Jaguar XK-RS Concept

The most powerful road-going Jaguar convertible ever – the 550 horsepower XK-RS concept car – was unleashed at the 2004 Chicago Auto Show today.

The car has been developed by Michigan-based Rocketsports Racing in cooperation with Jaguar North America.

"At Rocketsports, we’re very familiar with Jaguar’s XKR sports car, having won the Trans-Am Manufacturers’ Championship two times with this beautiful, fast car ," said Rocketsports Racing owner, Paul Gentilozzi.

"We think the XKR makes a great foundation for high-performance tuning. The XK-RS concept is just one dramatic interpretation of the many directions in which the car can be taken ," he added.

Engineers at Rocketsports’ Lansing, Michigan workshop took the already-potent Jaguar AJ-V8 Trans-Am race engine and increased its displacement by stroking it out from 4.5 liters to 5.0 litres.

To ensure drivability, the engineers reinstalled an Eaton supercharger to deliver an estimated 550 bhp and 500 lb. ft. of torque, giving the car the power to accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in under four seconds, and take it to a top speed of 200 mph.

"Many of the lessons we learned in developing the 650 bhp normally aspirated Jaguar AJ-V8 race engine for the R-Performance XKR Trans-Am race car were incorporated in the engine for the XK-RS ," explained Gentilozzi.

To make the car more involving for the sports car enthusiast, the standard six-speed ZF automatic transmission was replaced with a five-speed manual transaxle. Re-positioning the driveline weight to the rear of the car also results in a perfect 50:50 weight balance for improved handling.

Rocketsports also used the team’s expertise in high-speed aerodynamics with its Jaguar XKR Trans-Am race cars, modifying the production XKR’s body to ensure ground-hugging stability at very high speeds.

Special underbody air tunnels running the length of the car were created, along with deeper front and rear spoilers, wider wheel arches and aero-style sill sections similar to those featured on the specially-developed XKR that starred in last year’s James Bond adventure, ‘Die Another Day’ .

When tested in the wind tunnel, the changes are expected to result in a 100 percent increase in aerodynamic downforce at top speed compared to the standard car.

The production XKR’s suspension was also modified to ensure supercar handling. The changes include the addition of coil-over high-performance Penske shocks. To give the concept the kind of stopping power that matches its anticipated grip, R -Performance Brembo calipers with drilled discs (13-inch front/12-inch rear) were added.

And no 200 mph supercar would be complete without a dramatic wheel and tyre combination. The XK-RS comes fitted with three-piece wheels - center-lock 'Machiavelli Gotti' – 20-inch x 10-inch at the front, 20-inch x 11-inch at the rear – shod with high-performance Michelin Pilot tyres.

Inside, the XK-RS features body-hugging Johnson Controls "Leap" seats clad in black leather with medium grey inserts.

To complete the bold appearance, the concept is painted in rich black lacquer. Along each side, Pearl Black Jaguar ‘leaper’ graphics echo those used on Rocketsports Racing’s XKR race cars.

George Ayres, vice president of Marketing for Jaguar North America chirped, "The XK-RS uses Rocketsports’ considerable race car expertise to create this dramatic, one-off concept car ."

XK-RS Concept – Specification

Based on 2004 Jaguar XKR Convertible

Built by Rocketsports Racing, Lansing, Michigan


Supercharged Jaguar AJ-V8 Trans-Am race engine, stroked out from 4.5 to 5.0 liters. Custom Rocketsports valve train, Borla stainless steel headers, Bosch fuel injection, re-engineered rotating assembly, dry sump oiling.


550 bhp


500 lb. ft.


Coil-over Penske shocks


Manual sequential 5-speed transaxle


0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Top speed 200 mph.


Additions include new front and rear spoilers, underbody air tunnels, sill extensions. Track widened by 2.8 inches total, rear 3.0 inches total. Gross weight 3,400 pounds. Overall height reduced by 2.75 inches at windshield.


Three-piece, center-lock Machiavelli Gotti; 20-inch x 10-inch (fr), 20-inch x 11- inch(r)


Michelin Pilot; 285 x 20 (fr), 325 x 20 (r)


R-Performance Brembo calipers with drilled rotors (13" front/12" rear)

-Performance Brembo calipers with drilled rotors (13" front/12" rear)

Comments (25) Join the discussion on the forum

  • medic_02 27 Feb 2004

    mmmm... a little too jap tunerish if you ask me. Not saying i wouldn't have one. Give me an XKR body kit with these engine and chassis mods.... heaven

  • dinkel 24 Feb 2004

    Jaguar does have the taste. They better leave the spoilerkits for what they are and built a car as a whole. Not some LEGO-thingy . . .

  • danmangt40 21 Feb 2004

    I'm with Don and Windandwave, That's disgusting. Every time I see someone with an XKR and a bodykit I want to throw up. The xk8 is one of the sexiest modern automobiles out there. What other car looks this fresh 7(!) years into its life. TVRs and ferraris, but those are only due to rarity/oddity, not beauty. the XK8 is aging better than the vanquish. Slapping a bodykit on it reminds me of those xjs's that came out with fiberglass bodies to resemblethe xk when it came out. Jag missed their chance on making a simple swb xk8 in the form of the xk180. letting the xk180 inspire the ftype was seriously misguided, and because of the ftype's infeasability, the xk range has suffered. Let's hope the next xk is close to the concept R... and not the R-D6.

  • The DJ 27 17 Feb 2004

    Utterly gorgeous. The effect of the leaping cat embeded in the paint is fantastic.

  • windandwave 17 Feb 2004

    Money > Taste = Naff

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