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Jaguar to celebrate 50 years of the E-type at Salon de Genève


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February 18, 2011/14.06


Jaguar will commemorate 50 years of its E-type sports car at the 2011 Salon de Genève, the company has announced.
   The E-type stunned audiences when it was first shown at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Genève on March 15, 1961. It was targeted at export markets, though sales on the home market began several months later.
   There was nothing to touch the E-type at the price: it featured a double overhead cam straight-six, fully independent rear suspension and four wheel disc brakes, all for a bargain £2,256 15s. Motor tested an early model to find it could hit the 150 mph mark in a Continental road test—making it the world’s fastest production car at the time. And it seduced buyers with its looks, penned by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer.
   The E-type effectively defined the style of Jaguar sports cars since, and is considered an icon of the 1960s.
   In the 1970s, with power output hurt by US emissions’ laws, Jaguar installed its V12 into the final E-types. It was the model’s last hurrah: it was replaced by the XJ-S grand tourer in 1975, which had looks that were not well regarded at the time of its launch. By that time, 70,000 E-types had been made.
   Jaguar, keen to recapture the glory days of the E-type, took the XJ-S platform and created the XK8 in the 1990s—a car apeing some of the styling of the earlier model. The current XK8 is a departure, though it retains the long-bonnet proportion of the E-type.
   Other celebrations will take place at the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance, the Nürburgring Old Timer Grand Prix and numerous Jaguar events globally.


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