In August 2014 Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum unveiled a redesigned Jaguar Mark 2, designed and commissioned for his own personal use. Currently a limited production of twelve cars is underway at Classic Motors Cars (CMC), the company which was also responsible for the production of the initial car. For a rumoured price of £350,000-£375,000 ($516,000-$553,000, €487,000-€522,000) you can be the owner of a unique Jaguar Mk 2 tailored by one the world’s finest car designers.
Callum dreamed of the Mk2 since his boyhood and through time a clear vision distilled of how his ideal Mk 2 would look like: “We have simplified the profile of the car whilst ensuring it still maintains the original character of the Mark 2. It is a fine balance of extracting and adding.”
In 2013 Ian Callum entrusted UK-based CMC with the task of building his Mk 2. CMC is a well-known car restoration company specialised in classic Jaguars. Production was intended to last 9 months but in the end it took 18 months.
The “new” Mk2 features significant upgrades to make the car an everyday driver whilst maintaining its original character. The original Jaguar XK engine was heavily reworked resulting in a 4.3 litre engine delivering 260 hp and 280 lbs/ft of torque. A manual 5-speed gearbox controls the cars while upgraded disc brakes give modern stopping power. The suspension has been completely reengineered by CMC and improves the handling. The ride height is lowered by 1.2 inches. Aluminium 17-inch split rims support the classic Jaguar character.
Inside the Mk2 the red quilted leather interior with Alcantara headlining stands out immediately. The modern day audio system with a retractable touch screen (and rear-view camera) outputs to six customised loudspeakers. The original gauges and dashboard layout were kept intact.
Callum’s most visible changes are obviously located on the outside. The front bumper – featuring two large air intakes – is now integrated into the overall form. While four large louvres (a favourite design cue of Callum) have been added behind the front wheels, a small – louvred – air vent behind the left rear wheel takes car of ventilation. The original grill has been untouched and still features the iconic leaping Jaguar. The rear bumper has also been modified and now features an double centre exhaust.
The amount of chrome has been reduced greatly, mainly due to the removal of the original chrome bumpers.
I must say the car took some time to grow on me (especially the front bumper), but nowadays I consider it a great upgrade to the original. The redesign certainly retains the character of the original whilst giving it a more modern look. The grace and elegance of the classic Mk 2 reinvented, a job well done Mr. Callum!
I can’t comment on the driving but I suspect I wouldn’t mind driving this car every day. Although I would prefer a more serene interior colour.