Unlike so many modern cars, this Jaguar gives you a feel for the road as well as a smooth and easy ride. Its ride height is quite lofty compared with many performance cars, but actually that suits a tall gentleman like me.
Accelerating to 60mph is done with little fuss, and the daintiest of touches to the pedal has you quickly at the motorway speed limit. We couldn’t even do that at Jabbeke, as there is a 90kph (55mph) limit in force. On those long stretches of straight Belgian road there was little need for the XK8’s Sport mode, which is activated by a modest button near the handbrake. But back in Blighty I admit we did seek out some rural lanes for a spot of spirited driving. Even then it didn’t feel like I was pushing the car to its limits. It’s sturdy, comfortable and has minimal roll. You feel so relaxed because the car is doing most of the hard work.
This is my kind of classic. It’s no XK120, but it is a worthy successor to the XJS. It’s difficult to believe it is now 20 years old – it’s a timeless classic.