9 New Classic Jaguar XKSS Released in 2017 Apr 21, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Those who love the classic Jaguar XKSS will be glad to know that the automaker is rebuilding nine of these prestigious models over the next few years. The first of these was unveiled late last year, and there will be nine exact replicas of this popular classi in total. The deliveries for those lucky few who snagged one of the limited-edition rebuilds will begin this year. Each model costs just over a million British pounds.
Remembering the Jaguar XKSS
In case the details of the 1957 Jaguar XKSS are a bit fuzzy in your mind, here is a quick refresher. It was among the sportiest classic road cars created. It based on the D-type racing vehicle that won Le Mans consistently between 1955 and 1957. The XKSS was only a bit more civilized than the actual racecar it was based on, giving drivers most of the thrills of a racetrack. Compared to the D-type, the XKSS had a higher windscreen, an additional door to make access for passengers possible, and a chromed luggage rack instead of the tailfin. If you happen to come across one of those original XKSS models, you should know that it is worth over 20 million pounds. Originally, Jaguar planned to convert 25 D-type racers to XKSS road cars in 1957, but it only managed to do this with 16 before a fire gutted the factory. That tragic fire elevated the prestige of the remaining vehicles and, incidentally, encouraged the company to consider building new replicas to “replace” the lost models.
Creating the Replicas
Jaguar is building all of these new classics at its Experimental Shop in Warwick, England. This is a relatively new workshop for the automaker, and the vehicles will be made via the same techniques from the Lightweight E-type continuation vehicles. To make those, Jaguar digitally scanned the monocoque of the original car and hand-rolled the body panels. Those Lightweight E-types were rebuilt in 2014 with unfinished chassis numbers that had been allocated in 1963. The highly skilled technicians and engineers at Jaguar will work on each of the nine rebuilt XKSS models to ensure each vehicle is authentic.
Keeping Original Specs
To create these authentic vehicles, Jaguar is following the same specs as the originals. It will even be using period two-piece magnesium wheels, Dunlop tires, and Dunlop disc brakes. They also feature Weber DC03 carburetors and 3.4-liter D-type engines with 262 brake horsepower. When all is said and done, Jaguar estimates that each of these vehicles requires over 10,000 hours of work, which is why the price is so high. While the vast majority of the specs are the same for the new class of Jaguar XKSS, the automaker is including some safety enhancements, including more durable modern materials.
The Jaguar XKSS reflects a new trend in automotive manufacturing that emphasizes hand-finished elegance and ingenuity of the past with just a minimum of modern tweaks—for the select buyers that can afford such vehicles.