January 26, 2018
Princess Diana at the wheel of her Jaguar XJS

A notable Jaguar XJ-S Cabriolet with royal connections will be one of a record number of stunning retro cars from the halcyon heydays of motoring appearing at next month’s London Classic Car Show at ExCeL London (15-18 February).

While many of the 700+ wonderful automotive icons on display will have their own incredible histories, few if any will have better stories to tell than this totally one-off 150mph Jaguar – a sportscar which was fashioned especially for Diana, Princess of Wales.

Dating back to 1983 this famous XJ-SC was not only one of the most photographed cars of its era but was also totally unique, built to the Princess’ own bespoke specification.

While the other 5,012 cabriolets created in Coventry between 1983 and 1988 were all hedonistic two-seater speedsters, this stately XJ-SC (reg E763KYX) was uniquely fitted with two small rear seats just so the young Princes William and Harry could ride along with their mother and her bodyguard. It is generally accepted that the Princess enjoyed driving her custom-made Jag so much that her protection officer was often relegated to the front passenger seat!

Additionally, the V12 powered regal cabriolet features an individually made, and permanently fixed, rear hard top to ensure that the two Princes could not strike their heads on the solid targa roof bar in the event of an accident.

Also, unlike any other XJS, the once royal roadster is fitted with personalised leather and Harris Tweed seat trims, chosen by Princess Diana. What’s more the exterior bodywork came with four round headlights similar to those seen on the US export and was finished in British Racing Green to match the Aston Martin that husband Prince Charles had acquired around the same time.

The Princess was regularly seen driving this majestic model from 1987 to 1991. Then, when the two Princes outgrew their small rear seats, she sold it to the Jaguar Heritage Trust, an educational charity established to preserve the legacy of Jaguar for the nation, in exchange for a contribution to one of her own charitable causes.

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January 24, 2018

The Jaguar I-PACE all-electric performance SUV has won the What Car? 2018 Reader Award, securing it the title of the most anticipated new car of 2018.

What Car? readers chose Jaguar’s first all-electric model from a shortlist of 12 cars due to go on sale this year, including new models from Tesla, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The award was presented in London last night.

I-PACE combines a supercar silhouette with sports car performance and five-seater versatility. Jaguar’s designers and engineers have used the new electric vehicle architecture to tear up the rule book on usability. I-PACE occupies less road space than conventional mid-size SUVs, yet offers more room for passengers and luggage than models in the segment above.

Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design, said: “The I-PACE is a radical departure for electric vehicles. It’s the product of authentic Jaguar design DNA matched with the most advanced electrification technology and British craftsmanship. Winning this award endorses our decision of dramatic, future-facing design and is a great testament of customer reactions to our first-ever battery-powered electric vehicle.”

Steve Huntingford, What Car? Editor, said: “Ever since the reveal of the Jaguar I-PACE Concept in late 2016 we’ve seen it garner a huge amount of interest from our readership. SUV sales show no signs of slowing down, and zero emissions vehicles are only set to get more and more popular, so the I-PACE is entering the market at exactly the right time. It certainly won’t be the only all-electric SUV going on sale in 2018, but as our Reader Award proves, it’s the one that most of our audience is excited about seeing.”

The I-PACE will be the newest member of Jaguar’s ‘PACE’ family of SUVs, joining the F-PACE and recently launched E-PACE. The F-PACE has won more than 70 major global awards, and became the fastest-selling Jaguar ever, selling more than 100,000 since it went on sale in April 2016. The Jaguar E-PACE compact performance SUV is also available to order now, priced from £28,500.

Pricing and specifications will be announced in March 2018, when order books will open for full configurations. Thousands of potential customers have already pressed the ‘I want one’ button on to place a deposit or register a strong interest.

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January 23, 2018

I want to share here two major Jaguar features coming up in our edition #191 because I am very proud of them – and think the subjects we concentrate on should be recognised more widely internationally.

The first is a six page profile about Alfred Momo, the pocket-sized Italian-born American lauded as an engineering genius, and who was a successful legendary engineer on a grand scale before teaming up with great Briggs Cunningham in New York.

He prepared and oversaw the management of Briggs’ team of over 100 race cars, and did that from tailor-made building in Queens.  It hasn’t been explained until now, but he was the co-owner, with Briggs, of Jaguar’s significant New York dealership on Manhattan!  He serviced all of the new Jaguars sold in the eastern side of the U.S. before their sale, and later the cars they sold themselves.

They were also distributors for a number of Italian marques – and while Briggs built his own Cunninghams, Alfred established and built luxury Momos!

These are just the teaser headlines too!

The other story I am delighted with is the ten page feature we are publishing on the Jaguar works and Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose D-Type XKD603.

We have put this one together with the co-operation of its doting owner Clive Beecham, and delve into its Le Mans history which includes one second placing and four Le Mans in a row!

It is one of the most raced Long Nose D-Types, almost certainly the most original – and one of only six genuine ones in existence – of the eleven built.

Neither of these stories have been told in full like this before and took an enormous amount of research.  Most of the period images we are publishing with them have never been seen before!

I promise that if you are new to Jaguar, or an established devotee, these stories will captivate you – and are ones newer luxury marques would love to be able to tell about themselves!

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January 22, 2018

In our coming edition we road test Jaguar’s first four cylinder sports car ever – the 2.0 litre turbo charged four cylinder Ingenium powered F-Type.

Now Jaguar Land Rover’s 250PS 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine has been recognised as one of the 10 Best Engines for 2018 by WardsAuto.

For 2018, a total of 32 new or significantly improved powertrains from a number of automotive manufacturers were tested by WardsAuto’s editors in real-life, on-road driving conditions. This year’s 10 Best Engines were selected based on a range of testing criteria including, but not limited to, maximum power output, fuel economy, noise characteristics and new technology.

The all-aluminium Ingenium 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivers performance, efficiency and refinement without compromise. Jaguar’s first compact SUV, the E-PACE, is the latest model to feature the 250PS Ingenium powertrain; accelerating from 0-60mph in as little as 6.6 seconds and delivering fuel economy of up to 36.7 mpg.

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January 22, 2018

The Jaguar XJ is getting a little long in the tooth. The current generation of Jaguar’s flagship sedan debuted back in 2009, making it one of the oldest vehicles still on the market. This week, Autocar reported that a new XJ could debut late this year and would move to an all-electric platform. That would place the XJ straight against cars like the Tesla Model S and upcoming Porsche Mission E, presumably sharing parts with the upcoming I-Pace electric crossover.

While a couple of refreshes have kept the Jaguar competitive, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 have gone through full redesigns since the XJ debuted. (Two for the Audi). Compared to the Germans, the Jaguar looks and feels dated, especially when it comes to technology, active safety and alternative powertrains. In the U.S., the XJ is only available with either a supercharged gasoline V6 or V8. The competition from Germany, Japan and the U.S. all offer some form of electrification.

Moving to an all-electric powertrain would be a huge shift for Jaguar and is sure to spark some debate among enthusiasts. The British automaker has previously stated it plans to electrify all new vehicles after 2020. Look for electrified variants of current models to be available, too.

The new XJ is rumoured to be co-developed with a new model called the Road Rover, a sort of high-riding sedan or wagon in the vein of the Audi allroad or Volvo V90 Cross Country. Like the XJ, the Road Rover would use a battery electric powertrain. Look for more news on both models later this year.


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January 18, 2018

We put the spotlight on Alfred Momo in our coming edition.  Sadly, today he is just a name and not much is known about the man or what the achieved, and not just for Jaguar.  In his time he was hailed an engineering genius.

We have put an enormous amount of time into researching the great Italian/American, and particularly his very long Jaguar association with Briggs Cunningham in New York.

Briggs and Alfred were racing four D-Types at one point, three of which were Long Nose models of which just 11 were built.

On one weekend all three of those Long Nose cars were rolled, taken back to the Queens base – and rebuilt by Momo’s craftsmen but with the now famous Momo fin and nose.  The bonnet nose had huge holes for better brake cooling, and the fin had a different profile.  Two of them ended up back at Jaguar Cars in Coventry.  The other is in the Collier Automotive Museum collection in Naples, Florida, which is now called The Revs Institute and is open to the public.

Just as a little highlight of what we have in the coming edition on Alfred, here is one of the rolled Long Nose D-Types outside the Momo Corporation building, and then both cars can be seen in the race department of that building being rebuilt, and with those changes obvious.  The soft roof was to meet U.S. race regulations but were not used.

It is a very important story historically, and I proud that we are publishing it for what I think is the very first time in a Jaguar perspective at least.

I also believe these images have been used by anyone but Jaguar Magazine.

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January 16, 2018

Our next edition has been the subject of a huge amount of research on exciting features including the world’s best D-Type.  Clive Beecham’s ex-works and ex-Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose machine which raced at Le Mans 1956, 1957 (finished 2nd), 1958 and 1959.  One of only six Long Nose survivors.  Following that win Ecurie Ecosse sold it to an enthusiast in Ohio as the 1957 winner – which was not true – it was second!!!  XKD603 is perfectly original and has all of the hand written books plus Ecurie Ecosse Monzanapolis panels.

Alfred Momo:  World Exclusive.  Finding the Italian-born engineering guru who was Briggs Cunningham’s partner in racing plus Jaguar’s distributorship and sales for the entire US north east – including New York City.
XJ-C – loved and restored – the only Coupe saloon Jaguar has ever built and a V12 to boot.  One of 603 built new.
The brand new and very first, four cylinder Jaguar sports car – The F-Type road tested.
XK150 Restoration.
S.S. Saloon at Windsor Castle Concours.
An as good as brand new XJ-S V12 Convertible – with 2000 miles on the clock.
Best Buys – the original XF saloon.
John Crawford PR Director and Vice President – how he played a major role in saving Jaguar in the US.
Jaguar’s latest at the Autosport show – Project 8, factory racing F-Type, I-Pace racer and 2018 Formula E Jaguar.

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January 15, 2018

In an exciting round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship series, Nelson Piquet Jr. secured fourth position for Panasonic Jaguar Racing in his third appearance for the British team at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan.

Starting the Marrakesh E-Prix with Nelson in seventh and team-mate Mitch Evans in ninth position, both drivers made good progress in the early stages of the race gaining valuable places, with Nelson working hard to move towards the front of the grid.

Mitch encountered early lap contact which bent his car’s steering. Coupled with some energy management challenges, the team chose to pit him a lap earlier than planned.  Shortly after his stop, a full course yellow flag slowed the grid, which dropped Mitch out of the position scoring positions.  He finished the E-Prix in 11th.

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January 15, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed plans to open a software engineering centre and create 150 jobs in Shannon, Republic of Ireland, in 2018.

Working alongside Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in the UK, the Shannon facility has an important role to play in realising the company’s vision for electric and automated driving vehicles. It will develop new technologies to support electrification and self-driving features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover has selected Shannon as it is globally recognised as a centre of excellence for current and future software engineering talent.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering, said: “Technical innovation lies at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover and our innovation is continuous. The new facility provides an exciting opportunity for us to pioneer future autonomous and electrification technologies.”

“The heart of our business will always be in the UK. The creation of a team in Shannon strengthens our international engineering capabilities and complements our existing team of more than 10,000 engineers based in the UK.”

Supported by the Irish Development Agency, the Shannon team will start by developing the next generation of electrical architecture as well as exploring advanced driver assistance systems features for future vehicles.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen said:

“This is a great boost for Shannon, Co. Clare and the Midwest Region. Jaguar Land Rover are iconic brands which have endured through innovation and staying ahead of their competitors. This new software engineering centre will bring 150 new high quality jobs to Shannon. The region has much to offer with qualified and talented people and I wish Jaguar Land Rover and its team well in its endeavours.”

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January 13, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm InMotion Ventures, has invested $4.1 million in US-based self-driving taxi service Voyage.

The backing will support Voyage in developing a global service, with the aim that anyone can summon an autonomous vehicle to their door and reach their destination safely. Voyage has already trialled its self-driving taxi service in a gated community in San Jose, California. The company is licensed to test self-driving cars on Californian roads in 2018 and is refining its technology and service with feedback from users.

In this funding round, InMotion Ventures invested alongside Khosla Ventures, SV Angel, Initialized Capital, Amino Capital and Charles River Ventures.

Oliver Cameron, Chief Executive, Voyage, said: “We are thrilled to have support from InMotion Ventures in this successful funding round. The investment will help our business grow in technical and operational expertise, as we expand into new communities globally. This is an exciting year for us with further passenger trials planned.”

Sebastian Peck, Managing Director, InMotion Ventures, said: “We are excited to be working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage. We believe they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality.”

The first InMotion investment of 2018, Voyage is the 12th company to join its mobility and transport venture portfolio.

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