When Jaguar Wasn't Boring: The XK Engine

Originally published at: When Jaguar Wasn’t Boring: The XK Engine – Jag-lovers

Rarely have we seen a single quote so harshly sum up the current state of Jaguar:

Today, Jaguar […] builds some luxurious, yet mostly boring vehicles. However, back in its independent days, the brand was responsible for some of the most exciting roadworthy and racing machines of the era, many of which were powered by the glorious XK straight-six.

– Vlad Radu, writing in Auto Evolution

Strong words, and very bad news for Jaguar. If there’s one thing the Jaguar brand can’t survive, considering its storied past and the lure of the leaping cat, it’s being considered boring by the automotive press, and by customers.

Speaking of the past, Vlad goes on to describe the development and history of the XK engine, as well as the success it enjoyed, spanning a decades-long production run.

The full article is available here.


Totally agree, and it pains me to say that. It seems like every decision they’ve made over the past ten years makes the brand less exciting. I think they’ve allowed themselves to be too influenced by what everyone else is doing, and in turn, lost what made Jaguar special and desirable.

You’re right gunnar… The guy is spot on.

I think the same is true for all car makers these days. I am bored by all new cars. My Ford S-max is the family car and it does a good job as a family car. But there are no emotions involved.
If money was no object I’d have a 1920s Bentley, because it contains so many brilliantly engineered components. You can tell how much pride was involved. That is what I also love about my X300. The solid yet sometimes quirky engineering. Parts of the design date back to the 1950s and have survived into the 1990s.
It is probably because I am an engineer myself and also try and come up with unconventional, clever solutions. All too often you are stopped in your tracks by bean counters, marketing considerations or the frames. That instantly kills the pride you have for your work and leads to boring solutions. And I think that is why new cars are boring to me. The same thing has happened to the engineers designing them.


I guess it’s easier to follow the crowd than it is to lead it.

I was just on the phone talking to a friend about new cars. I told him I honestly can’t think of a single new car I’d be willing to pay for out of my own funds, with the exception maybe of a new Miata. I find it hard to get excited about look-a-like two pedal, white, black or grey/silver crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks, regardless of how they are propelled down the road, or how much electronic gizmos they have on them.

I’ll chalk it up to my years of dealing with “interesting cars:” For my money, I want my daily driver to be as boring as a refrigerator.

That said, my new Ford pickup could be called boring, but I’ve already had some pretty serious fun with it in some twisty bits!