JAGUAR'S supercharged S-Type R is probably one of the best kept secrets in the motor industry.
This retro-designed powerhouse provides the traditional Jaguar lounge comfort with a sizzling slice of pure power which makes a goodly number of competitors wilt in the heat of it all. It is as good as anything from mainland Europe, but I am surprised you don't see more of them about.
Here is what a true Jaguar should be - the ideal crossover between sports car and luxury saloon. The R flies the flag for what Jaguar has done best for generations.
Although it has been around for some time, the S-Type, which echoes style features of the 1960s classic model of the same name, has a timeless appeal. It stepped around the emerging Jaguar corporate look to create a range within a range.
It will be replaced by a new model soon so the price has been kept realistic, representing good value for money when it comes to sky high performance.
This is one of the few serious competitors to the ranks of German high performance saloons thanks to the exceptionally refined supercharged 4.2 V8 engine. Linked to Jaguar's six-speed auto transmission this engine has an awesome 400bhp on tap with 62mph in sight in around five seconds.
The supercharger turns an already potent machine into a saloon supercar, but there is no edginess about this car - the power is delivered as you require it. Use the car for shopping if you will but when accelerating away on the open road it is monumentally impressive.
Two features figure prominently in my mind after driving this car. Firstly, the brakes are incredibly powerful and the roadholding matches the power output.
With the original S-Type, the sweeping curvy style to a certain extent ruled over practicality and in the car of 2007 there is still a hint of this with rear legroom coming in as only moderate. But the seats are supremely comfortable.
This retro shape will be lost soon as the replacement revs up to enter the showrooms. No doubt it will be totally impressive, but I for one will miss the S-Type - an object lesson in mixing the old and the new.
Jaguar S-Type 4.2 V8 R Supercharged
Mechanical: 400bhp, 4,196cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6spd automatic gearbox
Max speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.6 secs
Combined mpg: 22.7
Insurance group: 19
CO2 emissions: 294g/km
BiK rating: 35%
Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited mileage, 3yrs paint, 6yrs anti-rust