• The history of Jaguar; C-Type & Mark 2
  • Jeremy reviews the new Jaguar XJR
  • Insider Dealing with James May
  • Jeremy tests the Jaguar XKRR against the Aston Martin DB7 GT
  • Boris Johnson is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

In a decidedly “Jag” themed episode, Jeremy opens the show with the Jaguar R Coupe concept car. The R Coupe is a car that’s meant to show the world where Jaguar is going, but to start off we join James to see where they came from. The Stig and James are out and about on the track in a Jaguar C-Type racing car. The C-Type was the first car ever to lap the Le Mans circuit with an average speed of over 100mph. Richard then introduces us to the Jaguar Mark 2, a car that was glamorous enough for David Bailey yet gentile enough for Inspector Morse.. and still fast enough for London’s villains. One thing that helped the Mark 2 create such a big impact were disc brakes – the same brakes that helped them to victory at Le Mans. They stopped the car so quickly that Jaguar had to fit a warning badge on the rear bumper. In 1959 the Jaguar was in a league of its own – against the Mercedes 220 or the BMW 2000 it was a walk over. The 3.8L could hit 60mph in 8.5 seconds – faster than most supercars of the day and even some modern S-Type Jaguars from today. The Mark 2 remained in production until 1968 – by which time Jaguar had been taken over by British Leyland.

Back in the studio for the news, Jeremy talks about next year’s Vauxhall Astra. Richard shows us a £3643 optional stripe you can get on a Ferrari 360 CS. Richard discusses a reliability study which has just been released – for reliability it rates Mazda first, second is Ford, but in third place… Fiat. The boys cast doubt on how trustable the results of the survey are. James shows us the brochure for a Car Park opening he was invited to. Curiously enough they don’t seem to provide parking for people attending. Richard continues his search for rubbish cars, and shows a few photos that people have sent in.

Boris Johnson is introduced as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Boris laps the test track in the dry and returns a 1.56 second time.

Richard moves onto the new Jaguar XJ. While it may look identical to the old model, it’s actually bigger – adding legroom for back passengers and extra space in the boot. Despite being larger, it’s actually 200kg lighter than the old model, due to the body panels being made of aluminium. Jeremy takes the XJR out on a motorway run to see if it has retained its Jaguar’ness. Because Jaguars are supposed to ease the stress of its occupants, Jeremy thought he would take the XJR for a drive and see how far he could go before becoming bored, tired and irritable. Despite irritations typically associated with a peak hour on a motorway, Jeremy remains calm and collected. After breaking free of Birmingham, Jeremy gets caught up with the supercharged’ness of the XJR before pulling off at Stafford services to fill up with petrol. Jeremy continues through Cheshire and through the Lake District while eating an assortment of chocolate bars – he’d been on the road for over 6 hours now and was still feeling fine. Jeremy hits the A-roads near Glasgow and finds out the Jag is fantastic on a curvy road. By nightfall the XJR had taken Jeremy all the way to John O’ Groats – he’d run out of British Isles… he turns around and drives back. Back in the studio, Jeremy’s verdict on the XJR is that it’s fantastic and good value for money. On the Cool Wall – the Jaguar XJR is placed in ‘Cool’, bordering on ‘Sub Zero’.

James May presents Insider Dealing, with some relevant deals on the Jaguar XJR and other new cars.

Jeremy moves on with the Jaguar XKRR, a lowered version of the XK with racing seats and seatbelts, racing tyres and uprated exhausts. While it may only be a concept car, it actually works. Jeremy takes it to the test track to see what’s what. The XKRR has a manual gearbox and a limited slip differential, allowing the car to easily power slide, where the old XK would simply spin. While Jeremy loves the car, he explains Jaguar can’t put it into production – due to Jaguar’s sister company, Aston Martin. The XKRR would steal the limelight from the new Aston DB7 GT. Jeremy swaps cars and sees how it stacks up. The DB7 GT has a rather cramped interior, due to it actually being based on an old Jaguar XJS – a 13 year old car. The DB7 will set you back £104,000. Despite the aging chassis and old body shape, Jeremy says the DB7 is “amazing”, going on to say all the little changes Aston made to the suspension has actually added up to make a big difference. The 6.0L V12 is also more powerful than the older model – Jeremy demonstrates this by stopping the car, then setting off in 4th gear from stand still without a judder. The DB7 can do 0 – 135mph in a single gear. Jeremy sums it all up, “For the last few years the DB7 has been an aging rocker, still trying to cut it in a Cold Play MP3 world of Porsche 911’s and Foo Fighter Ferrari’s. But now, thanks to a cocktail of botox and viagra it’s up there with the best of them.”

Back in the studio, we watch the Stig do a lap of the track in the DB7 – it manages a 1.30.4 second lap.

Star in a reasonably priced car

  • Boris Johnson – 1:56:00
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