Jaguar XK 120
sports car (1948)
The Jaguar XK 120 is a luxury sports car produced by Jaguar from 1948 to 1954. About 12,000 were built. It is the first Jaguar sports car produced after the SS 100, produced until 1940.
The Jaguar XK 120 was presented in a roadster version (two-seater car uncovered) on October 27, 1948 at the London Motor Show.
The purpose of the presentation was also to propose a car, for demonstration purposes, with the new Jaguar XK6 engine.
The model creates a lot of interest and positive comments enough to convince William Lyons (British entrepreneur and designer, founder of Jaguar) to produce it in series.
The Jaguar XK 120 is equipped with a chassis with side members and cross members, derived from that of the Jaguar Mark V sedan from which it also inherits the front suspension with independent wheels and the rigid axle rear suspension with leaf springs.
The 160 bhp Jaguar XK6 engine, a six-cylinder in-line 3.4 L engine with an alloy cylinder head, twin SU carburettors and a double overhead camshaft, was technologically advanced at the time.
The mechanics of this engine, modified in the 3.8 L and 4.2 L versions, would have survived until the 1980s.
Jaguar, in May 1949, organized a press demonstration with an XK120 roadster version on the highway between Jabbeke and Aeltre, Belgium, using the second product, white, left-hand drive.
With the convertible top and windows closed, and the improved underbody aerodynamics, the top speed of 203.498 km / h was registered by the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium. After removing the soft top, windscreen and side windows, with a deflector mounted at the front and a cover on the passenger compartment space normally intended for the passenger, the maximum speed of 219.830 km / h was reached.
Following this test, the Jaguar XK 120 proved, at the time, the fastest mass-produced car in the world.