The Jaguar XK8 was introduced in 1996. It was the first generation of a new XK series. The XK8 was available in coupé or convertible body styles and with the new 4.0-litre Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. In 1998 the XKR was introduced with a supercharged version of the engine. In 2003 the engines were replaced by the 4.2-litre AJ34 engines in both the normally aspirated and supercharged versions.

Special editions included:
XKR Silverstone
Only 100 Silverstone models were made in Phase I. These cars were all sold in the U.K. Phase I cars had integrated headrests and were all right-hand drive. Series II Silverstone's had separate and adjustable headrests and were available in both right and left-hand drive. Phase I - 50 Coupés, 50 Convertibles and phase II (ROW) - 94 Coupés and 175 Convertibles was produced in celebration of Jaguar's 2001 return to Formula One (F1) racing.

XKR 100
Built to celebrate the centenary of Jaguar's founder, 500 'XKR 100' coupes and convertibles combined total were made in 2002.

XKR Portfolio
The convertible-only Portfolio models featured either red paint with matching Recaro sports seats and interior or blue paintwork and interiors.

XKR 4.2-S
In Europe, the 4.2-S was unveiled at Geneva on 1 March 2005. This was the last XK to be rolled out that was based on the original 1996 design.

Victory Edition
Introduced at the 2005 Los Angeles International Auto Show, the Victory Edition was offered in the model year 2006, to "celebrate Jaguar's four championship wins in the North American Trans-Am road racing series and add to a successful lineage of special and limited edition XKs.

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