View Full Version : Jaguars New XJ is introduced.. What do you think?

09-21-2002, 09:36 AM
Jaguars New XJ is introduced.. What do you think?
New Jaguar XJ to grow up

Flagship to be bigger to stay competitive
September 16, 2002


When Ian Callum was 14, he fell in love at first sight. The proportions, the curves, the visual energy -- he was smitten with the original Jaguar XJ.

Hands and nose pressed against the showroom window, his destiny was set: "I knew I had to be a car designer," he recalls. So it was only fitting that he would be responsible for designing the seventh generation of the XJ, with the challenge of preserving that visual statement in a taller and longer car.

Jaguar will officially unveil its flagship sedan at the Paris auto show later this month. But Callum came to metro Detroit Thursday to show his big XJ to a few reporters and Jaguar collectors at the 4-month-old Jaguar of Novi dealership.

The cars will roll into showrooms for real by next June as 2004 models. Jaguar won't discuss pricing yet, but the current model starts at about $56,000.

And the new one could be more expensive, with a predominantly aluminum body. Aluminum is costly, but it is lighter than steel and can be stronger. Jaguar says this body is 60 percent stiffer than its predecessor.

It will come with a choice of two 4.2-liter engines, including a 390-horsepower, supercharged V8 for the XJR version.

Other power and torque specifications will be announced later, Jaguar said.

But the biggest news of the new XJ is its size. It's about 4 inches taller and 4 inches longer.

Competition from the likes of Lexus and Mercedes forced Jaguar to respond with a taller five-passenger sedan.

Callum's challenge was to preserve the visual heritage of the original XJ while ballooning the sedan to carry a family to dinner.

"This car had to grow up," he said, somewhat sadly.

The interior is, of course, swimming in leather and wood. It features a stylish push-button opener for the glove box and a shiny piano-black finish on the center cluster.

And the door handles are a handshake design that is more elegant, though less convenient, than the common paddle style.

As the XJ has matured, so has the brand, said spokesman Simon Sproule.

Many years, the brand offered only a couple of models. But with the introduction of the midsize S-Type in 1999 and the even smaller X-Type in 2001, it is time to return to the legendary XJ as a "full-line, serious, grown-up car company," he said.

Last year, Jaguar sold more than 100,000 cars worldwide for the first time. And sales have continued to grow this year, jumping 63 percent through August in the United States.

Much of that growth has come from the introduction in late 2001 of the Jaguar X-Type, an entry-level luxury sports sedan that starts at $30,000. Almost 25,000 have been sold so far this year in the United States.

Meanwhile, sales of the XJ fell by almost 40 percent from 1998 to 2001 in the United States, which historically accounts for about 60 percent of XJ sales.

Since the XJ was introduced in 1968 for $6,400, Jaguar has sold 800,000 of them -- more than half of the Jaguars ever made.

But Jaguar is now part of Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group of European luxury brands, along with Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Those brands are expected to deliver as much as $2 billion in profit in 2005. Ford won't say what they earn now.

With its ample headroom, the XJ is going to be his car, said 6-foot-2 dealer Nathan Conyers.

But he is more excited about fast becoming one of the most prolific Jaguar dealers in the world. It helps that Ford salaried employees can get discounts on new Jaguars. "We're seeing a lot of people looking at Jaguar for the first time," he said.

09-21-2002, 09:37 AM
Photo links to new Jag!

Looks very similiar? Was that the right move in this competitive marketplace?



Jaguars always have beautifully detailed interiors


the XJR- https://www.wieck.com/Public/*2PV_042771


09-21-2002, 09:47 AM
Or would you prefer the new Jaguar S type R

Are they getting close in price? Which would you prefer?


by Chris Walton
photography by the author

Looking, feeling, and even smelling more like a Jaguar (XJ sedan), the new S-Type's interior was completely redesigned for '03. Though the J-gate remains, it, too, has been dramatically improved.

Power is at the root of R. Jaguar has stretched and blown its silky V-8 to 408 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm.

With a soundtrack provided by the '03 S-Type R's supercharged 4.2L V-8, my co-driver and I spirited our way through mountainous, northeastern Spain. Just two weeks later, those very same treacherous roads would be crowded with thousands of WRC fans for the Rally of Catalunya, one of the season's most challenging venues.
This impressive 390-hp sedan produces lovely road music: a muted high-pitched aria from the Roots-type blower over the bass-drum beat of the twin exhaust tips. It's a memorable chorus that repeats with each imperceptible upshift of the car's new six-speed automatic transmission. At full or even part throttle, the S-Type R effortlessly wills itself down the road. A tabletop-flat torque curve, peaking at 408 lb-ft at a mere 3500 rpm, supplies this dynamic thrust. Then, there is the visceral and visual rush as the landscape goes sailing by like a soft-edged, French impressionist painting in motion. Royal acceleration -- Jaguar style.

Visually, both '03 naturally aspirated S-Types, 3.0L (V-6) and 4.2L (V-8), plus the new supercharged 4.2L R model, may look only slightly different from their '02 counterparts. However, Jaguar says a substantive reengineering has changed or replaced roughly 70 percent of the models' content; there are some subtle exterior styling updates, as well. All S-Type engines benefit from variable-geometry induction plus now-continuously variable intake and exhaust valve timing. Meanwhile, V-8s (enlarged from 4.0L to 4.2L for '03) are further modified with new heads, pistons, and exhaust systems to improve breathing, sealing, and cooling characteristics. One can argue that the 4.2L AJ-V8 is all new, as nothing that moves within it -- or through which air, oil, or fuel passes -- is carried over. Only the 90 aluminum block remains the same.

The results of the '03 engine mods are a more responsive 3.0L V-6 with a flatter torque curve, and in the naturally aspirated 4.2L V-8, an increase of 19 hp to a nice round 300 with 310 lb-ft of torque. Stepping up to the class-leading, supercharged R version we drove nets another (even nicer) round number: 390 hp with 408 lb-ft of torque. Jaguar's humble claim that the R will accelerate 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds is obviously conservative: Reviewing similarly powered and sized competitors, we predict the S-Type R will run a 5 flat, perhaps even quicker.

Keeping the R models' prodigious power in check are large four-piston calipers, courtesy of racing-brake supplier Brembo. They work in concert with 14.3-in. front vented discs and 12.9-in. solid rears. Though we find the pedal slightly soft on initial, gentle application, the ABS system, with its panic-assist braking, is tremendous and absolutely fade-free.

While the entire model range is available with a new, ultra-quick and mega-smart ZF six-speed automatic -- the same one found in the new BMW 745i -- the 3.0 comes standard with the Getrag five-speed manual. Unfortunately, still no stick shifts are available for the V-8 models. Automatic gear selection is controlled via Jaguar's hallmark good-news/bad-news J-gate shifter. It's still bad news if you disagree with those who think the J-gate is clever. Like a manual-shift gate's H pattern, the J pattern, by its design, informs a driver what gear he's selected simply by where his hand falls -- unlike a traditional, inline PRNDL. The good news is the lever's action itself has been drastically improved with more distinct, more positive, and progressively more resistant detents. Additionally, the new six-speed required reprogramming of the shift logic. In the R we drove, the new software produces better, more manual transmission-like gear holding in corners and up and down hills, and more recognizable downshifts when slowing for a bend or corner. Depressing the sport button excludes sixth gear (overdrive) and hastens the upshifts.

Peering out from behind the R's gorgeous 18-in. wheels are four-piston aluminum brake calipers proudly emblazoned with appropriate markings.

Real-racer driving experience

Easily accessible performance

Supercar sexclusivity

Real-racer driving experience

Can be nerve-wracking in traffic

Not enough of us can buy one

From behind the wood and leather steering wheel, the changes and upgrades wrought to the cabin are substantial. The previous instrument panel, with its half-moon-shaped upper-console section, has been tossed in favor of a more traditional and elegant design. The leather is more supple, the ergonomics have improved, and the materials appear more upscale than those in previous S-Types. Another Jaguar first is a push-button electronic park brake that can be applied or released manually. However, the brake is automatically engaged when the ignition key is removed, and released when the gear selector is moved from Park. A new single-piece magnesium casting lies at the foundation of the entire dash panel, tightening fixed points for attachment of all related components. Jaguar's adaptive restraint system, which tailors airbag deployment according to occupant size and position, has now found its way into the S-Type from more costly models. Overall, the cabin is now a much nicer and more Jaguar-like environment.
The S-Type's suspension hardware and tuning have been thoroughly revised for the '03 lineup, and the R model best demonstrates this improvement. Combining a 10-percent-stiffer body with the addition of a new peripheral steel front subframe, new aluminum front A-arms (two-piece lowers), computer-controlled two-stage adaptive shock absorbers (on sport models), and tubular anti-roll bars, the new S-Type minimizes the effects of changes in track and camber. The result is a smooth highway ride and responsive back-road handling with a silent, solid, and sure-footed nature. The ride quality itself is best characterized by an almost casual competence. Somehow, even with 40-series front tires and 35 rears, the plushness of the S-Type R's ride is not compromised by its deceptively high limits of absolute grip and roadholding. This anomalous, soft-yet-firm behavior really impresses. Not once in our drive did we feel battered by harshness nor lulled to sleep by pillowy-soft isolation.

Each S-Type R is fitted with standard ABS with emergency-brake assist and dynamic-stability control (DSC) to counteract under and oversteer. There is not, however, the option of a limited-slip differential, so switching the DSC off unleashes the car's hidden hooligan nature lurking beneath its polished portrait. Indeed, it'll easily ruin a set of ContiSport Contact rear tires and the accompanying tarmac.

We came away from our Spanish first drive -- a well-calculated blend of 100-mph-plus autopista blasts mixed with second-gear tail-out rally roads -- thoroughly enthused by the S-Type R's impeccable manners, as well as its newfound power and precision. Jaguar has handily dispensed with the previous S-Type's merely amusing and customary competence and replaced it with serious thrills and world-class status that'll have the competition paying attention. Further, Jaguar has removed any hint of parent company Ford's influence, positive or negative as it may be.

While the R model will never quite be the BMW M5's nemesis, it does assert itself between the M5 and the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG with authority -- and a measure of elegance the other two machines lack. Besides, at a price $7000 less than the current M5 and almost $9000 below that of the E55, value might outweigh fractions of a second in this race. The only question left unasked is: What happens when the 450-hp Audi RS6 arrives next year? Super-sedan critical mass? Underdog upset? Status quo? We'll be only too happy to let you know

Charles #677556
09-22-2002, 03:26 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by JBsC5:
Jaguars New XJ is introduced.. What do you think?
New Jaguar XJ to grow up .<hr></blockquote>

Let's put it this way.. "real" Jaguars didn't have V-6's, V-8's or superchargers.. they had DOHC sixes and V-12's..
Jaguar died in 1990.. Ford Had A Better Idea?

Councilman Mark
09-29-2002, 09:32 PM
I love it. I thought for a while it was going to die and I don't care for the new smaller version Jag, looks like a Taurus. The new XJ is beautiful just like its predecessors. It's bigger roomier and gorgeous. With all the new technology, I predict it will make you just as angry when it breaks. (Especially after the warranty is up).

10-24-2002, 09:44 AM
i must agree with charles, that real jags did not have v-6's or v-8's not to mention supercharging
was never used. but as times change so must engine technology. i own both types. the dohc 6cyl
xk engine i have is extremely reliable. and smooth. the supercharged engine is sure to put a smile on your face. but i drive them for one reason: it a jaguar. the mystique. the thrill.
the history. simply put, i love jaguars. i certainly would not turn down the new xj, simply because of the type of engine it uses. or because
ford owns them. jaguar is free from ford to design
and produce their cars the way they want to.
i welcome the new xj, and would be proud to own one. simply because its a jaguar. GRACE, SPACE, PACE!!!!
i have 16 year old (first born) for sale. able to converse on some days and dress himself slowly.
doesnt do laundry, and needs minor prompts.
eats alot of food, and doesnt clean up much.
but he is trainable.
say about 58,000 dollars should complete the transaction. or trade for an anthracite 2004 jaguar xj

10-27-2002, 09:15 AM
I believe the Ford ownership of Jaguar to be a good thing for the Marque.

Ford basically told the suppliers treat Jaguar the same as you would a contract from us or neither of us would be doing business with you.

The quality from suppliers shot up dramatically.

Today many people who might love to own a Jaguar can do so with greater confidence that the reliability is competitive with others in this market segment.

I dig the new XJ and the S series R type.. of course the XKR convertible is my favorite.. as its truly one of the most sensous (sp) shapes in the industry..

Hard to believe with the launch of the X type Jaguar is 500 million dollars in the hole..I believe its Europes facination with diesels these days and Jaguar not having one to compete in that market place.

Once that diesel comes on line in Europe..I believe Jaguar will be much stronger finacially..

Something like 50% of the sedan market is made up of diesels..

Diesel Jaguars sounds pretty contratictory but I guess fuel costs and todays technology make this an option that the market demands..

Has there ever been a diesel Jaguar before?