22 March 2011

The Jaguar Ascot

After the recent Jaguar-based Bertone B99 concept, let's look at one of their past Jaguar-based efforts. 

Based on the Jaguar XJS, in 1977 the Ascot appeared as a proposal to Jaguar which never made it into production. By 1977 Bertone must have been getting lazy, as the Ascot had more than a passing resemblance to the 308GT Rainbow concept car that Bertone had presented to Ferrari in 1976.

As Bertone had pioneered the wedge concept with the Lamborghini Countach, they tried a similar exersise with the XJS. I think they tried too hard to apply the wedge format to every car that came along, so the result was only partly successful. As you can see, in the classic 1970s Bertone tradition the Ascot is all angles, while the car's body is made from hand beaten aluminium panels and has a hatchback layout.

These pics were posted on an XJS forum in 2009, apparently the poster works at a restorers and this is in the basement gathering dust. As you can see from the other shots, it's original colour was white, but at some point after it was resprayed in gold. It still has the 5.3litre V12 and was drivable, although he'd never heard it run.

Brown velour and a wedge dash. It's the 70's alright. Note the XJS dials.

The Ascot isn't beautiful or elegant like the XJS but I'm happy that the car still exists.

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