Jaguar has unveiled its first XKSS to be built in almost six decades, the car making its debut in Los Angeles. The vehicle on show in LA will serve as a blueprint for the nine series production models that will be completed next year.

Earlier in the year, the automaker announced that it would be building the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars to complete the series run for the road-going version of the D-Type racer. In 1957, 25 D-Types were earmarked for road-going conversion, but only 16 were built. Nine cars, earmarked for export to North America, were lost in in the Browns Lane factory fire in February that year.

The nine cars will be completely new, with period chassis numbers from the XKSS chassis log, with pricing in excess of £1 million each. The LA example is a period correct continuation, built by Jaguar Classic using a combination of original drawings from the automaker’s archive and modern technology. The company scanned several versions of the 1957 XKSS to help build a complete digital image of the car, from the body to chassis, including all the parts required.

As it was in 1957, the body of the XKSS is made from magnesium alloy. A new, bespoke styling buck – based on the original bodies from the 1950s – was produced, and the bodies of the nine will be formed on this buck, using a traditional process called hand-wheeling.


Meanwhile, frame maker Reynolds – famous for its 531 tubing – was briefed to craft bespoke new parts using imperial measurements, rather than metric. The frames are bronze welded in the same way as the period XKSS chassis tubing. The continuation cars will feature period specification four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes with a Plessey pump as well as Dunlop tyres with riveted two-piece magnesium alloy wheels.

Under the bonnet, the XKSS will be powered by a 262 hp 3.4 litre straight six-cylinder Jaguar D-type engine. The mill features completely new cast iron blocks, new cast cylinder heads and three Weber DC03 carburetors.

Inside, everything – from the wood of the steering wheel to the grain of the leather seats, through to the brass knobs on the XKSS dashboard – is precisely as it would have been in 1957, with minor specification changes being made only to improve driver and passenger safety.

It’s not the first continuation project undertaken by the company. In 2014, it announced plans to produce the remaining six cars of the Lightweight E-Type from 1963, of which only 12 out of the planned 18 units of the race-bred GT were completed. Jaguar said that the expertise gained during the construction of the Lightweight E-Type project will be transferred to the construction of the XKSS.