The Jaguar XK series made from 1996 till 2006 is a grand tourer with a 2+2 seat configuration. She was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March 1996. It is the replacement of the XJS.
The 1996 XK - project code X100 - was available in coupé or convertible body styles and with either a supercharged 390 horsepower or naturally aspirated 290 horsepower 4.0 litre AJ26 engine. From 2003 the engines were replaced by the 4.2 litre AJ34 engines in both the normally aspirated and supercharged versions. The supercharged variant is known as the XKR.
The first-generation XK series shares its platform with the Aston Martin DB7. Both cars are derived from the Jaguar XJS, though the platform has been extensively changed. One of the revisions is the use of the second generation of Jaguar's IRS unit, taken from the XJ40.
The car's aerodynamic design gives it a drag co-efficient of 0.35 for the XK8 coupe and 0.36 for the XK8 convertible.
Both the XK8 and XKR are electronically limited to a maximum of 250 km/h, lower than the top speed of its predecessor, the XJS. The XK8 heralded a change in direction for the company, resulting in the S-Type and X-Type.
Both the XK8 and XKR come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels - 19 and 20-inch wheels are available at an additional cost - A navigation system and self-leveling xenon headlamps come standard with the XKR and as options for the XK8. Jaguar's Adaptive Cruise Control is an optional feature available on both models. Both come with all-leather interior, burl walnut trim, and side airbags.
In 2000 107 RHD Silverstone models were made for the UK, and one year later another 416 LHD all for export and 40 RHD for the Japanese market to celebrate Jaguar's return to F1 racing in 2001.
It featured a Platinum paint finish, specific badges and tread plates,a high-performance package with the same engine as the standard XKR, but improved transmission, steering, suspension and brakes, 20 inch Silver BBS - Detroit - wheels and a custom interior red-stitched black leather and birds-eye maple wood. All possible factory options were included, to the exception of the telephone and the navigation system, which had to be ordered separately.
Built to celebrate the centenary of Jaguar's founder, 500 - XKR 100 - coupés and 500 convertibles were made in 2002. The XKR 100 featured an Anthracite paint finish, Recaro seats, 20 inch BBS alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, and custom interior. This model may be referred to as the XKR-R as well.
The convertible-only Portfolio models were produced in 2004 exclusively for the US market. Of the Portfolio models, 100 featured unique Red paint with matching Recaro sports seats and interior, whilst the remaining 100 had Blue paintwork and interiors. Portfolio models were also sold in France.
In Europe the 4.2-S was unveiled at the Geneva - Salon de l'Automobile - on 1 March 2005. This was the last XK to be rolled out that was based upon the original 1996 design. Features for the 4.2-S Four included new exterior and interior colours and two distinct veneer options for the instrument panel, polished door treadplates with chequered-flag emblems and embossed, leather-edged floor mats. The revised white Jaguar badge on the bonnet also feature chequered accents. New 19 inch Atlas wheels plus cross-drilled Brembo brake discs, red wheel badges and red brake callipers were also fitted.
Jaguar also produced a concept car called the XKR-R which was very similar to the production XKR, but boasting a more powerful 450 bhp engine, a manual gearbox, a limited-slip differential and improved handling. The naming convention is similar to that of the S-Type R special edition. Unlike the S-Type R, it will never be realised on a Mk1 XK chassis although a model of the same name could appear on the Mk2 XK later this year.
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