35 years after the launch of the sensational E-Type, Jaguar stunned the motoring world once again with the introduction of the XK8 coupé at the Geneva Salon in March 1996, the convertible version appearing in April at the New York Motor Show, co-incidentally the venue chosen to debut the E-Type roadster in 1961. Both versions went on sale in October 1996, advertisements headlined 'The Cat is Back' and 'The Spirit of its Ancestor' reminding prospective buyers of the car's heritage, which was further reinforced by a host of styling cues borrowed from its illustrious forbear. The first hint at what might succeed the E-Type had appeared as long ago as 1978, when Pininfarina displayed its Jaguar XJ Spider, a hypothetical 'F-Type', at the Birmingham Motor Show. Although Jaguar's new owners Ford cancelled the F-Type programme, preferring to use the concept to develop the Aston Martin DB7, there remained strong visual links between Pininfarina's styling exercise, Ian Callum's DB7 and the XK8. The XK8 though, was not aimed at the same market as the E-Type; direct successor to the XJS, Jaguar's luxurious new Grand Routier had the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SL in its sights. Indeed, the XK8 was based on the XJS floorpan, though its V8 power unit - Jaguar's first - was entirely new. The all-aluminium, four-cam, 32-valve unit displaced 4.0 litres and produced 281bhp, an output good enough for a top speed of 156mph. Power was transmitted via a ZF five-speed automatic gearbox with 'J-gate' change to the limited-slip differential. Traction control was standard. And if 280-plus horsepower was not enough, there was always the supercharged XKR version boasting 370bhp. An automatic transmission model, this truly exceptional XK8 Coupé was registered new with Evans Halshaw/Stratstone on 15th October 1998 for the sole use of their MD, Mr R Poynton; the registration number at that time being 'S66 JAG'. On 28th April 1999 Mr Poynton purchased the car, which was used by his wife, a solicitor, in Birmingham until October 2006. The Jaguar was sold by Stratstone in November 2006 to Mr M Holt, of Whitehaven Cumbria. The current vendor acquired the car from him in March 2008. There are service records on file from Evans Halshaw/Stratstone to 17.10.06 at 42,982 miles, with further non-franchise specialist stamps at 16.10.07 (51,528 miles) and 23.04.09 (57,602 miles). The present (guaranteed) mileage total is 60,048. We are advised that the vehicle is completely original and unmarked with no stone-chip damage or any areas of corrosion. It has never been repainted and the interior is virtually unmarked. Finished in Phoenix Red with ivory leather interior, 'M44 XKB' is offered with the aforementioned service history, owner's handbook, JDHT certificate, four expired MoTs, current road fund licence, Swansea V5C document and MoT to June 2011.