Increased competition from German automakers and adverse exchange rates didn't help matters either. Without much capital to work with to improve matters, the company decided to pursue a partnership with another company. This decision ultimately led to a full buyout of Jaguar by Ford in 1990.
Ford's influence and financial support was evident with the 1997 launch of Jaguar's XK8 and supercharged XKR sports cars. Powering both was Jaguar's new AJ-V8, a compact yet powerful engine that was also used in certain Land Rover vehicles.
Meanwhile, the XK became the XK 140 as performance increased. Then came the XK 150 which was obviously even faster, though not quite as curvaceously alluring as the 120/140 models.
The 1960s saw the launch of one of Jaguar's most well-known models. The E-Type or XK-E as it was known in the U. S. debuted for 1961. The new sports car, available as either a coupe or convertible, provided performance and refinement wrapped up in an undeniably sexy package. Though reliability still remains a concern, new models like the XF and redesigned icons XK and XJ seem to indicate a bright Jaguar future, as they feature modern designs sprinkled with a fair share of classic Britannic charm.
Jaguars are the largest of South America's big cats. They once roamed from the southern tip of that continent north to the region surrounding the U. S.-Mexico border. Today significant numbers of jaguars are found only in remote regions of South and Central America—particularly in the Amazon Basin.
These beautiful and powerful beasts were prominent in ancient Native American cultures. Starting after year 2000, XJRs were equipped with Jaguar's CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension, which helped firm up the ride in sporty driving without compromising comfort during day-to-day use. Jaguar cars have a long history of elegant styling and sporting performance.
The brand was born in the United Kingdom, and for years its vehicles were synonymous with the old-world luxury of the British upper classes.
More recently, Jaguar has been under the ownership of other automakers, but Jaguar cars will always bear the unmistakable gleam of traditional English refinement. The company traces its roots to the Swallow Sidecar Company, founded in 1922 by Bill Lyons and William Walmsley. The success of groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and icons like Twiggy the fashion model made British culture a hot commodity during the '60s — a fact that likely had positive implications for Jaguar's popularity in the U. S. A decade later, Jaguar introduced the XJ6C and XJ12C coupes to join the sedans. At one point, the XJ12 was the fastest production sedan of its day. By the mid-'70s the lovely E-Type was replaced by the relatively bland XJ-S.
The 1980s saw Jaguar continuing to raise the bar in performance with the launch of the XJ-S HE and a true world supercar, the XJ220. By this time, however, Jaguar's cars had also built up a reputation for questionable reliability, electrical problems being the chief source of owners' angst. A few years later, Jaguar made an effort to broaden its product line with the introduction of a lower-priced, entry-luxury compact sedan known as the X-Type. Unfortunately, this model sold poorly, as its modest European Ford sedan underpinnings proved to be a liability.
Around this time, Jaguar's old-school traditional styling grew stale as competitors moved into the new millennium with cutting-edge, modern designs inside and out. Sales plummeted, and Jaguar's financial problems caused further headaches for parent company Ford, which was also experiencing financial turmoil.
Ford cut its losses and sold Jaguar and fellow British premium brand Land Rover to Indian manufacturer Tata in 2008. Most jaguars are tan or orange with distinctive black spots, dubbed "rosettes" because they are shaped like roses. Some jaguars are so dark they appear to be spotless, though their markings can be seen on closer inspection.
Jaguars live alone and define territories of many square miles by marking with their waste or clawing trees. Females have litters of one to four cubs, which are blind and helpless at birth. The mother stays with them and defends them fiercely from any animal that may approach—even their own father. In some traditions the Jaguar God of the Night was the formidable lord of the underworld. The name jaguar is derived from the Native American word yaguar, which means "he who kills with one leap." Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water; in fact, they are quite good swimmers.
Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals.
Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs. They sometimes climb trees to prepare an ambush, killing their prey with one powerful bite. A short and stocky limb structure makes the jaguar adept at climbing, crawling, and swimming.30 The head is robust and the jaw extremely powerful, it has the third highest bite force of all felids, after the lion and tiger. A 100 kg 220 lb jaguar can bite with a force of 503.57 kgf 1110 lbf at canine teeth and 705.79 kgf 1556 lbf at carnassial notch.35 This strength adaptation allows the jaguar to pierce turtle shells.4 A comparative study of bite force adjusted for body size ranked it as the top felid, alongside the clouded leopard and ahead of the lion and tiger.36 It has been reported that "an individual jaguar can drag an 800 lb 360 kg bull 25 ft 7.6 m in its jaws and pulverize the heaviest bones".37 The jaguar hunts wild animals weighing up to 300 kg 660 lb in dense jungle, and its short and sturdy physique is thus an adaptation to its prey and environment. The base coat of the jaguar is generally a tawny yellow, but can range to reddish-brown and black, for most of the body.
However, the ventral areas are white.30 The cat is covered in rosettes for camouflage in the dappled light of its forest habitat. The spots vary over individual coats and between individual jaguars rosettes may include one or several dots, and the shapes of the dots vary.
The XK 120 proved quite popular, and helped Jaguar establish a strong presence in the sports car market. By the 1950s, Jaguar had begun exporting luxury vehicles to the United States. Created just for the American market, the Mark VII Saloon was introduced in 1951 and was a hit with stateside motorists.
In 1956, the car took the prize at the Monte Carlo Rally. Later in the decade, Jaguar added the Mark VIII and Mark IX to its lineup. Based in Blackpool, England, the company produced a popular line of aluminum motorcycle sidecars.
Swallow eventually switched its focus to automobile production, changing its name to SS Cars Ltd. in 1933. The first vehicle to carry the Jaguar name was the SS Jaguar 100, released in 1935. After World War II, SS Cars switched its moniker to Jaguar so as not to be associated with the Nazi paramilitary organization that bore the same initials. Its first postwar offering was 1948's Mark V.
The luxury sedan was joined that year by the XK 120, a sports car that was the fastest production automobile of its day — its name indicating its top speed.