Glorifying the Here and Now: The Great-Looking Modern Jags
“You glorify the past when the future dries up” sang U2 front man Bono way back in 1988. He could have been referring to the plight of motor companies today. Sadly there is a tradition with auto enthusiasts and car manufacturers who constantly look to the heydays of motor companies for inspiration, in a desperate attempt to reapply the formulas that worked.
This creates a flood of ‘new models’ which are really variations of classic models; this keeps the new models in the boring safe zone – and that has nothing to do with road safety. Some car makers have managed to escape this mindset. Jaguar is one, with plenty of innovations that aren’t afraid of deviating from the successful models of the past. And best of all, they make it a damn sight affordable.
Many purists among auto enthusiasts complain about moving away from tradition, which is a narrow view to take in my opinion. While the new models have retained some of the distinctive classic elements of the gorgeous E-type such as the feline front bonnet and mesh grille with the leaping jaguar icon, they are attractive in their own unique ways. Here’s a look at some of the current attractive…er, deviants.
Nostalgic: The XJ8
I’ll begin with indulging in a slight nostalgia – we really can’t talk about Jaguars without calling up the E-type. It was not going to be easy to replace the stunning E-type in the 70s, but then the XJS was released and this was then upgraded with the XK8. While I admit that this model still adheres to tradition and retains its low, classic crouching feline look, it is one of the very good looking convertibles out there that merges classic style and modern technology. It’s USP for us shallow car-lovers: it still retains the famous 1930s headlights that flow from the long scalloped bonnet.
Light and Curvy: The XKR
A modern version of the XK series that we car enthusiasts absolutely love looking at is the XKR, even if we don’t really see the resemblance to Kate Winslet’s curves. It’s far more attractive than its German sedan counterparts, and it has a stunning profile. To top it all, it can cross 100 mph in just 13 seconds, has superb handling and a fabulous chassis that is one of the easiest cars in the world to drive on and off the racetrack.
Battle-Worthy Hero: The Shark-Gilled F-Type
While purists have been disappointed in not seeing any evidence of the 1960 E-type gene in the new F-type roadster, many of us find the F-type handsome in its own right. It has a distinctive and memorable face, for one. Note the mesh grille and a thick bisecting bar on the front. Also note the air intakes positioned on either side of the grill like formidable shark gills or gashes on a battle-worthy hero. This is a marked deviation from the E-type, which had a softer design. That is not a bad thing. The slight ruggedness of the F-type certainly adds attitude and meanness to the roadster.
With several innovative models including a compact sedan and a crossover scheduled for possible production in the next few years, I’m eagerly awaiting more eye candy from the Jaguar team.
Mandy Forsythe is a writer and car enthusiast. She writes books for a living and enjoys driving around the city on weekends in her new Jaguar.