The Jaguar XK8 (project code X100) is a grand tourer launched by Jaguar Cars in 1996, and was the first generation of a new XK series. The XK8 was available in two-door coupé or two-door convertible body styles with the new 4.0-litre Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. The first-generation of the XK series shares its XJS-derived platform with the Aston Martin DB7, with both cars tracing their history back to an abandoned Jaguar development study in the mid-1980s known as XJ41/XJ42, which had been mooted to be known as the F-Type.
One of the revisions is the use of the second generation of Jaguar's independent rear suspension unit, taken from the Jaguar XJ (XJ40). Development began in 1992, with design work starting earlier in late 1991. By October 1992 a design was chosen and later frozen for production in 1993. Prototypes were built from December 1993 after the X100 was given formal approval and design patents were filed in June 1994. Development concluded in 1996, with the car being unveiled in March of that year and going on sale from October 1996.
The initial model available in the XK range of grand tourers was the XK8 coupé and convertible which were later joined by the more powerful XKR models. The XK8 used the new 4.0-litre 32-valve Jaguar AJ-V8 engine and was available in a two-door coupé and two-door convertible body styles. The new CATS (Computer Active Technology Suspension) adaptive suspension, which was already an option on the coupé, was added to the convertible models in 1997. Other changes for 1997 were the addition of light sensitive headlamps and an automatically dipping rear view mirror.