In this day and age when car manufacturers constantly push the boundaries of what is technologically possible, one model’s debut has stood out from the crowd at the LA Auto Show.
The ‘new original’ Jaguar XKSS was first alluded to by the British manufacturer earlier this year and yesterday this ‘blueprint’ made its debut at the US city’s Peterson Museum.
The second of Jaguar Classic’s continuation cars – models made to their original specifications and using period tools and methods – the XKSS is to be built in a limited run of nine models, all of which have already been sold for more than £1million each.
Produced by Jaguar in 1957 as a road-going conversion of its Le Mans-winning D-type, the XKSS is often referred to as the world’s first supercar.
While nine would appear to be a strange number to limit a production run to, there’s logic behind the decision.
Originally, 25 of the sports cars were built. However, a fire in 1957 at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in the Midlands destroyed nine of them, meaning that only 16 were ever sold.
The continuation cars are intended to replace the nine ‘lost’ cars, and they even feature period chassis numbers from the XKSS chassis log.
They will be manufactured using techniques, drawings and material from the era in order to keep them as original as possible.
Measurements have even been made in imperial, rather than metric, and the car features a hand-rolled magnesium alloy and a bronze-welded frame.
A potent 262hp 3.4-litre straight-six Jaguar D-type engine sits proudly under the bonnet.
Of course, modern-day technology is also being implemented in their creation. For example, several versions of the original 1957 XKSS were scanned to build a complete digital image of the car to aid with building these ‘new originals’.
Meanwhile, minor specification changes have been made to improve driver and passenger safety.