Jaguar at the Paris motor show 2008

Published: 03 October 2008

Rather than celebrating the new, Jaguar celebrated the very old in Paris this year – but it was still one of the most stylish cars on display. That’s because 2008 marks 60 years since the launch of the brand-defining Jaguar XK120, which was first shown at Earl’s Court, in October 1948.

So did Jaguar produce a BMW-style retro-concept?

Thankfully no. Jaguar has a simply glazed ‘box’ at the back of its stand, with glossy black walls, and inside stands a beautiful, equally glossy black XK120. This is such an important car for Jaguar – its 132mph top speed made Jaguar an incredibly aspiration and exotic ‘supercar’ manufacturer in its day, and the 3.4-litre, 6-cylinder XK engine (after which the car was named) went on to power everything from the Le Mans winners to the E-Type. But the car is just allowed to speak for itself in Paris – no ‘happy birthday’ signs, no special ’60 years’ logo – it just looks incredibly chic, elegant, understated, and cool.

Anything else going on?

Not much – there’s a revolving platform in the centre of the stand with a new (also black) XKR-S, one of the limited edition cars launched earlier this year. All 200 of those are already sold, so it’s there to make the 60-year XK link; plus a couple of XFs and an XK Convertible of course.

Car’s Verdict

Don’t be misled by the lack of new models or concepts at Paris – Jaguar appears to feel comfortable in its own skin right now; sales appear to be holding up, despite the financial turmoil, and everyone seems very confident about the future. The stylish Paris show stand reflected that.


Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports

Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars

Paris motor show 2008


By Mark Walton

Contributing editor, humorist, incurable enthusiast