Jaguar used the recent Los Angeles Auto Show to look to the future with the unveiling of its electric SUV concept that is destined to give the Tesla Model X a run for its money. But forward thinking is best accompanied by a reflection on the past, so Jaguar did that too. They did just that in the best way imaginable, with the announcement that the company would reproduce the iconic XKSS next year.
Originally produced in 1957, the XKSS has been called the world’s first supercar. It came into being because Jag had parts left over from its D-type race car, and put them to use in a street legal version. Only 25 XKSS cars came off the assembly line, but nine were destroyed in a factory fire before being shipped off. Now it’s almost as if that fire never happened because Jaguar’s Classic division has faithfully recreated the XKSS and will deliver the nine “lost” versions to customers in 2017.
The “new original” XKSS is as close to what was made in 1957 as modern safety standards will allow. Jaguar looked at original drawings from the company archives and also made a complete digital scan of existing 1957 XKSS models. The frame maker was even instructed to use Imperial measurements, rather than metric, to craft period correct parts. The engine is the same 262-horsepower, 3.4-liter straight six from the D-type and has been equipped with new blocks and cylinder heads. But things like the fuel cell have been updated (thankfully) to suit modern fuel types.
Inside, everything from the gauges to the wood on the steering wheel to the leather on the seats is exactly as it would’ve been in 1955.
Only nine of these recreations will be made, and they will have chassis numbers pulled from the original XKSS log. Even though they won’t be available until next year, all of the new XKSSs have already been sold at a price that Jaguar would only say was in excess of $1,247,000.
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