As the western coast of the United States rises up from the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, a 655-mile stretch of the boundary between land and water is marked by a strip of pavement known as California Route 1. Known in various locations as the Pacific Coast Highway or Cabrillo Highway, the road winds, climbs and falls as it seeks purchase along the perimeter of the continent. It’s the ideal road for the kinds of cars built by Jaguar and I recently spent some time there in one of the venerable British brand’s newest products. But rather than a car, I was driving the all-new F-Pace S.
The Jaguar brand-name is 80 years old in 2015 and over that time, the British luxury automaker has built some of the most beautiful and iconic machines in the history of the automobile. The single longest running nameplate from the Coventry-based company is the XJ sedan which is rapidly approaching its own 50th anniversary in 2018. The original XJ is still considered one of the most attractive sedans of all time. By the time the current-generation XJ debuted in 2009, just a year after Tata Motors bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, the old-school XJ was definitely looking long in the tooth. Fortunately, Jaguar was ready to begin its new era with something dramatically different and six years later I’ve finally had an opportunity to drive one.