Monday 22nd July 2019,

Jaguar XK150 and XK150S 1957 – 1961

In 1957 Jaguar introduced the last XK sports car. Certainly the most beautiful sports car so far, it was let down a little by it`s initial performance. At launch it was available in DHC or FHC format. The roadster (OTS) was not released until the following year. All three had important body revisions.

Most notable was a one-piece, full width windscreen which made the cock-pit wider. The body-line on the doors was raised so the deep swoop of the XK140 doors was less pronounced. A wider bonnet improved access to the engine bay. The walnut dash and door-cappings were replaced with leather. Thinner doors also improved the interior space. The roadster (OTS) arrived in 1958 with the windscreen moved back four inches. Apart from lengthening the nose and shortening the cock-pit there did not seem to be a purpose to this.

The 3.4 XK engine from the XK140 was used, rated at 190 bhp in standard tune. Most cars were ordered with the `SE` option which had bigger exhaust valves and was rated at 210 bhp. The performance problem was addressed in 1958. The fact was that the XK150 was heavier and needed more power.

The 3.4S engine solved the problem with it`s triple 2 inch SU carburetors. This update gave the Jaguar XK150 250 bhp and, for the first time four-wheel disc brakes were an option. Not many clients ordered drum brakes after that date. In 1959 another very relevant update became available. Jaguar bored the 3.4 out to 3.8 litres and with the triple SU installation laid the foundation for the E type. The 3.8 was rated at 220 bhp in standard tune but the `S` spec gave it 265 bhp and a top speed of 140 mph. An optional limited-slip differential improved the cornering even further.

The XK150’s 0 to 60 mph time was around 7 seconds, very quick even by today`s standards, let alone 1959. Production ceased in October 1960, clearing the production lines for a new car. The XK150 was altogether very successful and as it developed through it`s short life many wondered how Bill Lyons could improve on it`s beauty and desirability. Lyons would make the earth move at the 1961 Motor Show.

Jaguar XK150 & XK150S 1957-1961
Body Type2 seater drophead/fixhead coupe, roadster
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo VolumeCan fit half-years supplies of Champagne
Engine3.4 Jaguar XK 12V DOHC Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3442 cc210 cui
Power142 Kw190 bhp5500 RPM
Torque285 Nm210 ft. lb2500 RPM
Power/weight129 bhp/t
Top Speed196 km/h122 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph9.8 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1473 kg3247 lb
Engine3.4 SE Jaguar XK 12V DOHC Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3442 cc210 cui
Power157 Kw210 bhp5800 RPM
Torque289 Nm213 ft. lb4000 RPM
Power/weight143 bhp/t
Top Speed200 km/h124 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph8.7 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1473 kg3247 lb
Engine3.4 S Jaguar XK 12V DOHC Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3442 cc210 cui
Power186 Kw250 bhp5500 RPM
Torque325 Nm240 ft. lb4500 RPM
Power/weight170 bhp/t
Top Speed212 km/h132 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph7.8 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1473 kg3247 lb
Engine3.8 Jaguar XK 12V DOHC Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3781 cc230.7 cui
Power164 Kw220 bhp5500 RPM
Torque325 Nm240 ft. lb3000 RPM
Power/weight149 bhp/t
Top Speed206 km/h128 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph8.1 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1473 kg3247 lb
Engine3.8 S Jaguar XK 12V DOHC Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3781 cc230.7 cui
Power198 Kw265 bhp5500 RPM
Torque353 Nm260 ft. lb4000 RPM
Power/weight180 bhp/t
Top Speed225 km/h140 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph7.6 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1473 kg3247 lb
GD Star Rating
Jaguar XK150 and XK150S 1957 - 1961, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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