“What happens next is even more bizarre. Squeeze another of the buttons and almost simultaneously the starter motor whirrs, as the Jaguar V12 engine fires up before quickly settling down to a smooth idle.
“You stare, not believing what you know to be true. The door is open, the engine running and your eyes tell you there’s nobody in the driver’s seat.
“No, it’s not done by trickery, just modern electronics. And both features can be expected to reach production cars during the coming decade.”
Driving the Kensington was broadly similar to driving contemporary V12-engined Jaguars, but the styling was a radical departure.
“What you’re most aware of with the Kensington is the startling change in interior ambience. In his quest to build a contemporary Jaguar, Giugiaro has forsaken the traditional timber interior.
“The sweeping, moulded plastic dashboard is massive, running off to the base of the windscreen and down a very wide, bulky console which contains a battery of LCD controls.
“The front quarter-light window is almost as wide at its base as the door’s opening window. In fact, the A-pillars are so long and steeply angled that you sit well back from the base of the windscreen. You see little of the bonnet, while rear visibility is also poor.”
Robinson reported that Jaguar executives had examined the car but had made no further contact.
“Giugiaro insists a ’90s Jaguar should look like the Kensington. Jaguar has its own interpretation of the future, but we won’t be allowed a preview of that until 1995 at the earliest,” he concluded.
Previous Throwback Thursdays
4 March 1899 - Steam, electric or combustion engine?
26 June 1906 - The first French Grand Prix
9 July 1907 - The beginning of Brooklands
14 February 1913 - 100 miles in one hour
8 April 1916 - Making post-war predictions
25 March 1922 - Caterpillar tracks are the future
4 July 1925 - Citroën lights up the Eiffel Tower
2 February 1934 - The ethics of skidding
6 July 1934 - A tour of Cowley
1 June 1935 - Introduction of the driving test
22 June 1945 - Driving through post-WW2 Europe
21 January 1949 - Tidier tails
24 April 1959 - Aston Martin enters Formula 1
27 January 1961 - Ford Thunderbird road test
17 November 1961 - TVR Grantura road test
6 May 1971 - Driving Ford's Supervan
12 June 1976 - Cars for under £100
10 July 1976 - Land's End to John O'Groats on one tank
13 May 1978 - Ferrari 512 BB road test
19 January 1980 - Talbot Horizon road test
13 February 1982 - 4x4s tested on the farm
17 April 1985 - Secrets of a lost British supercar
28 April 1993 - BL's unseen concepts
16 March 1994 - Bentley's Concept Java
16 April 1997 - When Bugatti bit the dust
4 April 2001 - 0-260mph in 6.0 seconds
25 July 2001 - 180mph in a Chevrolet Corvette
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