Replacing an icon is always a tough call. No one’s really happy the icon in question was retired, and they’re going to find fault with the replacement, even if it’s awesome. God help it if it has even some minor flaws! That’s exactly what happened with the Jaguar E-Type. By 1975, it was getting old, and was only a shadow of its former self, a pale shade of past glory. The 1975 Jaguar XJ-S Mark 1 was drafted and designed to replace it, and despite not being an E-Type – obviously – it was a heck of a car, described by many as the best GT of its generation. Designed to please the American market, with its long hood and short tail, the Jaguar XJ-S delivered all the performance you could expect, in a package you could respect.
Power was certainly not lacking in the Jaguar XJ-S. Powered by Jaguar’s own 5.3-liter V12, it cold reach a top speed of 150 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 6.9 seconds. A manual transmission was initially offered, but didn’t prove very popular. It was taken out and a a three-speed automatic came standard with the car.
Prone to rust, relatively unreliable and plagued by uneven build and assembly quality, the first of the Jaguar XJ-S Mk 1 are today quite valuable and fully appreciated collector’s cars. Those that still run, that is!