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Jaguar all-new XK Coupe: Sharper, stiffer and lighter

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - front view

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - side, driving shot

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - driving, back shot

The new XK body shell  is 31% stiffer than before.

AutoPressNews,
September 1st, 2005.

Less than a year after it was unveiled as a concept car at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2005, here comes now, or rather soon from next January, the true thing. For the Jaguar ALC (Advanced Lightweight Coupe) concept car becomes from now on the new generation Jaguar XK, 2+2 coupe first, then convertible (more details next year).

Like the new Jaguar XJ sedan, the all-new XK heralds a new era for Jaguar in terms of both design and engineering. Read here aluminium monocoque body structure. Rather than seeking technology for its own sake, the all-new Jaguar XK continues the brand's tradition of beautiful and gracefully powerful sports cars, with practical, useful and intuitive modern technology.

The new XK delivers significant improvements in performance, dynamics, safety, exterior and interior design and equipment, with Jaguar's promise of a better quality too.

Starting with a blank canvas, Jaguar combined its renown traditional skills with the latest aerospace technologies to create a luxurious, powerful and highly advanced sports car.

A major key to the all-new XK’s character is Jaguar’s aluminium monocoque body structure, introduced with the latest XJ sedan.

Click to view the table

Click to view the table

With this unique high-tech construction method, the all-new XK’s bodyshell is 31 percent stiffer than the previous steel XK and significantly offers a 10 percent improvement in power to weight ratio. The all-new XK is up to 90 percent stiffer and 397lb (180 kg) lighter than key rivals, with a kerb weight of just 3671lb (1665 kg).

With a better power to weight ratio, the stiffer and lighter new aluminium structure would translate into more agility and precision.

Fluid lines and clean surfaces define the all-new XK’s more sporting character. In design director Ian Callum’s words, "The fundamental values of Jaguar design do not change – not even since Sir William Lyons created the first Jaguar all those years ago. The entire design team worked with those values as we looked to create a car with clean lines, a purposeful stance and exquisite proportions. We took influences from our heritage and evolved them to produce a car that is beautiful, visually fast yet undeniably modern; just as Sir William’s own designs were in their day."

In one respect, Jaguar connects the all-new XK more with the original XKs and the C, D and E-types than with the most recent XK, in the way the shape wraps much more tightly around the mechanical underpinnings. The skin stretches more tautly over the structure in modern, disciplined, sophisticated, and clear language.

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - dashboard

Jaguar motto: craftsmanship, luxury materials and useful high-tech.

Jaguar wanted the all-new XK to be visibly more assertive and sporting than the model it replaces, but still elegant and understated. It has classic, ground-hugging coupe proportions, with a long hood, steeply raked windscreen and rear window, arch-filling wheels, and minimal overhangs.

The front-wing power vents are a new Jaguar styling signature; the distinctive oval grille opening, prominent hood power-bulge and practicality-enhancing rear liftback door all echo the E-type; while details like the sweeping front and rear light shapes and powerful stance establish Jaguar sports car design firmly in the 21st century.

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - central 7-inch touch-screen monitor

7-inch touch-screen central monitor.

Inside, the all-new XK uses traditional craftsmanship and contemporary luxury materials like finely stitched leather, contrasting with a choice of more high-tech trim surfaces including metallic finishes. The layout is driver-focused and sporty, with body-hugging seats, set low against the high waistline to give a strong ‘cockpit’ feel.

With the all-new XK’s longer wheelbase, wider tracks and taller roofline, the 2+2 layout has more interior space than the XK that it replaces. Indeed this spacious sports car leads the luxury coupe class in terms of front legroom and shoulder room and boasts a 20mm increase in front seat headroom over the previous Jaguar XK coupe.

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - start button

Smart Key for keyless start and entry.

Inside the cabin the minimalist instrument cluster houses two prominent round dials either side of an advanced high-resolution colour display based on thin-film transistor technology. This 256-color display is split into several zones showing vital information such as gear selection, cruise control information, low tire pressure warnings and satellite navigation instructions, dependent on market. A centrally mounted 7-inch touch-screen allows intuitive selection of climate, audio, navigation, telephone and vehicle personalization settings.

New driver aids have been introduced, like the Jaguar Smart Key System, for example, provides keyless start and keyless entry simply by carrying the Jaguar Smart Key in your pocket, case or bag.

Lightweight Vehicle Technology - The real essence of the all-new XK lies under the skin. The most far-reaching engineering feature in the all-new XK is its use of Jaguar’s Lightweight Vehicle Technology, the all-aluminium architecture which was introduced with the latest generation XJ sedan.

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - back view from top

Two hinges to raise the liftback away from the head.

It is unique in the industry as a complete aluminium monocoque body structure as distinct from an aluminium spaceframe with separate aluminium exterior panels. Developed from aircraft industry methods, where strength and light weight are critical, Jaguar’s manufacturing process produces a massively strong but very light structure that is both riveted and epoxy-bonded.

The new XK takes the Lightweight Vehicle concept a step further with extended use of lightweight aluminium castings and extrusions as well as pressed aluminium panels. Its strength and light weight come from both the way the body shell is constructed, and the use of new jointing technologies developed by Jaguar and its suppliers.

The all-aluminium rear liftback door pivots on two hinges ensuring the edge of the liftback moves away from the operator’s head as the lid is raised. It also provides excellent rear visibility for the driver – rare in the sports coupe field.

Beyond the exceptional body integrity and built-in deformation zones, the all-new XK is also available with a host of other safety solutions for protecting pedestrians as well as car occupants. Those include the shape and construction of the bumpers and hood, where great attention has been paid to the shape and positioning of air-intake openings to help protect against pedestrian lower-leg injuries.

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - driving shot from back

85% of torque available between 2000 and 6000rpm.

With lower weight and higher strength, Lightweight Vehicle Technology is the starting point for improved performance, safety, refinement, fuel economy, emissions and driving dynamics. Russ Varney, Chief Programme Engineer, Sports Range, says: "The aluminium monocoque body structure delivers great advantages in terms of weight and strength and we were determined to use those benefits to produce a sports car with a blend of stunning vehicle dynamics and outstanding comfort."

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - steering wheel paddles for sequential gear change

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - ZF sequential 6-speed gearbox

Steering wheel paddles with 6-speed ZF transmission.

Powertrains - From launch the all-new XK will be powered by Jaguar’s renowned naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 engine which produces 300bhp (SAE). This compact, lightweight, high performance AJ-V8 engine is based on that fitted to the latest generation XJ sedan and has undergone significant development compared with the engine used in the previous XK family, including new fuel-injection technology. The latest 4.2-liter engine satisfies Euro 4 emissions requirements as well as the most stringent US emissions regulations, ensuring it meets ULEVII status – an improvement over the previous generation XK8 coupe which was certified as LEVII.

The naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 develops maximum torque of 310 lb ft (420 Nm) SAE at 4,100rpm, with more than 85 percent of maximum torque from 2,000 to 6,000rpm. Yet it still offers fine fuel economy over the outgoing XK8 coupe and low emissions figures, with a drop in CO2 emissions of 6 percent over the previous model (Manufacturer provisional test figures).

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - grille view

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - front bumper side view

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - side view

All-new Jaguar XK luxury sports car coupe for 2006 - back light detail

Best quality Jaguar ever made.

Maximum speed is electronically limited to 155mph (250 km/h), and the 0-60 mph time is 5.9 seconds (0-100 kph in 6.2 seconds), with instant throttle response and broad flexibility across the range. With the new XK’s weight savings, the 4.2’s standing quarter-mile time of 14.4 seconds is less than half a second off the pace of the previous supercharged XKR coupe (Manufacturer provisional test figures).

For the first time in a Jaguar, drivers will be able to use steering wheel-mounted paddles to change gear with the new Jaguar Sequential Shift transmission. In either Drive or Sport Manual modes, very fast shifts are achieved by combining the use of one-touch paddles with an automatic blip of the throttle from the drive-by-wire engine management system during downshifts. Thanks to this positive torque enhancement control, the shifts are faster and more responsive than before, regardless of the mode selected.

The XK’s six-speed ZF transmission introduces a new generation of automatic gearshift for Jaguar, replacing the familiar ‘J’ gate with the new Jaguar Sequential Shift system with Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Sport modes. The fully automatic Drive mode adapts to individual driving styles, while a Sport Auto mode can also be selected. This offers a more responsive pattern, utilising the automatic blip of the throttle to maintain ultra-smooth shifts.

Technology - The all-new XK has a completely new braking system, tested extensively at the Nürburgring test track in Germany where Jaguar has a dedicated research facility. The result is greater braking power and more responsive feedback to the enthusiastic driver. Larger, ventilated discs contribute to better pedal feel, optimum stopping distances and resist fade during extended use. The system also includes four-channel ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), BA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) to increase brake pressure during an emergency stop, and Jaguar’s Electronic Park Brake function.

Unlike conventional digital ABS systems used on many cars, the all-new XK’s ABS system can vary the brake pressure at each wheel using analogue valves in the hydraulic control unit. This gives more refinement to the hydraulic pressure control and allows drivers to benefit from increased steering input during heavy braking. The all-new XK’s Bosch Servotronic 2 steering is also adapted for a sports car from the XJ sedan, to give easy low-speed manoeuvring with optimum high-speed feedback under all conditions.

The all-new XK also includes other safety features such as a the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, run-flat tires, Jaguar’s Protec dynamic headrest system to protect against whiplash injuries, Forward Alert which uses the optional Adaptive Cruise Control system’s forward-facing sensors to scan the road ahead 10 times every second to warn of a potential collision, and the new switchable TRAC DSC Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System.

A new active front lighting system is also offered as an option on the XK, enhancing the bi-xenon intelligent lighting that is standard on the car. This feature provides enhanced visibility in the dark during cornering by swivelling the dipped beam lens depending on road speed and the angle at which the steering wheel is turned.

On sale from early 2006, the all-new XK pricing will be confirmed closer to sale (Jaguar promises a highly competitive pricing for the luxury sports car segment). A convertible model will also be available, with details following later this year.

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