The Jaguar Leaper is one of the most famous car logos in history, but did you know there are actually two Jaguar logos? Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the iconic Jaguar hood ornament, too! Learn more about the history of the Jaguar logo, its meaning, and more at Jaguar Darien, then contact us for a test drive to experience Jaguar design up close!
The Jaguar symbol brings new meaning to the idea of a spirit animal. Designed to meet the core values of the performance-focused luxury brand, the jaguar represents “grace, elegance, performance, power, and the ambition to leap forward.”
The Leaping Jaguar – A sleek silver jaguar cat in mid-leap with a snarl on its face. Sometimes called the Jumping Jaguar, this design was initially used for the now-retired Jaguar hood ornament. Now, it appears as a badge in silver, metallic gray, and black.
The Roaring Jaguar – A circular emblem with a front-facing silver jaguar cat roaring. It is usually seen with a red background and a silver border, but early versions included a gold jaguar with a red background and black border.
The Jaguar colors of silver and metallic gray are meant to symbolize sophistication and modernity, black represents integrity and performance, while red represents passion for the drive.
The Beginnings of the Jaguar Logo
Jaguar had small beginnings as a single model within a British automotive company. Learn more about Jaguar history and how the Jaguar symbol came to be:
1922 — The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded to manufacture sidecars for motorcycles in England, and in 1934 the company was renamed and rebranded as an auto manufacturer—SS Cars Limited.
1935 — The SS Jaguar was produced as the first model with the name Jaguar in it. At this time, the logo on these models consisted of a badge with the text “Jaguar” surrounded by the wings and tail of a bird.
1945 — The SS Cars Limited was renamed as Jaguar Cars Limited to establish the company as a distinct British brand, and to avoid any confusion with the Nazi SS military group operating during World War II.
1945 — The famous Leaping Jaguar logo was first introduced on hood ornaments, and its style remained relatively unchanged until the early 2000s.
Whatever Happened to the Jaguar Hood Ornament?
Just about everyone over a certain age can picture the Jaguar hood ornament. The image of a leaping Jaguar, emerging from the hood of a Jaguar sports car, has unshakable associations with style, performance, and wild, unbridled energy. However, a number of factors have led to the disappearance of hood ornaments from Jaguar models—and from most other vehicles around the world—over the last few decades.
1930’s — Ornaments originally became popular because they were used to cover the unsightly radiator caps that early vehicles displayed on their hoods. Eventually, vehicle technology improved and it became possible to hide the radiator cap beneath the hood. However, hood ornaments were here to stay—at least for the time being.
1968 — The federal seat belt law was passed, leading to a massive shift in the way vehicles were designed–flashy styles like hood ornaments and fins took a back seat in the name of aerodynamics and passenger and pedestrian safety.
1980’s — Iconic style can, in some cases, attract unwanted attention—and necklaces made out of stolen hood ornaments became a booming fashion trend during the 80’s. The cost of replacing these parts led to fewer cars being designed with them in the first place.
2005 — The European Union spearheaded safety regulations for pedestrian safety, requiring hood ornaments to collapse, bend, or fold away in the event of a frontal collision. Many luxury brands, including Jaguar, decided to remove the hood ornaments altogether in order to simplify production.
The Jaguar hood ornament may have gone the way of the dinosaur, but the Leaping Jaguar can still be seen on current models. Now a badge that depicts the leaping Jaguar from the side, this unmistakable symbol is usually placed on the driver’s side and rear of the vehicle. The circular emblem of the Roaring Jaguar is now front and center on the grille.
Experience the Jaguar Legacy in Darien
Learn more about Jaguar engineering and design at Jaguar Darien near Stamford. Browse our new Jaguar models or quality used vehicles to pick out a high-performance luxury car with a look and feel that speaks to you.