2007 Jaguar XKR

Written by tonks on January 3, 2007

2007 Jaguar XKRFor Jaguar right now, there are two important letters, more than any others that link the brand’s heritage and its future, and those letters are XK. For close to 60 years they’ve been the Jaguar shorthand for sports car, and while many things have changed since they unveiled the original XK120 prototype way back in 1948 (built in strictly limited numbers as a market teaser), one thing that hasn’t changed is Jaguar’s belief that style, performance and a distinctive personality is not a bad combination to build a car on.

Created around an all-new twin-cam straight-six engine that Jaguar’s originators had designed while bombs were falling all around them during World War II air raids on Coventry, England, the first XK120s were in effect a run of hand-built prototypes that introduced that classic engine to the world in 180-horsepower 3.4-liter form, in a simple ladder chassis derived from the Mk V sedan, and with a stunningly modern shape for its day that showed how Jaguar founder William Lyons had a perfect eye for sporting lines.

Lyons’ fallback position was that if the public didn’t like the car, it would at least have served its purpose in introducing (and proving) the fine new engine. With little body-tooling involved it wouldn’t have cost a fortune to try it out, either, and he could move on to introducing an even newer, up-market sedan based on the same new engines.

So the Mk VII sedan duly arrived at Britain’s Earls Court Motorshow in 1950, and it was an instant star with a top speed of over 100 mph, a classic combination of leather, wood and deep-pile carpets inside, wonderful looks outside, and one of the finest handling sedan chassis in the world all at a price that had other manufacturers asking how on earth Jaguar could do it. It was also an instant smash when it made its first appearance in America not long afterwards, at the New York Show, where dealers took $20 million worth of orders in no time at all.

Posted Under: Cool Cars,Jaguar

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