Jaguar's USD1.5 million XKSS supercar

Automotive

Published on November 18th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Jaguar’s USD1.5 million XKSS supercar

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Jaguar’s new supercar has been 60 years in the making. Don’t expect paddle shift, ABS, or even the luxury of electric windows. As well as a vintage look, the XKSS has vintage features to boot.

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It’s technically a “continuation car,” a special type of replica in which production ceased but has since restarted using original designs and methods (like this Superformance MKII Slab Side Cobra or Jaguar’s own Lightweight E-type).

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The original XKSS was made for the U.S. market as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning 1954 D-type, until a fire ripped through Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in 1957. As a result, only 16 were ever made out of the total 25-car production run.

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Unsurprisingly, the cars that survived fetch a pretty penny these days. Steve McQueen owned one that’s estimated to be worth up to USD30 million.

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The body of the continuation XKSS is made from magnesium alloy, as it was in 1957, but because the original styling bucks do not exist, Jaguar Classic produced a new styling buck based on the original bodies from the 1950s. All nine was will be formed using the same buck and hand-wheeling process. 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 Dunlop disc brakes with Plessey pump emulate the original, as do the Dunlop tyres with riveted two-piece magnesium alloy wheels.

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Under the hood, the XKSS has a 3.4-liter straight six-cylinder engine with 262hp. The engine features completely new cast iron blocks, new cast cylinder heads and three Weber DC03 carburetors. Other componentry – such as the Dunlop disc brakes and Smiths gauges – have been specially created to echo the originals, while the wood of the steering wheel and grain of the leather seats is exactly as it would have been in 1957. The company says everything from the wood of the steering wheel to the leather of the seats and the brass on the dash is exactly as it would have been in 1957, with only minor changes made for 21st century safety requirements.

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