Launched in the spring of 1957, the XK150 initially came in fixed and drophead coupé variants, with the open roadster version making its debut the following year. The engine boasted a maximum power output of 190bhp, mirroring that of its predecessor, the XK140, resulting in minimal changes to performance.
However, the ‘Special Equipment’ and ‘S’ editions pushed boundaries with 210 and 250bhp respectively. The latter achieved an impressive 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 136mph, thanks to innovations like the Weslake-developed ‘straight-port’ cylinder head, high-compression pistons, triple 2″ SU carburettors, and twin electric fuel pumps.
Transmission options included overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox, the latter gaining popularity. The XK150S also offered a Thornton Powr-Lok limited-slip differential. While steel wheels were standard, XK150s with this feature were rare, as most were sold with centre-lock wire wheels in SE (Special Equipment) specification. For the first time, the iconic chromed Jaguar mascot became an optional extra for the XK series.