“And then the road was suddenly lit up as though by a searchlight, whose powerful beam swallowed up her own headlights like a candle in the sunlight. Dian set her teeth. Who the hell had a car like that? The driving mirror showed only the glare of the enormous twin lights… A great dark shape loomed up beside her? He was running ahead now, lightly as a panther, his red tail-lamp tantalisingly only a few yards away.”
That quote, taken from a classic mystery novel by Dorothy Sawyers, describes the car driven by the detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. That novel was set in the1930s and featured a Daimler. If it was brought up to date, then Lord Peter could well be behind the wheel of a car like the Jaguar XJ8, another masterpiece coming from the Daimler/Jaguar engineers – although these days Jaguar has been bought over by Ford.
Now, the fictional Lord Peter drove a car that was quiet, powerful, comfortable and a joy to drive. In the scene quoted above, he had outdriven and out-manoeuvred a Bentley and a Chrysler, other classic marques. So would the Jaguar XJ8 of today be good enough for Lord Peter?
Well, the Jaguar XJ8 is certainly powerful enough. The 32 valve, quad-cam, 4.2 litre V8 motor has more than enough power on offer, its 224 kW easily outdoing many other cars on the road and the 420 Nm of torque at 4100 rpm giving the Jaguar XJ8 all the acceleration it needs. And what a rate of acceleration! The Jaguar XJ8 can fly to 100 km from a standstill in 6.6 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/hr, something that would have been way beyond the dreams of any driver back in the 1930s. And, for those who like power in smaller packages, there is the nice Jaguar XJ8 3.5 V8. Only slightly less powerful, the 3.5 V8 can still manage the 0-100 km/h sprint in a swift 8.1 seconds. What you loose in a few tenths of a second is a gain in fuel economy. Take your pick as both engines perfom sweetly.
The handling of the Jaguar XJ8 also just keeps on getting better and better. The latest versions come fully equipped with Jaguar’s Dynamic Stability Control system that interacts with the brakes, steering and power to prevent both understeer and oversteer. And the brakes themselves come with brake assist, ASB and traction control. So the Jaguar XJ8 would be more than capable of handling S-bends, the narrow bridge and the rolling countryside described in the road-race scene the quote was taken from.
In the book, the other drivers both came to grief; Lord Peter’s car didn’t. But the modern Jaguar XJ8 not only has the brakes and handling to keep you out of trouble, it also has plenty of passive safety features to cushion and cocoon driver and passenger if the worst does happen. Side, front and curtain airbags with the sophisticated ARTS system to detect crash severity and front seat occupancy, magnesium cross-car beams that provide a shield around the occupants, crumple zones, and seats designed to prevent whiplash – they’re all there in the Jaguar XJ8.
But the Jaguar XJ8 cushions the occupants at all times. The seats inside the Jaguar XJ8 match the descriptions of Lord Peter’s lounge, being upholstered in hand-crafted leather and being “of the build that invites one to wallow” with plenty of leg and shoulder room and the leather beautifully complemented by woodgrain and chrome finishes. The dual-zone automatic climate control system will keep you at just the right temperature, so you won’t feel that the inside of the Jaguar XJ8 is “stuffy” (which was Lord Peter’s perpetual complaint about closed-top cars) or chilly (his wife’s complaint about his car). And there’s plenty of modern touches around and about the Jaguar XJ8, from the Bluetooth connectivity to the parking assistance sensors.
And the exterior of the Jaguar XJ8 leaves nothing more to be desired. It’s an absolute work of art. The famous headlights seen on the old 1930s car are still there: round twin headlights that flow beautifully from the scalloped lines of the long bonnet, and with bi-xenon bulbs, they’re more than capable of producing the same effect as Lord Peter’s car in the quote above, but even more so. From all angles and in all colours, including classic black and British racing green, the Jaguar XJ8 looks magnificent. See one parked and you’ll want to run your hands over it, the sleek clean lines look so good (if you want to do more than that to a Jaguar XJ8 that isn’t yours then be warned: the Jaguar XJ8 has an advanced security system).
The Jaguar XJ8 is an absolute classic car that combines the best of the long-running Daimler/Jaguar tradition with modern Ford technology. Driving one promises to be a pleasure – no mystery about that.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Jaguar XJ8, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Jaguar dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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