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World's first supercar Jaguar XKSS reborn after 60 years

World's first supercar Jaguar XKSS reborn after 60 years
Omkar Thakur Omkar Thakur Friday 18 November 2016, 15:20 PM

A loss-stemming exercise turned out to be the beginning of a genre of cars called supercars. Jaguar decided to build road-legal versions of their Jaguar D-Type race cars after pulling out after the 1956 Le Mans season and called them the Jaguar XKSS. A fire in the factory destroyed nine of those 25 cars which meant only 16 of these ever ran on tarmac. For what is widely regarded as the first supercar, Jaguar has revived the sales target and will build nine pristine Jaguar XKSS according to 1957 specifications. Well...almost.

The ruling by the American government which allows revival of classics has helped Jaguar with its dreams and because these cars have to adhere to modern regulations, some changes have been made to the original design.

Jaguar has taken painstaking details to maintain the charm of the original 1950s design to the extent of recreating the 531-tube chassis that is bronze welded together. The measurements are in imperial units rather than metric to maintain authenticity. It gets the period Dunlop disc brakes with Plessey pump and Dunlop tyres with riveted two-piece magnesium alloys. The magnesium alloy body has been built with styling bucks recreated from their original design. It gets the new original Smiths’ clocks, wooden steering, leather grains and even the brass knobs exactly as if it was 1957.

It is not only the body, but, the engine has also been recreated exactly as it was in the D-type racers. It gets new cast-iron blocks and cast cylinder head. The 3.4-litre straight six pumps out 262bhp of power thanks to the Weber DC03 carburettors. Even the chassis numbers punched on the new XKSSs are from the old chassis log and belong to the chassis that were destroyed in the fateful fire.

Such is the rarity of this car that many of the largest car collectors in the world must have been begging Jaguar to commission them one. The price tag of over 1 million British pounds (Rs 8.5 crore approx.) is then just a number. And they have all been sold already. The nine cars will take about 10,000 man hours each to build and will be delivered to the chosen few in 2017, 60 years after the first XKSS rolled out.


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