Jaguar has announced that it is to build nine new XKSS models as an ultra-exclusive continuation model.
The firm says that Jaguar Classic will hand-build the cars – recognised by many as the world’s first supercar – to the exact specification in which they appeared in 1957. The idea is to replace the examples lost in the famous Browns Lane factory fire that the British marque suffered in the same year.
The new project follows Jaguar’s previous success in building six new Lightweight E-Types in 2015 to complete the original aim of 18 cars.
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. “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.” The original cars were earmarked for export to the USA, however just 16 were completed before disaster struck.
Now, 59 years later, Jaguar is going to build the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars for a select group of established collectors and customers.
The expertise gained during the construction of the Lightweight E-type project will be transferred to the construction of the nine ultra-exclusive continuations, Jaguar says. Each one will be hand-built at Jaguar’s new ‘Experimental Shop’ in Warwick. Every car will be constructed to the same specifications as those first 16 made in 1957 – every aspect fully certified by Jaguar.
The price will be in excess of £1 million per car. The story of the XKSS began following Jaguar’s three successive Le Mans victories in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the all-conquering D-type.
After the hat-trick of wins, Sir William Lyons took the decision on January 14, 1957, to convert the remaining 25 D-types into road-going versions with several external modifications - creating the world’s first super car. These modifications included the addition of a new higher windscreen, an extra door on the passenger side, taking away the divider between driver and passenger and the removal of the famous fin behind the driver’s seat.