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First look: Jaguar uncovers its all-new XK coupe

High-tech: Jaguar says the new XK will be its most advanced model.

Jaguar reveals the production version of its all-new XK ahead of its Frankfurt debut

30 Aug 2005

MOVE over XJ, Jaguar has unveiled what it describes as its most technically advanced vehicle – the all-aluminium XK 2+2 coupe.

Apart from its space-frame aluminium monocoque body, first seen in the XJ sedans, the XK bristles with technology including active headlights, keyless operation and a bonnet that pops up in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.

The coupe will go on sale in Australia late next year and will be followed by a convertible and supercharged XKR models.

Although Jaguar Australia is still to finalise details, expect pricing of more than $200,000 based on the outgoing range.

The current XK 4.2S sells for $220,000 while the convertible is $245,000.

Visually, the newest Jag is more powerful and assertive and mimics the Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept shown at this year’s Detroit motor show.

From some angles the XK echoes Aston Martin with its ground-hugging coupe proportions, long bonnet, steeply raked windscreen, arch-filling wheels and minimal overhangs.

6 center imageA distinctive new styling feature is the front-wing power vents ahead of the doors. This, along with the distinctive oval grille, prominent bonnet power-bulge and practicality-enhancing rear liftback door all echo the E-Type.

Power is courtesy of the naturally aspirated 4.2-litre Jaguar AJ-V8 engine, developing 224kW at 6000rpm and 420Nm at 4100pm. Jaguar claims more than 85 per cent of torque is delivered between 2000rpm and 6000rpm.

The muscular V8 is mated to a six-speed automatic incorporating steering wheel-mounted paddles and replacing the familiar ‘J-gate' shift action with a new sequential shift system offering several drive options ranging from fully automatic to sports mode.

The combination can propel the coupe from rest to 100km/h in a claimed 5.9 seconds.

Jaguar also claims the aluminium bodyshell is 31 per cent stiffer than the current XK but offers a 10 per cent improvement in power-to-weight ratio. The body is also 90 per cent stiffer and 180kg lighter than key rivals, with a kerb weight of just 1595kg (90kg less than the current model).

Braking is via a high-performance ventilated disc system and includes four-channel ABS with electronic brake force distribution and hydraulic brake assist. Jaguar’s console-mounted electronic park brake makes an appearance too.

Unlike conventional digital ABS systems, the XK’s system can vary the brake pressure at each wheel using analogue valves in the hydraulic control unit.

The coupe’s Servotronic II steering is adapted from the XJ sedan, to provide easy low-speed manoeuvring with optimum high-speed feedback.

The newcomer has grown in all directions with a longer wheelbase, wider track and taller roofline than the model it replaces. The higher roofline translates into 20mm more front seat headroom.

It is 4791mm long, 1322mm high and 2017mm wide, and has a wheelbase of 2752mm.

Inside, traditional Jaguar craftsmanship is evident in the trim and equipment levels with finely stitched leather and matching wood highlights or the option of metallic finishes.

The instrument cluster houses two prominent round dials either side of a high-resolution colour display that shows information such as gear selection, cruise control function, low tyre pressure warning and satellite navigation instructions.

Settings for the climate-control system, audio, navigation and telephone are housed in a centrally mounted 15cm touch-screen high on the dashboard.

The XK’s pedestrian-friendly bonnet is a first for Jaguar and a development certain to be used on other Ford vehicles. The bonnet deploys upwards, away from its rear edge, in milliseconds in the event of a pedestrian impact. This forms a safety zone between the bonnet and engine and other hard under-bonnet components.

The shape and construction of the front bumper is also designed to minimise pedestrian injuries.

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