In 2005 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jaguar introduced for the first time the XK Victory editions as a celebration of four championships wins in the North American Trans-Am road racing series. There were also released a series of special and limited edition XK models since its launch. The XK coupes and convertibles began joining the Jaguar family back in 1996. There are four XK models offered: the XK8 Coupe and convertible and supercharged XKR Coupe and Convertible. They will go on sale next summer. The XK8 coupe and convertible models will be powered by the normally aspirated AJ-V8 Jaguar all-aluminum engine that will produce 294 BHP and the supercharged XKR will produce 390 horsepower. The XK8 models feature 19-inch Atlas style wheels and the XKR models will get unique 20-inch BBS wheel design.
"The XK is Jaguar`s leading beautiful, fast car. With sensuous lines, rich appointments and thrilling performance, it has remained on the shopping list of automotive enthusiasts for more than six decades."
C.J. O?Donnell, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Communications, Jaguar North America
Making their world debut at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2006 model year Jaguar XK `Victory` editions celebrate Jaguar`s four championship wins in the North American Trans-Am road racing series and add to a successful lineage of special and limited edition XKs introduced since its launch.
Now a familiar sight on the racetracks of North America, the racing version of the XKR coupe has achieved three of four outright Manufacturer`s Championship wins in the Trans-Am Series for Jaguar. For the 2004 season, Jaguar claimed its fourth title ? second in a row ? when the Jaguar R Performance XKR, driven by Paul Gentilozzi, propelled him to his 29th career Trans-Am victory, tying the legendary Mark Donohue`s career Trans-Am win record.
From the landmark XK120 sports car that first introduced the famous XK name in 1948, through the current range of XK8 and XKR coupes and convertibles, the XK nameplate has become synonymous with style, luxury, performance and grand touring ability. Just 1,050 of the special `Victory` edition XKs will be sold in the U.S. beginning in June 2005.
"The XK ?Victory? edition is not only a celebration of the XK?s success in Trans-Am, but also its enduring success as one of the world?s most refined GT cars," adds O?Donnell.
All four XK models ? XK8 Coupe and Convertible and supercharged XKR Coupe and Convertible ? will be offered as ?Victory? editions when the line-up goes on sale next summer. The new exterior styling changes introduced for the 2005 models continue to give the car a bolder, more aggressive and more muscular look.
The XK8 coupe and convertible continue to be powered by the normally aspirated, 294 bhp, all-aluminum AJ-V8 Jaguar engine, while the supercharged XKR derivatives again pack a potent 390 horsepower. For the AJ-V8-powered XKR Trans-Am racecar, power comes from a highly-tuned version of the normally aspirated 4.2-liter AJ-V8 road car engine developing a massive 650 bhp.
The special XK `Victory` edition road cars will arrive in four exclusive, limited edition exterior colors ? Black Copper Metallic, Frost Blue Metallic, Bay Blue Metallic and Satin Silver Metallic ? (other standard XK colors will also be available on `Victory` models) with four interior colors and two distinct veneer options for the dashboard to create 18 possible combinations for the buyer to choose from. ?Victory? editions will offer Carbon Fiber interior trim on all XKR models, as well as feature a new Elm wood veneer on the XK8 models.
The 2006 Jaguar XK `Victory` models will benefit from several additional new features including standard Bluetooth? wireless connectivity. With Bluetooth, a compatible telephone may be wirelessly controlled via the XK`s steering wheel controls, without ever leaving the driver`s pocket or purse, for easy, hands-free use.
The XK8 models currently feature 19-inch `Atlas` style wheels, which will come standard with a sporty chrome finish, while the XKR models get a new, unique 20-inch BBS wheel design. The XKR also gets cross-drilled Brembo? brake rotors, while the XK8 adds power-fold exterior mirrors.
Tying in with Jaguar`s racing heritage, special badging and accents will adorn the `Victory` models in acknowledgement of the XK`s racing achievements ? polished door treadplates featuring checkered flag emblems and leather-edged floor mats. The Jaguar Growler badge also features checkered flag accents on the sides of the emblem.
A CELEBRATION OF JAGUAR`S SUCCESS IN TRANS-AM RACING
"We are hoping that the XK ?Victory? edition not only celebrates our success in winning the 2004 Trans-Am Championship, but also signals our intent to do the same in the upcoming 2005 season. The team is determined to give Jaguar its fifth Manufacturer?s title."
Paul Gentilozzi, Owner, Rocketsports Racing
Rocketsports Racing owner and respected driver, Paul Gentilozzi, re-introduced Jaguar to Trans-Am competition during the 2000 season by selecting the aerodynamic XKR body as his car of choice. The following year, he drove the Rocketsports Racing XKR to his third Trans-Am Driver`s title and delivered Jaguar its second Manufacturer`s Championship.
In 2003, Rocketsports Racing again led Jaguar to victory in the August race at Road America. It was a 1-2-3 Jaguar finish, with two-time Trans-Am champion, Scott Pruett, behind the wheel of his R Performance XKR. Pruett led from start to finish, locking-up the third Manufacturer`s crown for Jaguar.
One year later, Jaguar wrapped up the 2004 season in the Trans-Am road racing series by capturing its fourth Manufacturer`s title when Gentilozzi grabbed his 29th checkered flag in the Jaguar R Performance XKR.
The 2004 Trans-Am season was also noteworthy as it marked the return of Jaguar power to the Trans-Am Series, with a production-based Jaguar AJ-V8 engine in Rocketsports Racing`s R Performance XKR Trans-Am racecar driven by Tommy Kendall.
"The return of Jaguar power was long overdue and welcomed by the Series," added Gentilozzi. "We`re proud to be a part of the continuing legacy that is Jaguar motorsports."
The thundering Jaguar AJ-V8 race engine, developed by Michigan-based Rocketsports Racing, powered the Jaguar XKR of four-time Trans-Am champion Tommy Kendall throughout the 2004 season. Kendall drove the engine to its first win at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. on August 6, 2004, setting a new single lap record of 2:09.115 around the 4.048 mile permanent road course.
The race engine itself is based on the same all-aluminum 4.2-liter AJ-V8 `stock block` that powers Jaguar`s XK sports cars, the S-TYPE sedan and the aluminum-intensive XJ sedan line-up. Engine work was carried out at Rocketsports? race shop in Lansing, Mich. where Rocketsports? engineers increased the V8?s capacity from 4.2 to 4.5 liters and more than doubled the horsepower from the standard 294 bhp (SAE) to over 650 bhp (normally aspirated).
The new Jaguar engine will continue to power Rocketsports` Jaguar R Performance XKR for their assault on the 2005 Trans-Am Series championship.
"The return of Jaguar engine power marked a new chapter in Jaguar`s North American racing history," commented Tom Scarpello, Jaguar North America`s vice president of Marketing. "The Rocketsports team and the Jaguar drivers in the series have earned us three Manufacturer?s titles to add to our 1978 title captured by Bob Tullius in an XJS. It is clear road racing is Jaguar`s natural habitat."
With its race-tuned AJ-V8 revving to 9,000 rpm, the carbon fiber and Kevlar-bodied racing XKR is a very beautiful, fast car. The car will sprint from standstill to 60 mph in a staggering 3.2 seconds, with quarter-mile acceleration in 10.8 seconds at 135 mph, and a top speed of 180 mph.
The Jaguar-powered XKR also sports Jaguar`s stunning silver, green and red North American racing livery.
Jaguar`s previous high point in Trans-Am competition was when Bob Tullius, of the legendary Group 44 Team, took the Manufacturer`s Championship in 1978. The last Trans-Am Series involvement for Jaguar was with Bob Tullius? legendary Group 44 team in 1981 with its V12-engined XJS racecars.
Since 2001, Jaguar North America has increased its ties to the Trans-Am Series by providing a contingency sponsorship ? comprised of a pole award that offers a lease on a Jaguar XK sports car, and prize money to Jaguar drivers finishing in the top three positions.
THE HERITAGE OF A TRUE AUTOMOTIVE ICON
"From the legendary XK120 that introduced the XK name to the roads, through the current range of coupes and convertibles, Jaguar?s XK sports cars have consistently set the benchmark when it comes to blending luxury, performance and grand touring ability."
Joe Greenwell, Chairman and CEO, Jaguar Cars
Jaguar introduced the first XK in 1948 ? the legendary XK120 sports car. An icon in and of itself, the sensational XK120 roadster set the stage for what the later versions of the XK would become known for ? sophistication, luxury, performance and beauty.
Initially designed as a limited edition to prove the new 210 cu. in., six-cylinder DOHC engine was capable of reaching 120 mph, orders flooded Jaguar after the initial showing at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show in London. The car was pushed into mass production and by 1950 became one of the most desired sports cars on the market.
The roadster was followed by a coupe version that set new standards of luxury and comfort for sports cars.
The XK120 was replaced in 1954 with the XK140 which improved upon the original design with a more spacious interior as well as more horsepower. In 1957, Jaguar introduced the XK150 which built upon the previous models and was the first Jaguar with four-wheel disc brakes. The XK name was then replaced in 1961 with the legendary Jaguar E-TYPE (also known as the XK-E). Often featured in museum exhibits on classic luxury sports car design, the E-Type is one of the most revered sports cars ever introduced. With these first XK models, the magic of this car was born and carries on in the current models of today.
Today`s XK coupes and convertibles began joining the Jaguar family in 1996. When the original XK8 was unveiled, this elegant, high-performance sports car again set new standards in the luxury sporting market. As Jaguar`s first new sports car in two decades ? and the first for a whole new generation of buyers ? the XK8 became the fastest-selling sports car in Jaguar`s history with its front engine, rear-wheel drive construction.
It set new records for Jaguar in terms of the time taken to bring a new model program to market, and achieved new levels of quality and functionality. Even after eight years of production, the XK8 still displays timeless beauty and sensuous elegance.
In 1999, an even more dramatic model was unveiled ? the supercharged XKR. With a more impressive performance, the R Performance version added another dimension to the XK story, creating a 358 bhp supercar. From its curvaceous nose and raked-back windshield, to its muscular rear haunches, the XK also displays all the power and visual beauty of the animal it is named after.
In 2005, significant updates were again applied to the XK. Building upon the major updates already applied to every model over the past three years, the XK once again moved forward with a dynamic new look, and even higher equipment levels.
Over the past four years, several special editions have been created to mark important moments in this icon`s history. These limited `collector` editions include the 2001 XKR `Silverstone`, the 2002 XKR 100, 2004 XKR `Portfolio` and the 2005 XK8 `Carbon Fiber` Edition.
The first limited `collector` edition was the 2001 XKR `Silverstone`, of which only 250 were released in North America. The XKR Silverstone was designed as a celebration of Jaguar`s involvement with Formula One and the technology and exclusivity the sport stands for. With an immediately recognizable Platinum paint finish (paired with a black top on the convertible), the package included high-performance handling components, model-specific upholstery and trim, and full complement of interior amenities including sports seats and steering wheel trimmed in Warm Charcoal leather with red stitching.
To mark the 100th birthday of Jaguar`s founder, Sir William Lyons (1902-1985), Jaguar released 30 2002 XKR 100 limited edition coupes and 270 XKR 100 convertibles in North America. The XKR 100 models both featured exclusive 20-inch BBS `Montreal` style modular wheels, Brembo? brakes with cross-drilled rotors, special Anthracite paint, charcoal interior with Connolly Autolux Recaro seats and other luxury features and unique aluminum trim items. The XKR 100 Coupe was also fitted with a special handling package.
For 2004, Jaguar continued the tradition of offering limited edition versions of the supercharged 390bhp XKR convertible sports car with just 200 XKR `Portfolio` models. The `Portfolio` featured 20-inch BBS alloy wheels, a choice of two unique exterior colors and a stunning contrasting interior.
Jaguar`s first celebration of the XK`s dominance in Trans-Am racing came in the 2005 model year with the release of 200 XK8 Carbon Fiber limited edition models. These models featured a dramatic carbon fiber veneer across the dash and center console, the same material that Rocketsports Racing uses throughout the entire body of the championship-winning Trans-Am racecar. The special XK8s also featured plush Alcantara inserts in the seats and door panels and bold, 10-spoke, 19-inch `Atlas` style wheels. A set of sport aluminum and rubber-studded brake, accelerator and footrest pedals, an all-leather steering wheel and a Momo gear knob were also added to give the driver extra control in hard driving.
Now, for 2006 Jaguar culminates its recognition of this iconic vehicle`s achievements with `Victory` edition models of the XK8 and XKR coupes and convertibles.
Jaguar XK Winning Moments
1948 ? Jaguar XK120 is introduced at the Earls Court Motor Show in London
1954 ? Jaguar XK140 replaces the XK120
1957 ? Jaguar XK150 replaces the XK140
1961 ? Jaguar E-Type (also known as the XK-E) replaces the XK150
1978 ? Bob Tullius & Group 44 capture first Trans-Am Manufacturer`s Championship
1996 ? Jaguar XK8 introduced (first Jaguar with a V8 engine)
1999 ? Jaguar XKR introduced (most powerful XK to date)
2001 ? 2000 XKR Silverstone` limited edition introduced
2001 ? Rocketsports Racing captures second Trans-Am Manufacturer`s Championship
2001 ? 2002 Jaguar XKR 100 limited edition introduced
2003 ? Rocketsports Racing captures third Trans-Am Manufacturer`s Championship
2003 ? 2004 Jaguar XKR `Portfolio` limited edition introduced
2004 ? Rocketsports Racing captures fourth Trans-Am Manufacturer`s Championship
2004 ? Tommy Kendall wins first race with the Jaguar AJ-V8 stock block engine at Road America
2004 ? 2005 Jaguar XK8 `Carbon Fiber` limited edition introduced
2005 ? 2006 Jaguar `Victory` limited edition introduced
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