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The fully functional two-seater prototype was the product of Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and Jaguar’s design manager was Keith Helfet, the man who designed the XJ220 Concept and the F-Type Concept. The car was entirely handmade and assembled at the company’s plant at Browns Lane in Coventry, England.
Mechanically it was equipped with a 4.2-liter V8 engine with four valves per cylinder, producing 450 hp with 605 Nm of torque. The power was transferred to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission, that enabled the car to do the 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds, with an exit speed of 170 km/h, having a top speed that reached 290 km/h.
The whole body of the car was made of aluminum and it was based on the chassis of the XKR, which was diminished by 12.7 centimeters. The suspension of the XK180 was an evolved version of those of the XKR. It stood on 20-inch BBS rims, with 265/35 tires in front and 285/30 rear, while it had brake discs of 355 mm at the front and 305 mm at the rear.