JAMES SADLIER

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driven -

MAN­AG­ING EDI­TOR

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.

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