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By AUTOWEEK



You’ve seen the sketch, now here is the real deal: the Jaguar/Rocketsports Racing XK-RS concept that is debuting this week at the Chicago auto show. What excites us so much? Try 550 hp and 500 lb-ft, for starters. But the stroked 5.0-liter AJ-V8 Trans-Am racing engine isn’t the only noteworthy feature.

The XK-RS also boasts Penske coil-over shocks, cross-drilled Brembo brakes (13-inch front, 12-inch rear) and underbody tunnels that help produce twice as much downforce as the stock XK. Rocketsports also swapped the production car’s six-speed automatic transmission for a five-speed manual transaxle. The weight distribution is a balanced 50/50. Still, bad news remains: Jag says it has no production plans for the XK-RS.

 

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Paul Gentilozzi , owner of Rocketsports Racing, presents the Jaguar XK-RS concept at the Chicago Auto Show.


2004 Chicago Auto Show
Jaguar shows off a racing concept

By John McCormick / Autos Insider

CHICAGO -- Jaguar underlined a U.S. racing heritage dating back to 1938 with Thursday's unveiling of a 550-hp concept version of the XK convertible.

Developed by Lansing-based Rocketsports Racing, the XK-RS increases the V-8 engine's displacement from 4.5 to 5.0-liters and uprates the stock car's Eaton supercharger to produce 500-pound-feet of torque for a projected 0-60-mph time of under four seconds and a 200-mph top speed.

Rocketsports Racing, owned by Paul Gentilozzi, competes in the Trans-Am series with a Jaguar-engined race car. In 2003 team driver Scott Pruett won nine of 12 races to take the driver's championship. Jaguar won the manufacturer's championship in 2001 and 2003.

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

George Ayres, marketing vice-president of the Ford Motor Co.-owned British luxury marque, said there are no current plans to produce the XK-RS.

"But it will influence Jaguar production cars, especially in terms of performance and engine development," Ayres added.


Paul Gentilozzi ,left, Rocketsports Racing owner, and George Ayres, vice president of Marketing for Jaguar North America, debut the Jaguar XK-RS concept car at the 2004 Chicago Auto Show Thursday. Developed by Michigan-based Rocketsports Racing in cooperation with Jaguar North America, the XK-RS concept is powered by a supercharged Jaguar AJ-V8 Trans-Am race engine, stroked out from 4.5 to 5.0 liters, and has a top speed of 200 mph.
 

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Chicago Auto Show
Motor Trend

Jaguar XK-RS


Having won the Trans-Am Manufacturers' Championship two times campaigning Jaguar XKRs, Rocketsports Racing has applied their proven skills to developing this 550-horsepower XK-RS concept car. Teamed with Jaguar North America, Rocketsports elevated the convertible to supercar status through a comprehensive performance and style transformation. Rocketsports 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 liters. This engine was topped with an Eaton supercharger to deliver enough output to send the car from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and reach a 200-mph top speed. The standard six-speed ZF automatic transmission was replaced with a five-speed manual transaxle, better distributing the weight. The suspension was fortified with coil-over high-performance Penske shocks and R-Performance Brembo calipers with drilled rotors (13-inch front/12-inch rear) mounted to each corner. 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'.
 

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The Auto Channel
Photo's by Auto Week

Jaguar / Rocketsports Racing XK-RS Concept


CHICAGO, Feb. 5, 2004 -- The most powerful road-going Jaguar convertible ever -- the 550 horsepower XK-RS concept car -- was unleashed at the 2004 Chicago Auto Show today.

Developed by Michigan-based Rocketsports Racing in cooperation with Jaguar North America, the XK-RS concept demonstrates how Jaguar's luxury GT road car can be transformed into a thundering 200-mph supercar.

"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 liters.

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 six-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 considerable expertise in high-speed aerodynamics with its Jaguar XKR Trans-Am racecars, 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 rotors (13-inch front/12-inch rear) were added.

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 racecars.

"The XK-RS concept is one more example of our strong relationship with Paul Gentilozzi and Rocketsports Racing," said George Ayres, vice president of Marketing for Jaguar North America. "The XK-RS uses Rocketsports' considerable race car expertise to create this dramatic, one-off concept car."

The XK-RS is Rocketsports' second Jaguar project car. In 2002, Rocketsports created the purposeful 'Racing Concept' version of Jaguar's all-wheel drive X-TYPE. The dramatic-looking concept racecar was developed to test the potential of Jaguar's X-TYPE as a project car for the enthusiast market.



XK-RS Concept -- Specification
Based on 2004 Jaguar XKR Convertible
Built by Rocketsports Racing, Lansing, Michigan

Engine: 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.
Power: 550 bhp
Torque: 500 lb. ft.
Suspension: Coil-over Penske shocks
Driveline: Manual sequential 6-speed transaxle
Performance: 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Top speed 200 mph.
Body: 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.
Brakes: R-Performance Brembo calipers with drilled rotors (13-inch front/12-inch rear)











 
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