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2013-03-05 13:41

ALL IN THE FAMILY: A 60-year-old sprint has been recreated by the new Jaguar F-type, while on its way to the 2013 Geneva motor show. Next to the XK 120.

Its 60 years since Jaguar’s legendary test driver Norman Dewis achieved a world record average speed of 277km/h in a modified XK 120.

The automaker returned to the scene - Jabbeke in Belgium - for another sprint test on March 2 2013 with a new F-Type V8S and 1988 Le Mans 24-Hour race-winning driver Andy Wallace.

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With just 3km available to Wallace to explore the F-Type’s straight-line speed from a standing start, the car hit almost 289km/h and achieved 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.


It marked the beginning of a drive event in which classic Jaguar XK 120, C-type, D-type and E-type sports cars joined the new 495 PS F-type in a “Jaguar Bloodline” sports car convoy en route to Geneva, Switzerland, to the 2013 year’Geneva auto show, where the new F-type will take the stand.

Speaking after the sprint test, Wallace said: “I was delighted to be invited by Jaguar to be the first to undertake a public sprint test in the new F-type. Our result today is amazing considering the original sprint test road was five miles (8km) long and today we had less than half that to achieve 179mph (288km/h). The car was still accelerating toward its top speed when I had to brake.”

Marking the return of Jaguar to the Belgian proving roads, global brand director Adrian Hallmark said: “The original Jabbeke sprint runs marked the start of an exciting chapter in our history. The XK 120 combined seductive design and innovative technologies with incredible sporting performance, as Norman Dewis proved on that famous day in 1953.

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“Those core elements of our DNA are embodied in the new F-type and I can think of no more fitting way to pay tribute to the achievement of one of our most famous roadsters than to return to Jabbeke to celebrate the successful test and set another Jaguar benchmark.”

Following the Jabbeke speed run, an identical F-type V8 S was driven the 835km to Geneva by a specialist in frugal driving, recording an average fuel consumption of 7.9 litres/100km.

Watch the sprint here

Check out the latest models in our Geneva show section.

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