Jaguar convertibles: then, now and forever
Even though you’ll see sports saloons wearing the famous leaping cat badge nowadays, Jaguar has always been known for producing quick open-top sports cars. The earliest cars like the SS 90 from 1935 were convertibles, but the firm’s most iconic models like the XK 120 from 1949 and of course the E-Type from 1961 are the ones that most people think of when they picture Jaguar convertibles.
If you’re looking to buy a new open-top Jag, you’ve got two choices: the XK and the F-Type. The XK has all the comfort you would expect from a grand tourer with the performance you would want from a sports car. With a 2+2 configuration, there’s even space in the back for the kids. There are three models available: XK Signature, XK Dynamic R and XKR-S. Each is made from Jaguar’s all-aluminium body construction and powered by the firm’s 5.0 litre V-8. The base model goes from 0 to 60mph in 5.2 seconds, while the range topping XKR-S Coupe gets there 1 second quicker.
As the spiritual successor to the Jaguar E-Type, this machine has been designed for pure driving pleasure. Whether you’re cruising down the motorway or taking the twists and turns of a mountain road, the F-Type is equally at home. The prices are very similar to those of the XR but you get two fewer seats, so this is a car that’s designed for a more carefree lifestyle. Under the bonnet, you’ll either find a 3.0 litre V-6 that delivers 335bhp or a supercharged 5.0 litre V-8 with a peak output of 542bhp.
If you’ve got the know-how, there are plenty of classic Jaguar convertibles that offer unbelievable driving experiences. The XK8 and XKR models that were produced between 1996 and 2006 remain incredibly quick, and they’re reliable if you buy one that has full service history from a main dealer or a recognised Jaguar specialist.