Jaguar is a British luxury car brand with a strong racing heritage and a reputation for designing opulent interiors.
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In 1922, motorcycle enthusiasts William Lyons and William Walmsley founded the Swallow Sidecar Company (SSC) which, as the name suggests, specialized in sidecar manufacturing. While working on their bikes, the two men managed to create a first automobile, the SS1. Equipped with a six-cylinder engine, it made its public debut at a London exhibit in 1931. The less powerful, four-cylinder SS2 followed soon afterwards.
The company became known as SS Cars in 1933 and William Lyons took the reins. Two years later, the first official Jaguar was born. Able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 10.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 160 km/h, the SS Jaguar 100 quickly made its mark in auto races.
Shortly before World War II, the ''SS'' designation was removed to prevent people from associating Jaguar with the Nazi regime. During the conflict, the company exclusively manufactured sidecars in an effort to support the nation.
In 1948, Jaguar's fastest automobile ever hit the stage. Inspired from the BMW 328 and featuring a 3.4-litre six-cylinder, the XK 120 could fly at 193 km/h. It spawned two variants, including the 1951 Fixed Head Coupe and 1953 Drophead Coupe.
The XK 120 evolved to become the 190-horsepower XK 140 in 1954, the same year Jaguar racing teams got the legendary D-Type.
At the start of the 1960s, William Lyons purchased Daimler (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz or Daimler AG) and developed the E-Type, the brand's most iconic model even to this day.
Jaguar then merged with British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1966. BMC, which already owned Austin-Healey and MG, in turn merged with Leyland (owner of Triumph and Rover) to form British Leyland Motor Company.
Meanwhile, the XJ6, XKE Series 1 and Series 2, and E-Type Series 3 landed on the market as the automaker faced serious financial problems. The British government unsuccessfully seized control in 1975 and Jaguar remained on the bubble for several years.
The launch of the XJ40 brought light at the end of the tunnel, freeing the company from federal stewardship in 1984.
Ford stepped in and purchased Jaguar for $2.56 billion in 1990. Production facilities received upgrades before giving birth to the XK8 and XKR sports coupes. The XJ220 concept unveiled in 1992 got mixed reviews, so the classic 6.2-litre V12 engine was replaced with a 3.5-litre turbocharged V6. All-wheel drive also was discarded in favour of rear-wheel drive.
From then on, the XJ, XK and XF became the only models sold by Jaguar, despite the brand being acquired by Indian automaker Tata Motors in 2008.
Having all but one element craved by buyers of products similar to yours is possibly the most frustrating situation for any company. For example, Jaguar boasts the name, the engines, the transmissions and the styling, but lacks a crucial element all other luxury manufacturers offer: AWD.
The Jaguar XKR Coupe is the first car I ever drove that made me fully appreciate why some folks spend so much money on a car. I'd typically rather spend my theoretical $110,000 on a dirty old Dodge Viper and a wing joint -- but the XKR Coupe I drove in 2010 pulled me the other way.
There's a certain cachet about Jags that isn't captured elsewhere in the premium market. Many have tried to replicate the refined wood/leather ambience but, I dare say, with little success.
Jaguar Land Rover Canada will showcase four new models at the 2013 Montreal International Auto Show, including the Jaguar XJ and XF as well as the Land Rover LR2 and 2013 Range Rover. In fact, the entire 2013 lineup will be on hand.
As reported on November 21st, Jaguar Land Rover was set to unveil three new vehicles at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. We now have some official pictures of the formidable trio led by the Jaguar XFR-S, which made its first global appearance.
This year's Los Angeles Auto show is one of the most significant U.S. shows in years for Jaguar Land Rover, said Jaguar Land Rover North America President, Andy Goss.