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End of the line for Jaguar's XK?

Production of the current XK models could cease within a few months

Published: March 11, 2014, 4:15 AM

2013 Jaguar XKR - front 3/4 view

Jaguar owes much of its success and popularity, especially in North America, to its XK sports car lineage. But if rumours out of England are to be believed, that lineage is about to come to an end.

It began with the XK120, produced from 1948 until 1954, and its XK140 and XK150 successors (1954-57 and 1957-61 respectively). They were followed by the iconic XK-E (also known as the E-Type), which was produced in three Series iterations from1961 until 1965.

The XK nameplate then took a sabbatical until it returned in 1996 on the XK8 and has continued on variants thereof until now, with a major overhaul in 2006 that remains the basis for today's model

The current XK is a 2+2 configuration, more GT than sports car and as well as now being somewhat long in the tooth, it has been overshadowed in terms of both visibility and sales by the new F-Type.

Now that a coupe version of that real sports car has arrived, the XK's raison d'etre seems even less valid and its sales figures reflect that reality.

It's not a stretch, therefore, to believe that its days are numbered – perhaps to a matter of a few more months.

Reports suggest the nameplate may be resurrected in the future, on a more luxury-oriented, high performance GT.

But for now, Jaguar has its hands full filling orders for the F-Type and developing the compact XE sedan, announced at the Geneva Motor Show, which will face-off against the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

So expect the XK nameplate to take another sabbatical.