The All-new Jaguar XK - the undiluted thrill of drivingFrom the Jaguar Press Release - plus a comprehensive and exclusive walk-round evaluation for Jag-lovers users of the new XK from respected Jaguar author Paul Skilleter who remarks:
INTRODUCTION"In one respect the all-new XK arguably has more in common with earlier cars like the original XKs and the C, D and E-types than it does with the most recent XK, and that is the way in which the shape wraps more tightly around the mechanical underpinnings. The way the well-toned skin stretches tautly over the structure is timelessly modern, sophisticated, and easy on the eye.
With the all-new XK’s weight savings, the new naturally aspirated 4.2’s standing quarter-mile time of 14.4 seconds is less than half a second off the pace of the previous supercharged 4.2 XKR"
Jaguar is proud to announce a new era in its sports car lineage – the all-new XK. Like all great Jaguar sports cars, the focus of the all-new XK is firmly on the future, while acknowledging the marque’s rich history. It heralds a new era for Jaguar in terms of both design and engineering, and it is the most technically advanced Jaguar ever built.
The all-new XK continues the Jaguar tradition of beautiful, powerful, ground-breaking sports cars, but behind its stunning looks, it bristles with practical, intuitive, modern technology, clearly focussed on enhancing the driving experience. It delivers significant improvements in performance, dynamics, safety, exterior and interior design and equipment, and product quality. When it is launched in early 2006, this first of the next generation of Jaguars will become the sporting flagship of the Jaguar brand.
By starting with a blank canvas, Jaguar was able to make use of the latest aerospace technologies alongside more traditional Jaguar skills to create a luxurious, powerful, highly advanced sports car. A major key to the all-new XK’s character is Jaguar’s industry-leading aluminium monocoque body structure, introduced with the latest XJ saloons.
With this unique high-tech construction method, the all-new XK’s bodyshell is 31 percent stiffer than the previous XK’s and significantly offers a 10 percent improvement in power to weight ratio. The all-new XK is up to 90 percent stiffer and 180kg lighter than key rivals, with a kerb weight of just 1595kg.
By starting with a blank canvas, Jaguar was able to make use of the latest aerospace technologies alongside more traditional Jaguar skills to create a luxurious, powerful, highly advanced sports car. A major key to the all-new XK’s character is Jaguar’s industry-leading aluminium monocoque body structure, introduced with the latest In the words of Jaguar's Chief Engineer Mike Cross, in charge of the all-new XK’s vehicle dynamics, "What the team has looked to engineer is a sports car with true all-round ability. That means it must be fast, outstandingly agile, and truly exciting to drive. It has to go quickly, stop quickly, and do everything in between in the way a Jaguar should. Yet it’s also a rational choice – the all-new XK will deliver a balance of superb driving dynamics and comfort that is the epitome of sophisticated sporting luxury."
ALL-NEW JAGUAR XK AT A GLANCE
*Manufacturer provisional test figures
DESIGNYou only have to look at the all-new XK to know that this car is a giant leap forwards. The handsome, powerful looks are clearly a continuation of the style of the Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept first unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2005.
The use of beautiful lines and clean surfaces was crucial in defining the all-new XK’s more sporting character. In Jaguar design director Ian Callum’s words, "The fundamental values of Jaguar design do not change – not even since Sir William Lyons created the first Jaguar all those years ago. The entire design team worked with those values as we looked to create a car with clean lines, a purposeful stance and exquisite proportions. We took influences from our heritage and evolved them to produce a car that is beautiful, visually fast yet undeniably modern; just as Sir William's own designs were in their day."
In one respect the all-new XK arguably has more in common with earlier cars like the original XKs and the C, D and E-types than it does with the most recent XK, and that is the way in which the shape wraps more tightly around the mechanical underpinnings. The way the well-toned skin stretches tautly over the structure is timelessly modern, sophisticated, and easy on the eye.
The all-new XK is visibly more assertive and sporting than the model it replaces – a future classic in its own right. In true Jaguar tradition the all-new XK is also elegant and understated. It has classic, ground-hugging coupe proportions, with a long bonnet, steeply raked windscreen and rear window, arch-filling wheels, and minimal overhangs. The front-wing power vents are a new Jaguar styling signature; the distinctive oval grille opening, prominent bonnet power-bulge and practicality-enhancing rear liftback door all echo the E-type; while details like the sweeping front and rear light shapes and powerful stance establish Jaguar sports car design firmly in the 21st century.
Inside – as outside – the all-new XK features clean, simple, modern lines. It uses traditional craftsmanship and contemporary luxury materials like finely stitched leather, contrasting with a choice of more high-tech trim surfaces including metallic finishes. The layout is driver-focussed and sporting, with excellent ergonomics and body-hugging seats, set low against the high waistline to give a strong ‘cockpit’ feel. With a longer wheelbase, wider track and taller roofline, the 2+2 layout has more interior space than the XK that it replaces. Indeed this flagship coupe leads its class in terms of front legroom and shoulder room and boasts a 20mm increase in front-seat headroom over the previous Jaguar XK coupe.
Inside the cabin the minimalist instrument cluster houses two prominent round dials either side of an advanced high-resolution colour display based on thin-film transistor technology. This display is split into several zones showing vital information such as gear selection, cruise control information, low tyre pressure warnings and satellite navigation instructions, depending on market. A centrally mounted 7-inch touch-screen allows intuitive selection of climate, audio, navigation and telephone settings.
Amongst the user-friendly advanced technologies in the all-new XK is the Jaguar Smart Key System, which provides keyless start with a push-button starter, and also optional keyless entry simply by carrying the Jaguar Smart Key in your pocket or bag.
LIGHTWEIGHT VEHICLE TECHNOLOGYWhile the first striking impression of the all-new XK is delivered by its looks, its real essence is in what lies under the skin. The most far-reaching engineering feature in the all-new XK is its use of Jaguar’s Lightweight Vehicle Technology, the all-aluminium architecture that was introduced with the latest generation XJ saloon.
It is unique in the industry as a complete aluminium monocoque body structure, as distinct from an aluminium spaceframe with separate aluminium exterior panels. Developed from aircraft industry methods, where strength and light weight are critical, Jaguar’s manufacturing process produces a massively strong but very light structure that is both riveted and epoxy-bonded.
The new XK takes the Lightweight Vehicle concept a step further with extended use of aluminium castings and extrusions as well as pressed aluminium panels. Its remarkable strength and light weight come from both the way the bodyshell is constructed and the use of new jointing technologies developed by Jaguar and its suppliers.
The all-aluminium rear liftback door is strong, light and simple to operate. It pivots on two hinges ensuring the edge of the liftback moves away from the operator’s head as the lid is raised. It also provides excellent rear visibility – rare in the sports coupe field.
Beyond the exceptional body integrity and built-in deformation zones, the all-new XK is also available with a host of other safety solutions for protecting pedestrians as well as car occupants. Those include the shape and construction of the bumpers and bonnet, plus a completely new technology, the pedestrian deployable bonnet. This is deployed upwards away from its rear edge, in milliseconds, in the event of a pedestrian impact. This forms a safety zone between the bonnet and the engine and other under-bonnet hard areas to reduce significantly the potential for injuries.
With lower weight and higher strength, Lightweight Vehicle Technology is the starting point for improved performance, safety, refinement, economy, emissions performance and driving dynamics. Russ Varney, Chief Programme Engineer, Sports Range, explains how a 'no compromise' mentality was applied when it came to engineering the ultimate grand tourer:
"As a team we worked from day one to ensure that the all-new XK delivered on every target set for the vehicle. In the case of the aluminium monocoque body structure, it delivers great advantages in terms of weight and strength and we were determined to utilise those benefits to produce a sports car with a blend of stunning vehicle dynamics and outstanding comfort."
POWERTRAINSFrom launch the all-new XK will be powered by Jaguar’s renowned naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 engine which produces 300bhp SAE (298 PS EEC). This compact, lightweight engine is based on that fitted to the latest generation XJ saloon and has undergone significant development compared with the engine used in the previous XK, including new fuel-injection technology. The latest 4.2-litre engine satisfies Euro 4 emissions requirements as well as stringent US emissions regulations.
The 4.2-litre V8 develops maximum torque of 303 lb ft (411Nm) EEC at 4,100rpm. Again, the spread of torque is an important ingredient in the XK’s effortlessly sporty character, and this engine delivers more than 85% of torque all the way from 2,000 to 6,000rpm. Yet it still offers fine fuel economy and low emissions figures, with a drop in CO2 emissions of 6 percent.*
The naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 XK coupe has an electronically limited maximum speed of 155mph and a 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds, plus instant throttle response and broad flexibility for punchy performance across the range. With the all-new XK’s weight savings, the new naturally aspirated 4.2’s standing quarter-mile time of 14.4 seconds is less than half a second off the pace of the previous supercharged 4.2 XKR.*
For the first time in a Jaguar, drivers will be able to use steering wheel-mounted paddles to change gear with the new Jaguar Sequential Shift transmission. In either Drive or Sport Manual modes, very fast gear shifts are achieved by combining the use of one-touch paddles with an automatic blip of the throttle from the drive-by-wire engine management system during downshifts. Thanks to this positive torque enhancement control, the shifts are faster and more responsive than before regardless of the mode the driver has selected.
The XK’s six-speed transmission introduces a new generation of automatic gearshift for Jaguar, replacing the familiar ‘J’ gate with the new Jaguar Sequential Shift system with Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Sport modes. The fully automatic Drive mode adapts to individual driving styles, while a Sport Auto mode can also be selected. This offers an even more responsive fully automatic shift strategy, also utilising the automatic blip of the throttle to maintain ultra-smooth gear shifts.
*Manufacturer provisional test figures
TECHNOLOGYThe all-new XK has a completely new, high-performance braking system, tested extensively over many hundreds of laps at the gruelling Nürburgring test track in Germany, where Jaguar has a dedicated research facility. The result is greater braking power and more responsive feedback to the enthusiastic driver.
Larger, ventilated discs contribute to better pedal feel, optimum stopping distances and resist fade during extended hard use. The braking system also includes four-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hydraulic Brake Assist to increase brake pressure during an emergency stop, and Jaguar’s Electronic Park Brake function.
Unlike conventional digital ABS systems used on many cars, the all-new XK’s ABS system can vary the brake pressure at each wheel using analogue valves in the hydraulic control unit. This gives more refinement to the hydraulic pressure control and allows drivers to benefit from increased steering input during heavy braking.
The all-new XK’s Servotronic 2 steering is adapted for a sports car from the XJ saloon, to give easy low-speed manoeuvring with optimum high-speed feedback under all conditions.
Beyond the exceptional new pedestrian impact safety systems, the XK also includes a host of other safety features. These include the option of a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and run-flat tyres, Jaguar’s Protec dynamic headrest system to protect against whiplash injuries, Forward Alert which uses the optional Adaptive Cruise Control’s forward-facing sensors to scan the road ahead 10 times every second to warn of a potential collision, and the new switchable Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System (Trac DSC).
A new active front lighting system is also offered as an option on the XK, enhancing the bi-xenon intelligent lighting that is standard on the car. This feature provides enhanced visibility in the dark during higher speed cornering by swivelling the dipped beam lens depending on road speed and the angle at which the steering wheel is turned.
CONCLUSIONLike any of the great Jaguar sports cars of the past fifty years and more, the all-new XK pushes the boundaries of sports motoring. It is the most technically advanced Jaguar ever, and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. It is lighter, faster and better equipped than the model it replaces, with substantial improvements in performance, driving dynamics, braking, safety and economy.
Being a Jaguar, it combines the comfort, style and craftsmanship of a luxuriously equipped grand tourer with the driving dynamics of a true sports car. It captures the unique joy of driving that Jaguar drivers expect. In the finest Jaguar tradition, it is a truly beautiful, fast car, the product of advanced engineering and fine craftsmanship. It offers style, comfort and luxury. But it also keeps true to what sports car motoring is about – and that is the undiluted thrill of driving.
ChassisBody Riveted and bonded aluminium
engineCylinders/valves per cylinder 8/4 Bore/stroke – mm 86/90.3 Capacity – cc 4196 Maximum power – SAE bhp (kW) 300 (224) EEC PS (kW) 298 (219) @ rpm 6000 Maximum torque – SAE lb ft (Nm) 310 (420) EEC lb ft (Nm) 303 (411) @ rpm 4100
Jaguar Sequential Shift with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles
Performance (subject to confirmation)0-60 mph (0-100 kph) - seconds 5.9 (6.2) Top speed – mph (kph) 155 (250) electronically limited
DimensionsLength – mm 4791
Width – mm 2070 (incl. mirrors)
Height – mm 1322
Wheelbase – mm 2752
Kerb weight – kg 1595
Notes: Details of the Convertible and Supercharged and versions will be available later...
For Jag-lovers people, here are some images to help comparisons....
The New XK [X150] walk-round - an Eye-witness accountPaul Skilleter, respected Jaguar author and managing editor of Jaguar World Monthly magazine, provides this exclusive description of the new car for Jag-lovers.
Photographs are one thing, reality is another, and these are my first impressions of the new XK after viewing it at Jaguar’s engineering centre at Whitley earlier this month.
First impressions themselves are valuable, too. Mine were that while the car was clearly related to XK8, it had little in common with the out-going model in styling terms. I came to believe that the XK8, with its pronounced barrel-shaped sides, was just a little too rounded, and I applaud the fact that the new XK has lost those over-voluptuous curves. It looks sharper and more purposeful without being aggressive.
But above all, its stance is right. I consider that one of the hall-marks of the Jaguar car, be it sports or sedan, is its wonderful relationship with the road. All the best Jaguars seem to hug the Tarmac even when they’re not moving. This is a feature which William Lyons developed over the years, but it really came into its own with the arrival of the XJ6 in 1968. The XJ-S had it too, and I’ve always maintained that in this respect it was a more successful design than the car which replaced it. The XK8 always looked to be a little on tip-toe and did not hunker down onto the road like the XJ-S did. It’s said that its ride height was higher than intended due to a mix-up at the chassis design stage. Certainly after-market specialists have been given plenty of opportunity to offer lowering kits.
I was shown round the new XK by Giles Taylor, design manager for both the XJ and XK lines. He said that early on it was clear that the great majority of potential customers wanted to retain the 2+2 format (indeed the sometimes neglected 2+2 six cylinder E-type comfortably out-sold the two-seater version when it appeared). But to improve interior space the wheelbase was increased, although the length of the car has gone up only by 15mm, which has been cleverly lost by distributing it more or less evenly in the front and rear overhangs.
The design starting-point was the XK8, but Taylor said Ian Callum wanted to “bring tension, athleticism, stance and proportion…the current car is quite soft – this car communicates more of a performance aesthetic.” But he acknowledged that both the XJ-S and XK8 convertibles had enjoyed healthy sales amongst Californian women and they had no intention of alienating that market, so there was also a need to avoid making the car too ‘macho’.
This sharpening process has been successful in my opinion, and it incorporates some subtle touches: for example there’s a discreet crease line which (in Taylor’s words) “grabs the front wheel and brings the line back to a point where the line blends out [under the door handle] where the driver’s head is. So naturally it’s a focal point…it sets up a feeling of natural balance between the front and rear wheels. And it coincides with the cabin’s taper – which is all about giving aerodynamic form to the car.” Another line runs under the door, intended to lower the car to the eye – the purpose of those chrome strips which some manufacturers and coachbuilders used to employ in the 50s and 60s for the same reason.
A distinctive feature is the tail-gate which recalls the E-type fixedhead’s arrangement, though primarily its adoption was driven not for this reason but because if the rear glass had been fixed it would not have left room for a trunk lid of adequate size. Unlike the E-type it is top (not side) hinged but lifts to reveal rubber strakes on the trunk floor, this an intentional tribute to the 1960’s sports car. Attached to the tail-gate (which Jaguar refer to as the ‘lift-back’) is a cover which is detachable if the full depth of the luggage area is required. Underneath the floor there’s room for a full-size spare wheel – something the US market demands.
Outside, the major E-type hall-mark is the Sayer nose, first seen on the XP/11 sports racing prototype of 1953 and adopted for the D-type. The new XK also has supplementary lamps which are buried either side of the air intake in what look very much like the air intakes which featured on the long-nose D-type of 1955. Importantly, in the view of Giles Taylor, the badge has returned to the air intake, mounted a la E-type on a central plated bar.
As the technical data will relate, the bonnet (hood) has pyrotechnics which raise it at the rear to soften pedestrian impact; the centre power bulge is a styling device but one which was considered essential. Taylor says that due to line of sight requirements there was little room for it and to accentuate it, the bonnet surface drops as it meets it.
A further E-type connection lies in the rear lamp unit which ends inboard in a round lens reminiscent of the ‘Series 1’ car’s reflector. Directly underneath this is the exhaust; a centre exit like the E-type’s was considered (and it featured on the ALC) but it wasn’t feasible for production.
Inside, the car is completely different from XK8 as the ‘Spitfire wing’ facia has been abandoned in favour of a more modern and less vertical design. Traditional-type tachometer and speedometer sit directly in front of the driver (though I thought the white on black graphics could have been a little bolder in the idiom of the Mk 2 and E-type), with modernity appearing in the guise of a high-definition vertical display screen between them. This supplements the main screen which lies at the center of the facia.
There’s plenty of up-to-the-minute technology in the new car as Jaguar’s release will reveal, but there have also been considerable efforts to hide it until needed. “There is no overt gadgetry that should really strike you”, says Taylor. “It’s all about interior ambience and experience… “
The highlight of my viewing was to witness the car being started up and being driven into, then round, the small outdoor viewing area. I was almost startled by the sound of the car: the exhaust note has an unfamiliar – but exciting – crackle or rasp to it, a much harder and more purposeful noise than the gentle burble emitted by even today’s XKR. I think this will become one of the car’s most distinctive hall-marks, and will be unmistakeable in the street just as an XK 120 with the Burgess competition silencer was in years past…
To summarise, I think Ian Callum, Giles Taylor and their team have got the new car just about right. It cannot and should not be too radical, yet it needed to be totally modern, and it is. No-one pretends it’s a new E-type, however, which leaves the door open for a traditional two-seater of stunning performance and looks to appear one day.
© Copyright Jag-lovers 2005
September 14, 2005 - 2007 XK Convertible AnnouncedThe all-new 2007 XK Convertible will go on sale in North America alongside the recently announced XK Coupe in spring 2006
Following the World Premiere of the XK Coupe, Jaguar is proud to announce that it will be joined by the all-new XK convertible.
From the outset Jaguar knew it needed to create a convertible version of the XK and designed and developed it in parallel with the Coupe. The XK Convertible uses the same advanced aluminum body structure technology to achieve excellent body rigidity and torsional stiffness while minimizing weight: at just 3759lbs the new Convertible is one of the lightest cars in its competitive set.
A 300bhp (SAE), 4.2-liter V8 engine and Jaguar Sequential Shift steering-wheel-mounted gear change controls ensure rapid performance of 0-60mph in just 6.0 seconds (0-100kmh in 6.3 seconds) and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph (250kmh)*.
The luxurious triple-lined, fabric roof - which can be powered up or down in less than 18 seconds – when retracted it stows fully out of sight beneath an aluminum tonneau cover. A roll-over protection system comprising two 'hidden' aluminum hoops that deploy in the event of an incident is standard on all XK Convertibles.
"The all-new XK was designed from the outset to be a beautiful convertible. It is a statement of confident Jaguar design, elegant as well as powerful and with the performance and driving dynamics to match its looks", commented Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum.
The XK Convertible will be available from Spring 2006. Full details of the car and pricing will be announced later this year.
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