Jaguar XK, XK8, and XKR


The Jaguar XK8 was an all new sports car from Jaguar, launched at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5th 1996. With an introductory price of £47,950 for the coupe and £56,850 for the convertible the car went on sale to the general public in October 1996.

Designed by the late Geoff Lawson (whose accomplishments also included the XJ220 and the XJ6 and XJ8 saloons), the XK8 was equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.0 litre, 290 hp aluminium V8 engine (the AJ-V8). The car was immediately considered a commercial success by enthusiasts and press alike.

Following on from the success of the XK8, two years later, on May 6 1998, Jaguar launched a similar looking but higher performance model known as the XKR. Little was done to the styling to differentiate the cars other than the addition of air vents on the bonnet and an air deflector on the boot.


Jaguar unveiled an all-new 2006 car, called simply the “XK”, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005. Designed by Ian Callum, who also worked on the gorgeous Aston Martin DB9 and Vanquish, the new XK bares a striking resemblance to its Aston cousins. Offered as both coupe or convertible it was a direct replacement for the previous XK8 model.

The new XK’s body is an all-aluminium construction, giving the coupe a kerb weight of just 1595kg (1635kg for the convertible) whilst still maintaining best-in-class torsional rigidity.

It is powered by a 300 hp version of the 4.2 L AJ-V8 mated to a new Jaguar Sequential Shift 6-speed automatic transmission giving a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds and completes the quarter mile sprint in 14.4 seconds (only half a second off the previous supercharged model).


In November 2006 Jaguar launched the much anticipated 2007 XKR supercharged version of the XK.

The heart of the new XKR is a supercharged version of the 4.2 litre AJ-V8 engine, producing 420 bhp at 6,250 rpm and an impressive 413 lb-ft of torque, accelerating the XKR from zero to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds (5.0 for the convertible) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.


For the first time in some 14 years, Jaguar enthusiasts will now be able to cheer on an officially-backed Jaguar sports car in European racing. The last Jaguar sports car team to enjoy factory backing was Rocketsports in the North American Trans-Am series, running the old shape XKR, and prior to that was the TWR XJ220C back in the early 1990s. Now it’s the turn of Apex Motorsport with the new XKR GT3.

External Links

  1. JEC XK8 / XKR Forum – Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club XK8 / XKR Forum bringing to owners of the XK8 & XKR, within the JEC, regular contact via comments, articles, photographs, points of interest and exchanges of ideas.
  2. XKEC – Jaguar XK8/R Enthusiasts Club covering the history of the XK8/R together with forums, classifieds, and events.