The first genuine Jaguar XKSS to be built in almost 60 years was given its world debut presentation at the Petersen Museum, Los Angeles by Jaguar Classic. The stunning XKSS, finished in Sherwood Green paint, has been created by the Jaguar Classic engineering team ahead of the production of nine cars for delivery to customers across the globe in 2017.
Often referred to as the world’s first supercar, the XKSS was originally made by Jaguar as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning D-type, which was built from 1954-1956. In 1957, nine cars earmarked for export to North America were lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in the British Midlands; meaning just 16 examples of XKSS were built.
Earlier this year Jaguar announced that its Classic division would build the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars for a select group of established collectors and customers. The new one-off XKSS presented in Los Angeles is the summation of 18 months of research and will be used as a blueprint from which the nine continuation cars are built.
Traditional and rare expertise in hand craftsmanship
Envisage Group was commissioned by Jaguar Classic to be the sole supplier of hand-crafted monocoque body shells and body panels for the XKSS continuation model to the exact specification of the iconic original.
The company was nominated because it offers traditional and, nowadays, extremely rare expertise in hand-crafted aluminium forming and body assembly.
Envisage Group’s highly skilled workforce employed English Wheel metal-forming techniques and precision hammer-forming to hand-craft the beautiful and complex XKSS bodies.
The nine cars will be completely new, with period chassis numbers from the XKSS chassis log. All cars are now sold at a price in excess of £1million each.
The working relationship between Jaguar and Envisage Group is an authentic reincarnation of the partnerships that existed in the era of the original D-type and XKSS, fully consistent with the heritage of both companies.
Envisage Group’s role echoes that of the Coventry-based specialist suppliers to Jaguar such as Abbey Panels who produced low-volume Jaguar bodies for many years, including the first XK120s, C-, D- and E-types in the 1950s and 60s.
Securing The Future
Today, the core of Envisage Group’s traditional metal-forming craftsmen acquired their skills as time-served Abbey Panels apprentices. Envisage Group is committed to securing the future of these traditional metal-working skills with its policy of investing in young people through its own widely respected apprenticeship programme.
This rare skill-set also provides Envisage Group with the capability to design, engineer and manufacture coach-built cars for wealthy, private individuals who wish to create something truly unique.
For example, Envisage Group was responsible for the manufacture and painting of Eadon Green’s striking, retro-styled Black Cuillin concept model, revealed at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.
Commenting on the role of Envisage Group in the XKSS continuation, Chris Devane, CEO, said:
“The Envisage Group is proud to have played a key role in the creation of the Jaguar XKSS continuation models. Our unique competence in hand-craftsmanship allows us to recreate automotive classics with exceptional quality and an unrivalled attention to detail while our ongoing investment in young people will ensure the future of these traditional skills.”