Climbing into the E-Type was always going to be like turning back the clock. This glorious old Jag has never been restored and the interior is a bit scruffy in places. There's a wonderful patina about it-you can tell that every one of its 41,400 miles has been enjoyed. It's great to see the thing being used, instead of spending its days as some museum piece.

The first E-Type cabins had rows of toggle switches, which just added to that swinging '60s vibe, but here they're chunky rockers with none of the tactility or sense of occasion of their forebears. The fine Smiths instruments try to make up for it though, with a really evocative look, despite the fact that the dash is a bit of an ergonomic mess.

The hood stretches ahead for what seems like a mile and those louvers-essential for keeping the enormous V12 cool-quicken the pulse ever so slightly. No red button to push, so a twist of the key gets the starter motor churning for a second before the 5.3-liter engine catches with a spine-tingling cacophony. No character-smothering engine management systems or fuel injection, just two banks of cylinders fed by four Zenith Stromberg carburetors. Give it some revs and the sound is hedonistic. You can almost hear it slurping fuel like some alcoholic let loose in a distillery. The Series III is a whole world away from the earlier cars, which were unforgiving, noisy, harsh, but fun. This one has only a four-speed manual 'box but the ratios are widely spaced and there's so much torque from the V12 that it doesn't really need another cog. It wallows in the corners, which the others did not. Piling on the speed over some twisting back roads could induce queasiness at any moment, it's so softly sprung.

It feels powerful, though, and would make a brilliant companion when cruising around the south of France or beachfront Santa Barbara. But here it's not working. It's a car that lost its sense of direction and purpose. In hindsight, Jaguar did the right thing in killing it off. The XKR is a thoroughly resolved, modern GT sports car. No car will ever have the same impact on the world as the first E-Type, but that was more than 45 years ago. Nothing shocks us anymore.

2007 Jaguar XKR
* Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
* Engine
4.2-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve, supercharged and intercooled
* Transmission
Six-speed sequential automatic with paddle shift
* Suspension
Independent double wishbone (f), independent multi-link with half-shafts acting as upper suspension links (r), CATS electronically-controlled active damping control
* Brakes
Ventilated and drilled steel rotors, 12.8-inch front and rear, ABS, EBD, electronic park brake
* Wheels and Tires
Forged alloys, 8.5x20 (f), 9.5x20 (r), 255/35 (f), 285/30 (r)
* Dimensions
Length x Width x Height (in.):188.6 x 74.5 x 52Wheelbase: 108.3 in.Curb weight: 3671 lb
* Performance
Peak Power: 420 bhp @ 6250 rpm
Peak Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
0-60 mph: 4.9 sec.
Top speed: 155 mph (limited)

1975 Jaguar E-Type
* Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
* Engine
5.3-liter V12, sohc, 24-valve
* Transmission
Four-speed manual
* Suspension
Independent with anti-dive geometry, upper and lower wishbones with torsion bars and anti-roll bar (f), independent with double coilover shocks, single wishbones, swinging driveshafts and radius arms, anti-roll bar (r)
* Brakes
Ventilated 11.2-inch steel rotors with servo assist (f), solid 10.4-inch inboard rotors (r)
* Wheels and Tires
Pressed steel rims with chrome hubcaps, 6x15E70 VR15 Dunlop SP Sport
* Dimensions
Length x Width x Height (in.):
184 x 64.5 x 49
Wheelbase: 105 in.
Curb weight: 3196 lb
* Performance
Peak Power: 272 bhp @ 5850 rpm
Peak Torque: 304 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
0-60 mph: 6.4 sec.
Top Speed: 150 mph

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