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Jaguar XK 120 among cars that changed the world: Forbes

June 29, 2009 15:43 IST

One of the famed models of British premium brand Jaguar -- Jaguar XK 120 -- has been named among the 10 cars that have changed the world by business magazine Forbes.

Jaguar is now owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata Group, which purchased the brand and Land Rover, from US car maker Ford Motor in 2008.

The list of '10 Cars That Changed The World' also features the Ford Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Trabant, the Porsche 911, the Ford Mustang, the AMC Eagle, the Jeep Cherokee, the Dodge Caravan and the Toyota Prius.

'These vehicles changed people's lifestyles and habits as well as automakers' long-term strategies. Some even changed governments,' the magazine said in an accompanying report.

Terming the Jaguar XK 120 as 'one for the ages,' Forbes noted that the model, launched in 1948, was Jaguar's first car to be produced after the Second World War.

'It was unveiled at the London Motor Show in 1948 as a test-bed for the XK engine and, as the fastest production car at the time, was a smash hit from the start.

'Hollywood stars including Clark Gable and Lauren Bacall drove the vehicle, which only added to its timeless allure. It's widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made,' the magazine said.

To compile the list, Forbes said it consulted a panel of auto experts, who selected vehicles that were the first of their kind and which influenced the design and performance elements of the entire industry.

'They also chose cars with staying power: The Ford Mustang, for instance, has been in production since its initial launch in 1964,' it added.

According to the magazine, the Ford Mustang is currently priced at $20,995 and is the car that started America's love affair with muscle and punch.

'It was the first of its kind and a wildly popular hit from the start. It's the only car among its competitors -- Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro, to name a few -- that has enjoyed an uninterrupted production run,' Forbes said.

Writing on the Volkswagen Beetle, the magazine noted that it was launched in 1938 and the current price of the Volkswagen New Beetle at $18,290.

Forbes said the Volkswagen Beetle was built by Ferdinand Porsche, with support from German dictator Adolf Hitler, and added that the original Beetle had the longest production run of all vehicles ever.

'It was a top-seller in the US for years during the 1950s and set the standard for small cars like the Chevrolet Corvair and Ford Pinto,' it said.

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