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Jaguar (car)

Jaguar Cars is a British automobile manufacturer. Founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company by William Lyons, it was renamed Jaguar in 1935. The company is owned by the Ford Motor Company. Jaguar is known for its luxury saloons and sports cars, market segments it has been in since the 1930s.

Jaguar XK8

The company was independent until it became part of the nationally-owned British Motor Corporation in 1966. In 1984 it was floated as a separate company on the stock market -- one of the Thatcher government's many privatizations -- only to be taken over by Ford in 1989-1990. In 1999 it was made part of Ford's new Premier Automotive Group along with Aston Martin, Land Rover, Volvo and Lincoln.

The company was originally located in Blackpool but re-located to Coventry to be at the heart of the British motor industry. Today factories are at Browns Lane in Coventry, Castle Bromwich in Birmingham and Halewood in Liverpool.

Jaguar owns the Daimler car company (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz), which it bought in 1960. Daimler is now little more than a brand name for Jaguar's most luxurious saloons.

Of the saloons, the most significant is the XJ (1968-present), still the definitive Jaguar car for many. Since 1968 the Series I XJ has seen major changes in 1973 (to Series II), 1979 (to Series III), 1986 [Europe] / 1987 [United States] (XJ40), 1995 (X300), 1997 (to the V-8 powered X308), 2003 (the present model, X350).

The drive to bring in smaller, more popular models has been met by the smaller S-Type (1999- ) and the smaller still X-Type (2001- ).

''1966 Jaguar E-Type, also known as the XKE

There have been several significant sports cars: the XK120 (1948-1954), XK150 (1955-1960), E-Type (1961-1975), the XJS (1975-1996), and XK8 (1996- ) are the main post-war models.

Jaguar Sport: XJ220 (1988) and the racing XJR15.

Sportscar racing

The company has had major success in sportscar racing, particularly in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Victories came in 1951 and 1953 with the C-Type, then in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the D-Type. The famous race was then left for many years, until in the mid-1980s Tom Walkinshaw's TWR team started designing and preparing Jaguar V12-engined sports prototypes for European sportscar races. The team started winning regularly from 1987, and with increased factory backing the team won Le Mans in 1988 and 1990. The cars later had turbo V6 engines, then Ford V8s.

Jaguar Formula 1 Team

1963 Jaguar 3.4 Mk2

Ford took over Jackie Stewart's Stewart-Ford Formula One team in June 1999, which was renamed Jaguar for the 2000 season. The team has participated in the F1 World Championship each year since. The team was headed for a period by Bobby Rahal, then by Niki Lauda. In a November 2002 restructuring, Lauda and around 70 other staff were made redundant. At the start of the 2003, the drivers were Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia. Engines are inevitably supplied by Ford. Pizzonia was replaced by Minardi's Justin Wilson midway through the season.

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