A day passed in a Jaguar XFR is always one well spent, but the one I’ve just had was made way more special by the growling presence of an original Mk2 complete with the full fat, 3.8-litre motor Morse could never afford.

We were making a video featuring Jaguar’s two greatest sporting saloons, whose respective introductions just happen to have been separated by precisely half a century.

See the Jaguar XFR meets Jaguar Mk2 video

And however impressive the XFR is today, it must be as nothing compared to the impact the Mk2 3.8 would have had 50 years ago.

The twin-cam, straight six engine had already won Le Mans five times by the time it found its way under the Mk2 bonnet and if its 220bhp sounds a little weedy today, back then when the typical family shopper would have been considered quite racy to boast 40bhp, it was anything but.

With useless rear suspension, even more hopeless tyres and a gearchange that just won’t be rushed, the Mk2 would still hit 60mph in 8.5sec. That in an era when most cars would struggle even to do 60mph. By contrast, the Mk2 would more than double it.

But the best news from the day was that in their effortless power delivery, laid-back natures, comfortable cabins and innate understanding of what makes a car fun to drive, the XFR and Mk2 felt genuinely related.

To me it’s evidence that that Jaguar has once more has grasped what made it great in the first place.

Next stop should be the 2011 Geneva Motor Show where, 50 years to the day later, Jaguar finally gets around to unveiling the true successor to the E-type.

A pipe dream? Not if Jaguar can help it.

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