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- ISBN-10: 1847970745
- ISBN-13: 9781847970749
by Graham Robson
After a twenty-year production period, it was time for the venerable XJS to bow out but what was to replace it? Jaguar had been sold to Ford and was no longer as cash-strapped as it had been, but the XJS replacement would still have to be developed on an impossibly low budget and it would require a new engine. The V12 that had powered many of the 115.330 XJS cars could not meet new, more stringent emissions legislation and parent company Ford didn't have an engine powerful enough for the new Jaguar sports car. Jaguar would have to design its own engine, only the fourth new Jaguar engine since the fabled XK engine was developed in 1949.
Announced at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new XK8 coupé (code-named X100) was in reality based on an XJS platform due to costs, but the body was unlike any Jaguar that had preceded it. A month after the coupé was launched came the convertible, first shown at April 1996's New York Motor Show.
The XK8 was an almost perfect design, so perfect that it changed little over its nine-year run. What it did get, though, was Jaguar's magnificent forced-induction engine, a 4.2-litre supercharged V8 that could propel it to a speed way in excess of the 155mph speed limiter fitted as standard. It joined supercar territory, but like most sporting Jaguars did so at a cost way below that of an equivalent Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or Ferrari.
As a value-for-money supercar, nothing could equal the big cat from Browns Lane, Coventry, and the only car to match it in looks was the Aston Martin DB7. This was no coincidence as the DB7 used the same basic underpinnings with a Jaguar-based engine, but it was a full 30.000 GBP more expensive to have the more exclusive Aston.
In 2005, the XK8 bowed out with a 4.25 Limited Edition run-out model. In less than half the lifetime of its predecessor the same number of cars had left the factory, but it was time for a new model and a new factory, and the new alloy-bodied XK would be built at Castle Bromwich rather than Browns Lane, home of Jaguar since 1950.
This book tells the full history of the XK8. It brings special feature panels on key personalities and developments as well as full specifications of each model.
- Ancestor - the XJ-S
- False Start - XJ41 and XJ42
- Engineering the XK8
- The XK8 on Sale - the Early Years
- XKR - Supercar Peformance
- XK180 and F-Type - Even Sportier Concepts
- 4.2 Litres - More Performance, Same Style, Final Maturity
- Replacing the XK8 - the New XK
- Appendix: Blood Relation - The Aston Martin DB7
Buch, Harcover, 19,5 x 25 cm, 176 Seiten, 146 farbige Abbildungen, englischer Text