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Jaguar is a part of Jaguar Land Rover, a British automaker that has been owned by the Indian Tata Motors since 2008. Jaguar Cars is headquartered in Whitley, Coventry, England. The manufacturer also makes autos for top public officials – the Queen, Prince Charles, and the Prime Minister.
The Jaguar brand is rooted in the English SS Cars company that manufactured sidecars under the Swallow Sidecar marque. The enterprise was set up by William Lyons and William Walmsley in 1922. By the way, ‘Swallow’ was the surname of the garage’s owner where namesakes made their first products.
The first original auto by SS Cars was unveiled at the London Motor Show in 1931. It was built on chassis by Standard, powered by a six-cylinder engine, and had the lowest body if compared to any other car of that time. The model was favourably taken. It was even awarded the title of the Most Beautiful Car in the World.
In 1935, the new SS Jaguar saloon was launched. This model was a key one for the company’s history. When after the WWII there was an acute need to get rid of the dreadful SS abbreviation, this model’s name was chosen as the company’s one – Jaguar Cars.
The first auto produced under the new brand was the Jaguar XK120 sports car (1949). The number in the model’s name stands for its top speed in miles per hour that was record-breaking for production cars of that time. Besides, it was the first Jaguar auto for export.
In 1951, on its basis, the XK120C or the C-Type racing car was made especially for participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s supposed that due to disk brakes on both axles, which improved braking effectiveness, the C-Type gained victory.
Inspired by the C-Type’s triumph, another D-Type racing car, with an aerodynamic body of heavenly beauty, was produced in 1954. An innovative monocoque structural approach was applied here for the first time. In 1957, it won the Le Mans again.
1961 saw the legendary E-Type unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. The car astounded with its design and dynamics as well as with a reasonable price. The Museum of Modern Art in New York even included it to the range of its constant exhibits.
In 1968, Lyons produced the Jaguar XJ limousine, which unparalleled style made a furore. Its modernized version, which was launched in 1986, was the last one approved by the company’s founder Lyons.
Under Ford’s Wing
Four years later, the business was purchased by Ford Motor Company. Such a root and branch change was essential – Jaguar’s cars of that time should have been of higher quality, the company was out of money to produce new models, and the dealer network left much to be desired. However, a change of management, reconsideration of a business strategy, and significant financial investments of the American corporation improved the situation. Thus, the Jaguar XK8 (1996) and the S-Type saloons (1999) were launched.
2001 saw the Jaguar X-Type saloon, which was the first Jaguar with front-wheel drive.
In 2002, the new Jaguar XJ was rolled out. Its aluminium body made the car lighter by about 200 kg, if compared to the precursor, despite that it became larger.
Today, Jaguar’s model range offers executive and compact saloons, sports and racing cars:
- The XE (saloon);
- The XF (saloon);
- The XF Sportbrake;
- The XJ SWB;
- The XJ LWB;
- The XK (coupe and convertible);
- The F-Type (coupe and convertible).
Since 2008, Jaguar has been acquired by an Indian automobile corporation Tata Motors and continues to produce the most sophisticated and, at the same time, powerful autos in the world in spite of multiple ups and downs the company went through over its history. What else did you expect? The felines have nine lives.
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