What is it?
It's surprising how few car models make a half century, but this limited edition Jaguar is a celebration of one of them. It's the XJ50, and the clue is very obviously in the name, the first XJ6 debuting to considerable acclaim in 1968.
Were Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons still alive he might be surprised to discover that a) the XJ model line was still in production b) that this version of it is a diesel and c) that the XJ has become so big. But then, so has everything else.
For the record, among those few half-century survivors are the Mini, the Porsche 911, the Chevrolet Corvette and the Toyota Corolla, the last of these a phenomenally successful multi-generational family of models, but not one with the charisma of all the others.
So, what does an XJ50 bring you? Well, like plenty of limited editions, it takes a committed inspection of the standard features list to understand what your £74,280 brings you. The XJ50 is based on the £66,360 Premium Luxury XJ, which is the second model up the hierarchy, sandwiched by the base £62,360 Luxury and the not basic at all £72,580 Portfolio, this model also slightly cheaper than the XJ50.
Compared to the Premium Luxury version, then, you get adaptive headlights, 20in Venom alloys, 18-way heated and cooled front seat, quilted soft leather, soft grain leather to the upper dashboard, suedecloth headlining, gloss shadow and piano black décor, privacy glass, electric rear window sunblinds, rear reading lights, alloy pedals, illuminated XJ50 treadplates, an 825 Watt Meridian surround sound system rather than 380 Watt sounds, a digital TV, a 360deg parking aid, blind spot and reverse traffic warnings and park assist.
Items special to the XJ50 itself are 20in two-tone alloys, bumpers from the Portfolio version, a black grille, a palette of four exterior colours (though all of these are normally available) and subtle additional badging. Inside, leapers and logos adorn the headrestraints, the illuminated sill tread plates and the centre armrest, while the paddle shifters are anodized, and the pedals are alloy.
In case you’re wondering, the £1700 cheaper Portfolio actually comes with some things that the XJ50 doesn’t, such as massage front seats, oval exhaust finishers, superior leather to the steering wheel, illuminated rear vanity mirrors and rear side window sunblinds, while most of the items it does without, including alloys an inch smaller, a 360-degree parking aid, park assist, rear reading lights and a rear window sunblind you can probably overlook. That said, the XJ50 is marginally better value, as limited editions often are.
Now, you’ll be forgiven if you haven’t trawled all the way through these lists of kit, but they’re presented exhaustively because kit is the essence of the XJ50, the rest of the car as per your usual XJ. Which provides a 296bhp 3.0 V6 diesel and an eight-speed automatic that drive the rear wheels.