Back in 1954, Ken Wharton and Peter Whitehead piloted a Jaguar D-Type at a 105mph average for over 1,200 miles. In doing so, the mighty D claimed its first 12 Hours of Reims victory.
A heroic day in the Jaguar history books, then, and one that’s been marked by a striking special edition. Of the XE saloon.
Yep, Jag’s most prosaic saloon car – one you could uncouthly call a ‘repmobile’ – is the one tasked with marking 65 years since that momentous victory. Not an F-Type, nor even an in vogue SUV or electric car.
The XE is a good ‘un, mind. Possibly the best driving car in its class, and it’s unfairly overlooked with the swathes of people unable to resist a 3 Series or A4. More fool them. Perhaps the striking French Racing Blue paint, previously only seen on the XKR-S and XFR-S performance cars, will help the wee Jag elicit a blip on their radar.
Just 200 XE Reims Editions will be produced, mind, though it’s described as the first of numerous ‘Jaguar Factory Specials’ that’ll graft fancy features upon regular production Jags.
This XE Reims uses a fairly tame 248bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, after all, but sprinkle that paint, some 19in wheels and much black detailing upon it, for a couple of grand extra, prices starting at £38,295 (approx. RM210,223). We can’t deny it’s a good-looking thing. Worthy of such a notable celebration, though?