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In 1948, Jaguar created what would become one of the most famous automotive names in the world, as the all-new and highly advanced XK engine made its debut in the revered XK120 sports car. Now, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of that iconic car, Jaguar is launching a very special series of the current XK for the UK market - the uniquely equipped and aptly named XK60, a car that pays homage to the legendary performance of its predecessors.
Much has changed in those 60 years, but the Jaguar ethos of beautiful, fast cars remains as true today as it did in 1948. The current XK range was the first of the modern breed of Jaguars to introduce the marque's new design language as well as the technologically acclaimed advanced lightweight architecture.
Like every Jaguar to carry the XK badge, the XK60 is all about performance with style - plus a large helping of individuality. And as the XKR Portfolio and XKR-S Special Editions brought something extra to the supercharged XK models, XK60 offers its own spin on the Naturally Aspirated 4.2-litre V8 XK, in both coupé and convertible forms.
XK60s will be built from July 2008. The car offers a host of additional extras beyond the XK's already impressive specification at no extra cost. For following another Jaguar tradition, every XK60 will be a hugely desirable car with an impressively accessible price tag.
The XK60 customer will benefit from dramatic 20-inch Senta alloy wheels, a sporty alloy gear knob and selector-gate surround, plus distinctive body enhancements: a new front spoiler and rear valance panel, chrome-finished side vents and bright upper and lower front grille meshes, special tailpipe finishers and appliqués on both sides of the car.
Sixty years on, the 2008 XK sits as far above the crowd as its namesake did in 1948. It has the same sporting DNA, the same stunning eye for proportion and detail, the same dynamic focus for the driver who loves driving. And where the original XK120 introduced an engine whose sophistication rewrote the production car rule-book in its day, the XK60 bristles with technical sophistication of its own.
Jaguar's advanced all-aluminium construction makes the XK60 the lightest yet strongest car in its class; CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension underpins its perfect balance of control and agility with comfort and refinement; its six-speed automatic transmission is recognised as one of the world's best; and like the ground-breaking XK120, the XK60 is powered by an acclaimed engine - in this case the 298PS 4.2-litre AJ-V8.
From launch, this all-alloy, four-camshaft, 32-valve gem had the best specific power and torque of any engine in its class, the lightest weight, the lightest valve gear (even with its variable inlet valve timing), and the stiffest structure. In other words, it was another outstanding engine at the heart of another outstanding XK.
So the 60th anniversary of the XK name is a milestone well worth celebrating, and the XK60 is a unique car to show that modern Jaguar still has the power to surprise and delight.
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