Of all the new cars coming in 2017, the Jaguar XKSS is certainly looks the oldest.
That’s, of course, because it’s nearly 60 years old. But Jaguar has officially revealed Wednesday night in Los Angeles what its Classics division has spent a reported 18 months on: finishing the final nine cars supposed to be built in 1957 before Jaguar was dealt a blazing blow.
The XKSS was a road car version of the famed D-Type, the Le Mans race-winner that cemented Jaguar’s reputation for racing and sports cars, and built from 1954 through 1956. Nine examples were planned for 1957, but on Feb. 12, 1957, a fire broke out at Jaguar’s former Browns Lane factory. It destroyed the cars that were destined for buyers in North America and just 16 XKSS were built until now.
A photo posted by Zac Estrada (@zacestrada) on Nov 16, 2016 at 8:18pm PST
The final nine are being built and being sold to a select group of buyers who have been willing to shell out somewhere north of £1 million ($1.24 million U.S., 1.16 million euros). The Classics team, which was also responsible for revisiting the lightweight E-Types, recreated the “blueprints” for the XKSS, using scans of the previously built cars, to get a period-correct frame, period-correct Dunlop tires and recreations of the original Smiths gauges – even though there were concessions made so these buyers can use unleaded fuel. Such modernity.
But that fuel powers a recreation of the 3.4-liter D-Type straight-six, with 262 horsepower, so it’s not all bad. Actually, it’s probably the best “new” car of the year.