Dubbed ‘the world’s first supercar’ by many motoring experts, nine new incarnations of the Jaguar XKSS will be hand-built by the British brand’s Classic arm as an ultra-exclusive continuation model.
Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: ‘The XKSS occupies a unique place in Jaguar’s history and is a car coveted by collectors the world over for its exclusivity and unmistakable design.’
The iconic, stunning new supercars will be built to the exact 1957 specification at Jaguar’s ‘Experimental Shop’ in Warwick, and will be sold to a select group of established collectors and customers for the cost of £1 million each.
Having already worked on a similar task in the form of the Lightweight E-type project, Jaguar Classic has the skills and capabilities to adeptly construct these nine ultra-exclusive XKSS continuations. Hannig commented: ‘Jaguar Classic’s highly skilled team of engineers and technicians will draw on decades of knowledge to ensure each of the nine cars is completely authentic and crafted to the highest quality. Our continuation XKSS reaffirms our commitment to nurture the passion and enthusiasm for Jaguar’s illustrious past by offering exceptional cars, services, parts and experiences.’
But where did the idea for these nine new XKSS models come from? 1955, 1956 and 1957 saw Jaguar win a Le Mans hat-trick in the triumphant D-type, with Sir William Lyons consequently deciding to tailor the last 25 D-types for the road, fashioning the world’s first supercar. That was on 14th January 1957.
Modifications made to the D-type to create the XKSS included the fin behind the driver’s seat being removed, the introduction of a new higher windscreen, an extra passenger side door plus the removal of the divider between the driver and passenger, creating a more comfortable and open cabin.
Just under a month later, 16 of these supercars had been completed, but the last nine were destroyed in the famous factory fire at Browns Lane. Now, 59 years on, these are the nine that will be constructed, and they will be delivered from early 2017 on the 60th anniversary of the events.