The ‘New Original’: Jaguar XKSS Makes World Debut in Los Angeles

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The first genuine Jaguar XKSS to be built in almost 60 years was today given its world debut presentation at the Petersen Museum, Los Angeles by Jaguar Classic. The stunning XKSS, finished in Sherwood Green paint, has been created by the Jaguar Classic engineering team ahead of the production of nine cars for delivery to customers across the globe in 2017.

Often referred to as the world’s first supercar, the XKSS was originally made by Jaguar as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning D-type, which was built from 1954 -1956. In 1957, nine cars earmarked for export to North America were lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in the British Midlands; meaning just 16 examples of XKSS were built.

Earlier this year Jaguar announced that its Classic division would build the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars for a select group of established collectors and customers. The new one-off XKSS presented in Los Angeles is the summation of 18 months of research and will be used as a blueprint from which the nine continuation cars are built.

The nine cars will be completely new, with period chassis numbers from the XKSS chassis log. All cars are now sold at a price in excess of £1million each ($1,240,964.04).

The XKSS is the second continuation car to be created by Jaguar, following on from the six Lightweight E-types that were built in 2014. This project helped the team learn to engineer cars that are faithful to the specifications to which they were built in period, and this knowledge has been enhanced in creating the ‘new original’ XKSS.

The XKSS unveiled in Los Angeles is a period correct continuation, built using a combination of original drawings from Jaguar’s archive and modern technology. The Jaguar Classic engineering team scanned several versions of the 1957 XKSS to help build a complete digital image of the car, from the body to chassis, and including all parts required.

The body of the XKSS is made from magnesium alloy, as it was in 1957, and because the original styling bucks do not exist, Jaguar Classic produced a new, bespoke styling buck based on the original bodies from the 1950s. The bodies of the nine new cars will be formed on this buck, using a traditional process called hand-wheeling.

Jaguar Classic’s expert engineers worked with the original frames and from there produced CAD to support build of the chassis. In partnership with the Classic team, frame maker Reynolds – famous for their 531 tubing – was briefed to craft bespoke new parts using imperial measurements, rather than metric. The frames are bronze welded in the same way as the period XKSS chassis tubing.

The continuation cars feature period specification four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes with a Plessey pump, and Dunlop tires with riveted two-piece magnesium alloy wheels.

Under the bonnet, the XKSS is supplied with a 262hp 3.4-liter straight six-cylinder Jaguar D-type engine. The engine features completely new cast iron blocks, new cast cylinder heads and three Weber DC03 carburetors.

Inside, the ‘new original’ XKSS features perfect recreations of the original Smiths gauges. Everything from the wood of the steering wheel, to the grain of the leather seats, through to the brass knobs on the XKSS dashboard, is precisely as it would have been in 1957.

Minor specification changes have been made only to improve driver and passenger safety. The fuel cell, for example, uses robust, modern materials to support throughput of modern fuels.

Customer vehicles will be hand-built beginning this year, and it is estimated that 10,000 man hours will go into building each of the new XKSS cars.

Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic Engineering Manager, said: “The XKSS is one of the most important cars in Jaguar’s history, and we are committed to making the ‘new original’ version absolutely faithful to the period car in every way.

“From the number, type and position of all the rivets used – there are more than 2,000 in total – to the Smiths gauges on the dashboard, everything is the same as the original cars, because that is the way it should be.”

Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “The XKSS continuation program underlines the world-class expertise we have at Jaguar Land Rover Classic. We are committed to nurturing the passion and enthusiasm for Jaguar’s illustrious past by offering exceptional cars, services, parts and experiences.

“Jaguar Land Rover Classic is perfectly positioned to cater for this growing love for classics, with a new £7.5m global headquarters set to open in Coventry in 2017. We are looking forward to growing this business, supporting our existing customers and engaging with a whole new generation of global enthusiasts.”

Stunningly beautiful Jaguar Classic engineering. Should there be interest, contact us at Jaguar Orlando, and we’ll make arrangements for you. And we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the relevant news and information about the Jaguar experience.

Jaguar Tests Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technology

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Jaguar showcased its latest Connected and Autonomous Vehicle technologies as part of the UK Autodrive demonstrations taking place at the HORIBA MIRA Technology Park in the Midlands of the UK today. Jaguar is working with Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Center to test connected technologies that will allow cars to talk to each other as well as the roadside infrastructure, such as traffic lights, in the future.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicle technologies are one of Jaguar’s research priorities. It is creating a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles to develop and test a wide range of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle technologies over the next four years. Ultimately, the goal is for these technologies to enhance the driving experience as well as making driving smarter and even cleaner in the years to come.

Tony Harper, Head of Research, Jaguar, said: “We know that there’s a huge potential for these technologies in future vehicles around the world. Until now we have focused on communication between Jaguar vehicles, this collaborative approach is a major stepping stone towards all Connected and Autonomous Vehicles co-operating with each other in the future.

“Our aim is to give drivers exactly the right information at the right time and collaborations with other manufacturers are essential to help us deliver this commitment to our customers.”

Jaguar is developing both fully and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies to help the driver with the challenging or more tedious parts of driving while maintaining an enjoyable driving experience. The company’s vision is to make the autonomous car viable in the widest range of real life, on and off road driving environments and weather conditions.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies*

Included within the suite of technologies being tested are Advanced Highway Assist, Electronic Emergency Brake Light Assist and Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory.

With Advanced Highway Assist the vehicle can overtake vehicles automatically, as well as, stay in its lane on the motorway without the driver having to touch either the steering wheel or the pedals.

Electronic Emergency Brake Light Assist warns drivers when a vehicle ahead brakes severely or unexpectedly. This is particularly useful when driving in dense fog or if the vehicle in front is out of sight*.

Imagine traveling without needing to stop at traffic lights because they are always on green. This could be possible with Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory. The car connects to traffic lights advising the driver of the best driving speed required to reach the lights when they are on green. This will improve traffic flow, CO₂ emissions as well as the driver’s experience. Jaguar Orlando will keep you up-to-date on all of Jaguar’s innovative technologies.

* These features and technologies are currently being developed and tested by Jaguar Land Rover and the actual features available on future production models may differ from the ones described here.