Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jaguar Cars is a British automobile manufacturer. Founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company by William Lyons, it was renamed Jaguar Cars after WWII because of the unfortunate connotations of the initials, SS. The company is now owned by the Ford Motor Company. Jaguar is known for its luxury saloons and sports cars, market segments it has been in since the 1930s. The name is pronounced in the UK, /ˈdʒęgˌwɑɹ/ in the USA.
The company was independent until it became part of the nationally-owned British Motor Corporation in 1966. In 1984 it was floated as a separate company on the stock market -- one of the Thatcher government's many privatizations -- only to be taken over by Ford in 1989-1990. In 1999 it was made part of Ford's new Premier Automotive Group along with Aston Martin, Volvo Cars and Lincoln. Land Rover was added to the group in 2001 following its purchase from BMW.
The company was originally located in Blackpool but re-located to Coventry to be at the heart of the British motor industry. Today factories are at Browns Lane in Coventry, Castle Bromwich in Birmingham and Halewood in Liverpool. The Browns Lane plant will be closed in 2005 leaving aluminum vehicle production at Castle Bromwich and steel at Halewood.
Of the saloons, the most significant is the XJ (1968-present), still the definitive Jaguar car for many. Since 1968 the Series I XJ has seen major changes in 1973 (to Series II), 1979 (to Series III), 1986 [Europe] / 1987 [United States] (XJ40), 1995 (X300), 1997 (to the V-8 powered X308), 2003 (the present model, X350). The most luxurious XJ models carry either the Vanden Plas or Daimler nameplates.
There have been several significant sports cars:
- XK120 (1948-1954)
- XK140 (1954-1957)
- XK150 (1957-1960)
- E-Type (1961-1975)
- XJ-S/XJS (1975-1996)
- XK8 (1996-present)
Jaguar has designed in-house four generations of engines.
- Historical engines:
- Current engines:
The current Jaguar lineup includes the following models:
- X-Type - mid-size saloon
- S-Type - luxury saloon
- XJ6/XJ8/XJR - full-size saloon
- XK8/XKR - sports car/convertible
The company has had major success in sportscar racing, particularly in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Victories came in 1951 and 1953 with the C-Type, then in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the D-Type . The famous race was then left for many years, until in the mid-1980s Tom Walkinshaw's TWR team started designing and preparing Jaguar V12-engined sports prototypes for European sportscar races. The team started winning regularly from 1987, and with increased factory backing the team won Le Mans in 1988 and 1990. . Jaguar Sport:
- Jaguar C-Type (1951-1953)
- Jaguar D-Type (1954-1957)
- Jaguar Lightweight E-Type
- XJ220 (1988)
- XJR-15 (1990)
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