I was one of those people very disappointed by the Jaguar XJS, the car that replaced the E-Type Jag when it came out in the mid-Seventies. To me, it wasn’t a sports car at all, but more of a boulevard cruiser. Since then, there have been sporting Jaguars, for sure, but no real sports car. The E-Type is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cars of all time, so making something as gorgeous again is an incredibly difficult task. But 50 years on from the creation of the E-Type, Jaguar has come closer than ever to matching its beauty.
Its latest model, though, the C-X16, which is being shown in Frankfurt at the moment, has all the styling clues of a Jaguar sports car and especially the E-Type. I love the rear end; the twin exhausts look great, as do the rear lights. The whole car works and looks like a modern interpretation of the E-Type. I don’t have a lot of interest in the convertible though, to be honest. For me, coupés are always where it’s at.
Crucially, I think it shows that the age of Jaguar in desperation is over. It’s now an extremely successful company, it’s making a profit and it’s making a car that it is enjoying building. Let me qualify that; if the new XJ had not been the tremendous success that it is, the C-X16 wouldn’t even have made it to the drawing board. Jaguar built the car it needed to build and now the company is planning to build the fun car it wanted to build. It’s a measure of the confidence Jaguar has when it goes into such a highly competitive market.