Jaguar Announces XK8 Introduction
Jaguar Introduces First New Sports Car In 21 Years MAHWAH, N.J., Oct. 3 -- Jaguar dealers throughout the country are today hosting events ranging from black-tie galas to cyber newscasts to welcome Jaguar's first new sports car in 21 years, the XK8. Coupe and convertible models go on sale in the United States and Canada today. In California, Jaguar dealers are holding Hollywood-style events, giving entertainment industry celebrities a peek at the new XK8. Using the latest in computer audio and active imaging technology, a cyber newscast will be transmitted, live over the Internet, from the Los Angeles Petersen Automotive Museum, allowing web users around the world to watch as the XK8 introduction unfolds. Internet users can access the coverage through The Auto Channels website at "http://www.theautochannel.com". In Coral Gables, Florida, The Jaguar Collection has gone so far as to recreate the dramatic atmosphere of Manhattan's famous Rainbow Room, complete with white-gloved waiters. This typifies the special events scheduled by Jaguar dealers nationwide. Early reaction to the XK8's styling from the press and public strongly confirmed the design team's dramatic departure from the car's predecessor, the XJS. The design of the new Jaguar was acclaimed by the press at unveilings at the Geneva and New York auto shows earlier this year, and a special edition of the XK8 offered by Neiman Marcus was sold out within 72 hours of the first catalogs arriving in mailboxes. The new car is powered by the first V8 engine ever designed by Jaguar. Called the AJ-V8, the advanced 4.0-liter, 32-valve aluminum engine produces 290 horsepower and features an exceptionally wide torque band for quick response. Reinforcing Jaguar's reputation for advanced technology are standard features such as automatic stability control for traction on slippery roads and an advanced multiplex electrical system to allow sophisticated electronic controls. In addition, the convertible features one-button, auto-latching top mechanism that raises and lowers the top while the XK8 travels at speeds of up to 1O miles per hour. Throughout the XK8 interior, traditional Jaguar elegance is reflected in the expansive use of fine wood veneers and premium Connolly leather. "Outstanding value has been a Jaguar tradition, and the XK8 strengthened that position," said Michael H. Dale, president of Jaguar Cars North America. "With its remarkable performance, a full complement of amenities and a host of advanced features that enhance the driving experience, the XK8's price compares very favorably to the prestige-class competition." The XK8 coupe debuts at a suggested retail price of $64,900 ($89,900 in Canada), and the convertible at $69,900 ($97,900 Canadian). Jaguar projects worldwide sales of the XK8 will total 12,000 in its first full year on the market, including 6,700 for the United States and 315 for Canada in calendar 1997. The convertible is expected to account for 80 percent of the sales in both countries.