Car enthusiasts are thrilled with Jaguar’s announcement of manufacturing the nine ‘lost’ XKSS supercars, which were destroyed in fire at Browns Lane factory in Coventry in 1957. Considered to be lost forever, the legendary model will recreate the original XKSS owned by stars including Steve McQueen after Jaguar found the blueprints. Willing buyers who are ready to pay £1m will be able to grab one as early as 2017, which is considerably cheaper than an original at £10m.
Each car roughly takes craftsmen about 10,000 man hours to complete and includes 2,000 rivets. All measurements are in traditional imperial rather than metric form. Originally created as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning D-type racing car, the new vehicle has a streamlined exterior with each of the nine cars sporting period chassis numbers from the original XKSS chassis log.
The car accelerates from 0 to 60mph in just 5.5 seconds and to 100mph in 13.5 seconds thanks to a 3.4 litre XK straight six engine and helped by its lightweight aluminium body. What is most striking about the XKSS is that despite advances in technology, aerodynamics and car manufacture – Jaguar engineers have not employed any of these to tweak it, keeping instead the feel and performance as authentic as possible.
The new supercar has been 60 years in the making and is a delightful nod to a simpler time. Drivers will be able to enjoy not only its vintage look but vintage features as well, which are part of the attempt to recreate the original experience.