Jaguar XK 120

The Jaguar XK 120 was a two-seater roadster, the Jaguar in 1948 as a successor to the SS100 brought to market.

The Jaguar XK 120 OTS (Open Two Seater - ) had a six-cylinder in-line engine with 3442 cc and 160 bhp. Over a four-speed gearbox with floor shift operation of these to the rear wheels. He helped the roadster to a top speed of 200 km / h This was the first Jaguar engine with double overhead camshaft ( DOHC ); a construction which was until then ventured only in very small numbers for assembled by hand engines. Jaguar but was able at once a masterpiece of reliability and performance, which in vehicles of the manufacturer and beyond this period came in military vehicles and 1992 used. The obliquely overhead valves, a nearly hemispherical combustion chamber, which was at that time considered to be perfect for optimum power delivery revealed.

The headlights were no longer individually mounted on the fenders as its predecessor, but to the side of the hood integrated into the fenders. The rear wheel arches were covered with so-called Spats. The XK 120 was created as a stopgap for the " London Motor Show" in October 1948, the first after the war: Actually, Jaguar wanted to present there the new motor as the drive for a new high-speed sedan ( the later Jaguar Mark VII). The body development at Pressed Steel was not yet completed, so the idea was born to issue the engine in the guise of a sleek sports car as an eye catcher.

First, this car was designed only as a small production car and was provided with an aluminum body, which was mounted on an ash wood frame. After the clientele then unexpectedly showed great interest in the vehicle, it became clear that the original target production of 240 copies would be insufficient. Therefore, in April 1950 appeared the same in the form of sheet steel, which has been produced to the setting of the series in 1954 in a quantity of 7373 copies.

In 1951 there was the Jaguar XK 120 FHC ( Fixed Head Coupe), a coupe with the same engine and 194 km / h. Until the setting 1954 2678 units were built.

From the same year, Jaguar offered both versions under the name Jaguar XK 120 SE ( SE for Special Equipment ) with a more powerful 180 -bhp engine, a more extensive equipment and spoked wheels on place (the Spats forbid ). With this engine, a top speed of 210 km / h was reached. Externally, the car was more recognized by its dual exhaust. The SE package also included stiffer springs on the wheel suspension. Also, the SE was built until 1954.

1953, the Jaguar XK 120 DHC (Drop Head Coupe), a convertible with lined fabric roof and the same engine, also known as SE, do so. However, it was only offered for one year and reached in this period, the number of 1767 copies.

The engine in the XK 120 was beyond use in the racing versions of Jaguar XK 120 C (or Jaguar C- Type and D -Type called ). However, you had totally self designed chassis and bodies, while the engines were increased by profound modifications in performance.

In 1954, the model XK 120 was replaced by the Jaguar XK 140.

Specifications XK 120, Year of construction 1954

Top speed and acceleration are factory specifications


  • Halwart Schrader: Typenkompass Jaguar - Passenger Cars since 1931 1st edition. . Engine book publishing house, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-613-02106-4.
  • Heiner Stertkamp: Jaguar - The Complete History from 1922 to today. 2nd edition. Heel, King Winter 2006, ISBN 3-89880-337-6.