Autocar’s been around for 112 years, so we've decided to delve deep into our archives to reveal our most interesting moments in a series of online articles. Expect to find out about our fastest road tests, the most bizarre features, historic moments and plenty more, but we thought we'd start with the history behind today's hottest new car.
The S-type: stylish, luxurious and dynamic. Or so Jaguar would have had you believe.The very first S-type followed on from the popular Mk2, and was acclaimed for its combination of comfort and performance when launched in 1963.In 1998, Jaguar felt its new 5-series rival needed some reference to the brand's history, so the first big cat to use Ford underpinnings went on sale with the name – and looks - of a car that died out decades before. But Jaguar was not oblivious to criticism beginning to circulate regarding its lack of innovation. In our 21 October 1998 issue we reckoned that "there is a strong conviction at Jaguar that the S-type will bring a new, younger buyer into the marque". Today, of course, conservative styling and the scarcity of new models is arguably one of the causes for Jaguar’s falling sales – and the fact that the whole company is up for sale - despite the S-type's supposed youthful appeal. The all-aluminium XJ might have moved game on technologically, but it’s taken the latest XK finally to move the brand on. The XF should take it further still. Whether it does or not will become clearer at the Frankfurt motor show next week. Keep watching Autocar.co.uk and we’ll let you know just how Jaguar's crucial new model is received.