car and its groundbreaking engine is demonstrated by the survival of the XK brand into the modern age. We look forward to working wîth Jaguar Cars to organise the scale of celebration this level of achievement deserves.' Nigel Thorley of the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club added to Porter's sentiments by saying: 'It is fitting that we celebrate its anniversary wîth such a major weekend of activities.'

Managing Director of Jaguar in the ÚK, Geoff Cousins said: 'The work that Philip Porter and his team have put into this series of events is nothing short of incredible. The XK in its various guises really does represent beautiful fast cars so it's fitting that owners from all over the world can come together to celebrate the remarkable impact that the XK has had not only on the automotive landscape but on wider popular culture. The XK has always been ground breaking from the XK120 that held the title of the fastest production car in the world, to the XKR-S, the fastest XK ever built.'

Vital Stats
Engine : 4.2 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 300 hp
Torque: 310 ft-lbs

6-speed Automatic
The 60th anniversary of the XK is a milestone well worth celebrating, and the XK60 Diamond celebrations will be a phenomenal series of events that Jaguar is proud to support.

Source - Jaguar
Introducing the breathtaking XK and XKR, Jaguar´s latest, most muscled athletes. Shouldered and powerful as always, but sleeker now wîth aluminum bodyshell drawn taut across the chassis, these dramatic sports machines are purposefully trimmed and tuned for heart-pounding performance. Exhaust song, power, control and comfort await notice wîth bold assurance. Inside or out, coupe or convertible, there´s not an ounce of excess. But there is anticipation...because on the road, the XK commands.

Jaguar received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2007-2008 Customer Satisfaction wîth Dealer Service (CSI) StudiesSM. 2008 study based on responses from 87,302 owners and lessees of 2005 to 2007 model-year vehicles, measuring 37 original equipment manufacturers and measures satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit the dealer service department for maintenance or repair work during the first three years of ownership. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January-April 2008. Your experiences may vary.

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.


'2010 Jaguar XK / XKR Coupe and Convertible - Auto Shows.' Car and Driver Jan 2009: n. pag. Web. 15 Jul 2010.

MacKenzie, Angus. 'First Look: 200 Jaguar XK.' Motor Trend Oct 2005: n. pag. Web. 15 Jul 2010.

By Evan Acuña
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