Goodwood Revival will celebrate Jaguar’s legendary XK engine

09th May 2024
Simon Ostler

The Goodwood Revival will lay on a special birthday party in 2024 as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the legendary Jaguar XK engine. It was produced and in active service from its introduction in 1949, until finally being retired in 1992.


During that time, it was put to use in several iconic cars, purposed for both road use and competition in the likes of the Jaguar C-Type, D-Type and E-type. Alongside their normal escapades during races throughout the Revival weekend, we’ll also be witness to a special parade of up to 75 XK-engined cars with some significant history, including Le Mans-winning cars and period Goodwood race winners.

The XK was an inline six-cylinder engine first introduced as a 3.4-litre for the Jaguar XK120. Following that, it was also lowered into the XK140, Mk7, Mk1, Mk2 and S-Type in varying forms.

From there, the XK was adjusted to a number of displacements. A smaller 2.4-litre version was introduced for the Mk1 and then the Mk2 following that, while a larger 3.8-litre was brought in for the XK150 and later the first Jaguar E-types.


Among its headline achievements in motorsport were five victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours during the 1950s. Twice under the bonnet of the XK120 C in 1951 and ’53, and later with the D-Type in 1955, ’56 and ’57.

A racing 3.0-litre version was produced from 1959, initially for use in the Jaguar D-Type before being transferred into the E-type. This form of the XK engine was also made available for the likes of Lister and Tojeiro for their own sportscar programmes.

The 4.2-litre version officially introduced in 1964 was perhaps the most widely used, and saw extensive uptake in the US, as well as broad use for Jaguar’s luxury Daimler brand. It remained in production as the engine for the Daimler DS420 until the model was shelved in 1992.


If only to highlight the XK engine’s diverse appeal, a de-rated version was also developed for use in military vehicles. It was the original engine for the FV107 Scimitar, a British Army reconnaissance vehicle built by Alvis. Although no longer using the XK by the end of its life, the Scimitar was only retired from service in 2023.

Over the course of the weekend, the Jaguar XK engine will be widely represented during several of the scheduled races. In terms of sportscars, Jaguar E-types will be in action in both the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy and the RAC TT Celebration. C-Types will be racing in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, while the Sussex Trophy will see D-Types and Lister-Jaguars out on track. The Jaguar saloon cars will be represented, too, with Mk2s lining up on the grid for the St. Mary’s Trophy.

The 2024 Goodwood Revival will be held from 6th-8th September. Available tickets are limited, click here to find out more.

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