1996 Jaguar XK8 Coupé Geneva Motor Show Car
This vehicle is on display in the Jaguar Gallery at Coventry Transport Museum

This blue coupé is a pre-production car, and was exhibited by Jaguar at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show which saw the launch of the XK8.  It was dramatically revealed from a crate (seen above the car in the picture) as part of the press conference, reminiscent of the E-type reveal that also took place in Geneva some 35 years earlier! The XK8 stayed in production until 2005 when it was replaced by the new XK.  Over the period of ten years, more than 90,000 of the XK8 and XKR models were manufactured.

The XK8 sports car (sometimes referred to by its product code of X100) was the replacement for the XJS which had been in production for twenty-one years.  The new XK8 was a typical Jaguar, combining tradition with innovation.  The inspiration for the elegant design clearly came from the style of classic Jaguar sports cars of the past, notably the E-type of the 1960s, but interpreted in a modern manner.  The car was styled by Fergus Pollock, working under the late Geoff Lawson.  The Project Director was the engineer Bob Dover, who went on to become Jaguar’s Chairman.

Under the bonnet lay the first Jaguar V8 engine.  Although the Daimler sister marque had made some excellent V8s in the 1960s, and a Jaguar V8 design had been under consideration at the same time, this was the first Jaguar car to be fitted with this type of engine.  As used in the XK8, capacity was originally 4 litres, which was later increased to 4.2 litres.  The AJ8 engine was of all-aluminium construction, with two overhead camshafts per bank and 32 valves producing 290bhp.

In 1998 a supercharger was fitted on the XKR version, even more powerful at 370bhp, although the top speed of both models was identical, limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).  Both the XK8 and XKR were available in coupé and convertible form.  They made a significant impact in the world market for luxury sports cars, with most of the production being exported, especially to the USA.

Chassis Number: SAJJGAED4AZ00207

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 116/J.68