How is the driving experience in a Jaguar E-Type Series III?

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Jaguar E-Type (XKE) Series III
ID 42753411 © Robert Wisdom | Dreamstime.com

Hopping into a Jaguar E-Type Series III is like stepping into a bygone era, yet, somehow, this classic vehicle continues to provide a driving experience that easily compares to today’s luxury cars. This iconic automobile remains the embodiment of Jaguar’s old tagline: Grace, Space, Pace – asserting itself as a balance of elegance, power, and comfort. The Series III, with its unforgettable character and upgraded features, offers a unique driving experience.

Starting with the car’s exterior, the Jaguar E-Type Series III displays a timeless elegance and a Stuart Spencer-designed silhouette that retains the classic Jaguar lines but becomes more muscular and aggressive. Its elongated, sultry form draws the eyes from the elongated bonnet to the curvaceous rear. Every detail from the chrome-trimmed headlights to the riveting spoke alloy wheels exudes sophistication.

But the driving experience is more than just aesthetics. Under the bonnet lies a beastly 5.3L V12 engine, marking a significant departure from previous E-Types. With its eardrum-filling roar and striking 0-60 MPH times, the Series III gives you a sense of power not fully experienced in its predecessors. It’s quicker, faster, and with noticeably faster acceleration, negotiating highways and open roads with commanding presence.

The smoothness of this vehicle’s ride is another characteristic that sets the E-Type Series III apart. The addition of a wider track, longer wheelbase, and improved suspension make the handling a lot better than previous models. It confidently hugs corners, providing unshaken stability, and a distinctive sporting feel. Yet, despite this sporty character, the Jaguar E-Type Series III manages to deliver an impressively comfortable ride, absorbing road shocks even on uneven terrain.

Inside, the cabin is a perfect allusion to British luxury, with a tastefully done upholstery, and refined materials. The cabin, ample and accommodating, provides a very comfortable seating position, allowing long drives without fatigue. It is equipped with a delightful wooden steering wheel and an easy-to-understand dashboard layout. The analog gauges are a nod to the car’s vintage charm, but with a modern slant, providing key vehicle information clearly and boldly.

It is also interesting to note that, during its golden era, the E-Type Series III was one of the first production cars that incorporated power steering, significantly refining the driving experience. The manual gearshift, though it might appear antiquated for some, is smooth, tactile, and allows conscientious drivers to gleefully exploit the V12’s power range.

Is the Jaguar E-Type Series III flawless? Certainly not. Some might find the steering to be a bit heavy despite the power assistance. And some creature comforts and technologies in modern-day Jaguars are understandably missing. However, in the grand scheme of things, these are minor quibbles against the overall charm and pleasure this classic car provides.

In conclusion, driving a Jaguar E-Type Series III is like going on a tastefully curated vintage ride that showcases classic British finesse. With a powerful V12 engine, a comfortable yet sporty driving experience, and an elegantly designed interior, it perfectly encapsulates the term ‘grand tourer’. Whether you’re chasing the horizon on an open road or turning heads in the city, the E-Type Series III is more than just another sports car, it is a romantic and nostalgic journey back into the rich, captivating annals of automotive history.

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