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.

4/5

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Paris motor show 2008

 

By Mark Walton

Contributing editor, humorist, incurable enthusiast

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