BIRMINGHAM, England - Jaguar Cars Ltd.'s romance with aluminum continues.
The redesigned XK coupe and convertible has an aluminum body, joining the flagship XJ sedan.
By using aluminum for the XK, Jaguar has replaced 5,200 spot welds with 2,761 rivets and 260 feet of epoxy adhesives to hold panels together.
At a briefing for journalists here, Jaguar said the XK is both lighter and stiffer than the Mercedes-Benz SL and BMW 6 series.
The coupe and convertible share 95 percent of their body structure parts. The new version, while barely longer than its 9-year-old predecessor, stretched the wheelbase by more than 6 inches.
Aluminum's light weight aids the XK's straight-line performance, reaching 60 mph in less than six seconds.
The convertible features a receptacle that places the retracted soft-top flush with the body. An aluminum tonneau cover makes its appearance even sleeker.
Jaguar engineered the top and hood - an 18-month job - with Edscha AG.
In the event of a rollover, two hoops are deployed behind the rear seats to protect the convertible's occupants.
The XK shares much of its powertrain with the XJ. The XK's six-speed automatic transmission, built by ZF Friedrichshafen AG, is sportier than the version in the XJ, with gear shifts occurring in 600 milliseconds.
But the transmission's sport mode is not intended for full-time use.
The exhaust system is quiet during normal driving, but the car emits a growl when the driver floors the accelerator pedal.
The XK's interior features touch-screen controls for audio, climate, phone and navigation settings.
The controls work in 13 languages, although Jaguar executives say they minimized complexity because backlash against BMW's iDrive system.
Alpine Electronics Inc. provides all levels of audio equipment.
The XK has a keyless entry and ignition.
The XK and XJ are assembled on separate lines at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham, England.
XK production begins on Nov. 1.
Cars are scheduled to ship from the plant in January.