Some have been the world’s fastest. Some have been world firsts. Some are drop-dead gorgeous and at least one is arguably the most famous and iconic car ever built. We are of course talking about Jaguar cars. Listing the best is almost impossible, so here are some of the most famous Jags ever.
The Most Famous Jaguar Car Models
The majority need no introduction, but there are some on this list of famous Jaguar cars that you may not be immediately familiar with. You soon will be though!
1951 – 1953 | 53 built
The C-Type is racing royalty. A Le Mans winner on its very first competitive outing in 1951 (and again in 1953), it was a thoroughbred racer born for the track. Stirling Moss won the 1952 Reims Grand Prix in a C-Type, and its revolutionary technology paved the way for the future of road and race cars. The C stood for ‘Competition’ but the irony was, at its peak, there was none.
1957 | 16 built
On any Jaguar cars list, the XKSS rarely features, perhaps because it’s a car with an almost mythical status. Designed as a road-going version of the successful D-Type racing car, Jaguar announced a very limited run of 25 cars. It is often referred to as the world’s first supercar. Just sixteen were produced before a fire tore through the Coventry factory, destroying the remaining nine mid-build. In 2016, Jaguar announced they would hand-build the remaining nine using the original drawings. They were offered to a select group of enthusiasts and collectors who snapped them up for a price, according to Jaguar, ‘in excess of £1 million each’.
1957 – 1961 | Approx. 9,380 built
Following the stunning XK140 was always going to be a tough ask. However, the XK150 – one of the most famous Jaguar models – was arguably more beautiful, more refined and in many ways the perfect GT cruiser. The 150 waved the 1950s off in opulent, walnut-veneered, leather-clad style.
Jaguar Mark 2
1959 – 1966 | Approx. 83,900 built
The ‘Inspector Morse’ Mark 2 has gone down in history as inventing the class of powerful, luxuriously appointed executive saloon cars. Appealing to both sides of the law, it was famously used as a getaway car in the Great Train Robbery. With an interior crammed with wood and leather, and its caddish good looks from every angle, it remains as desirable today as it was in the 1960s.
1961 – 1974 | Approx. 72,500 built
Of all the most beautiful Jaguar models, list the top ten and the E-Type will be at the top. It was like nothing else on the road, and still isn’t. Enzo Ferrari said it was the most beautiful car ever made. When Frank Sinatra first saw one he said ‘I want that car and I want it now.’ On every list of the world’s most iconic cars, the E-Type is in the top three.
1963 – 1968 | Approx. 25,000 built
This is somewhat of a confusing beast. The S-Type was designed to replace the Mark 2 (which was still available for three more years) and borrowed bits and pieces from the Mark X. Yet in their own inimitable way, Jaguar managed to cobble together a very successful car. Its independent rear suspension meant it handled as beautifully as it drove, and was the car of choice for the discerning mid-sixties getaway driver and aspirational middle manager.
1975 – 1978 | Approx. 9,400 built
Not an obvious choice for a list of famous aguar cars but a shoe-in for a list of the most stylish. A two-door coupé version of the utterly brilliant XJ6, it was an effortlessly cool car with pillarless windows, a Rolls-Royce ride and sports car handling. Add in the plush velour interior and vinyl roof and you have a recipe for the most era-apt car of the disco decade.
1992 – 1994 | Approx. 280 built
Perhaps the best way to sum up the XJ220 in one sentence is that it was potentially perfect but fatally flawed. On a Jaguar cars list of the fastest, this big cat is top of the tree. Yet, as one motoring journalist put it, ‘what it became was not what it was meant to be.’ Sold as a 6.2-litre all-wheel drive V12, it was delivered as a 3.5-litre, rear-wheel drive twin-turbocharged V6. Despite boardroom mistakes, it remains one of the most famous nineties Jags and a savagely fast beast that will go down as a true motoring heavyweight.
Jaguar F-Type R
2014 – Present | 5.0-litre supercharged V8 | 567hp
In an exciting age of supercars from the likes of Aston Martin, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes, Jaguar wasn’t about to be outdone. The F-Type R joined the party in 2014 and instantly became one of the most famous Jaguar models. It is true to Jag’s philosophy of gorgeous styling, beautifully-crafted interiors and savage, organ-shifting speed. Like the very best big cats, it offers drama aplenty. The classic Jag sports car is back.
2018 – Present | Range: up to 292 miles | 0-60mph 4.5 seconds
A massive – and risky – departure for the kings of internal combustion, the I-Pace is Jaguar’s first all-electric car, and the risk paid off handsomely. It was even lauded by the company’s higher-ups as the most important Jaguar since the E-Type. Praise indeed. It’s very fast, tremendously good looking and – in fifty years from now – the long and likely impressive electric Jaguar models list will start right here.