The Cat Came Back

August 20th, 2011 by Tim Grimley

It’s strange how things never seem to work out entirely as you anticipate. After my last tirade about the social inadequacy of the proletariat I was expecting to be the recipient of at least a smattering of bile and vitriol from the bus dwelling community, but it seems that in general the world agrees with me. Or at least it doesn’t find my viewpoint objectionable enough to justify a major counter-strike.

Instead the response from the select few of my acquaintances who happen to peruse my weekly ramblings was focussed on one specific sentence. The bit where I casually proclaimed my least favourite car of all time to be the Jaguar X-Type.

It turns out that along with Olympic whinging abilities and an inability to play expansive rugby; most Kiwis’ believe that a passionate devotion to all things Jag is a deep seated trait of those of us from the motherland. And they are absolutely correct.

Throughout its history, Jaguar has been about making truly great cars that have been accessible to the common man. Not too accessible of course, but not in the airy realms of fantasy that seem to be the reserve of other motoring exotica. If you worked hard in life and didn’t fritter too much of your life savings away on other frivolous wastes such as children, then at some point you would accrue enough coinage to join the big cat club of motoring pleasure.

But with the X-Type they took a sharp and unpleasant diversion from this tried and trusted theory and instead decided to make a truly great badge accessible to the common man. Although at this point I must point out that the X-Type was in no way a bad car. At its core was the Ford CD132 platform which was also used to produce the Mondeo; a dynamically excellent vehicle and one of my all time favourite rep-movers. Continue reading “The Cat Came Back” »

Jaguar developing five-door coupe

October 2nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar RD-6 concept rq

Five-door coupes are the latest automotive trend and now it’s Jaguar that’s preparing to join the club. Reports are coming in that a compact hatch, similar to Audi’s new A5 Sportback, is in the works. Possibly an evolution of the R-D6 concept Jaguar first showed way back in 2003. It’s now being called the RD7, and will feature rear suicide doors and a side-hinged rear hatch.

As Jaguar’s X-Type is steadily being phased out overseas, the logic is that an entry-level model is required to compete in the compact premium segment. Apparently Jag is considering both a three-door and a five-door version of this future model, which would most likely be built on a slimmed down XF platform. Power is rumoured to come from a 2.7-litre diesel V6.

Whatever the final form of the RD7, it may be a fair wait before it’s seen in showrooms but cash coming in from the popular XF and the recently revealed full-size XJ might help speed things up a bit, too.

Jaguar X-Type to cease production

July 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar X-Type rq

The X-Type Jaguar compact luxury sedan has finally met its maker. Production will end in December and that means the end of Ford’s experimental involvement with the Jaguar brand.

Back in 2002 when Ford added a reworked Mondeo to the Jaguar lineup hopes were high. With all-wheel drive, modern but familiar styling and a fancy interior, the Jaguar X-Type won positive reviews for its handling but little else. At a time when Lexus, BMW and Mercedes were just doing a better job with smaller sedans, Jaguar’s gamble damaged its reputation.

The X-Type slowly declined on sales charts globally and now used versions are sold relatively cheaply despite its virtues like good handling, a more roomy wagon version, and all-wheel drive.

Jaguar did build more than 350,000 X-Types in eight years, which makes it the highest-volume Jaguar ever which is impressive in its own right. However, since the sale of Jaguar by Ford to Tata, the new direction of fewer customers, fewer cars and a more exclusive image has been aided by the introduction of the 2010 Jaguar XJ sedan. Whether it permanently fixes Jaguar’s problem of making great cars but selling too few of them remains to be seen.

Jaguar X-Type diesel coming to New Zealand

June 20th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

jaguar-x-type-diesel-fq-jpg

Jaguar’s entry level model gets a fresh new look for 2008, along with a host of new features inside and outside the vehicle. With significant revisions including nearly 500 new components, the new generation X-Type retains all the original car’s strengths, and adds some new ones of its own for $64,990.

A torquey diesel engine mated to a six speed automatic transmission is the highlight of the revised Jaguar X-Type range.

“The X-Type 2.2D provides Kiwis with an alternative prestige car with all the benefits of the latest diesel technology,” said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Motorcorp Distributors, the New Zealand distributor for Jaguar.

“It’s a great alternative to a Japanese or Australian executive car,” said Mr Dumper. “And it offers tremendous value for money at thousands less than the cheapest equivalent diesel engined German luxury car.”

For the first time in New Zealand, the new X-Type offers diesel economy and power – pairing a 2.2 litre diesel with a six-speed automatic, and the one-touch control of Jaguar Sequential Shift – broadening the new model’s appeal to buyers. The new X-Type automatic diesel combines high levels of refinement with optimised performance and economy, and even greater luxury.

With 366 Nm of torque, the X-Type diesel has more pulling power than any other model in the X-Type range. And with it coming as low as 1800 rpm, the torque is available for every day driving situations.

The 2.2 litre diesel is paired with a new six-speed automatic gearbox, which has the added attraction of ‘one-touch control’ Jaguar Sequential Shift, for manual gear changes.

The six gear ratios are chosen to deliver refined cruising while maintaining sporty performance – the balance that Jaguar research shows an X-Type owner wants. The diesel automatic can achieve maximum torque in all six gears, utilising optimum gear change points to ensure best use of the available torque. In the new X-Type, the 2.2D automatic can accelerate to 100kph in 9.9 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 208km/h, a combined economy of 6.9 itres/100km (41 mpg), and a CO2 rating of 184g/km with the aid of a particulate filter.

The low revs torque flattens hills on the open road and provides instantaneous throttle response for safe over taking manoeuvres.

The standard sports suspension anchors the X-Type to the road while still providing the fluid ride that all Jaguars are known for. And the variable ratio power steering provides good feedback at all road speeds.

The new X-Type also introduces significantly upgraded electronic features, from improved Bluetooth® connectivity to ‘Generation 5′ parking aids, uses new technology that allows the sensors to be smaller, neater and body coloured.

The new X-Type announces its arrival with a fresh new look that reflects Jaguar’s new design language. The frontal styling introduces a new ’3D’ bright mesh grille, with a bold frame and body coloured outer surround that echoes the design themes of both the XJ and XF. And the new X-TYPE is proud of its Jaguar identity, with a new Jaguar ‘growler’ emblem prominently mounted within the mesh grille.

In profile, new sill shapes connect the re-styled front and rear bumpers and visually lower the new X-Type’s centre of gravity, giving it a more purposeful, sporting stance. There is a subtle body-coloured rear boot-lid spoiler.

The new door mirrors offer maximum functionality, including power fold back. They also include integrated side repeaters – again, a feature common to the new XJ and XF. The new X-Type introduces a new 18 inch five-spoke alloy wheel the Abaco – while the exterior colour palette is available in the new Ultimate Black, along with Liquid Silver, Shadow Grey and Indigo Blue.

There are front fog lights, automatic headlights and rain sensing windscreen wipers.

A sporty interior trim includes soft grain leather, usually reserved for the Jaguar hero models such as the XJR and XF SV8, with twin-needle diamond stitching for the centre cushions, in Warm Charcoal leather with Stone stitching. The seats have ten-way adjustment with driver’s seat memory function, and the luxurious diamond-stitching pattern repeated in the matched door trims.

The instrument cluster has a sportier look – similar to that of the new XF – with new silver metallic overlays, new pointer hubs and new bezel shapes, plus a combination of green dial illumination and white pointer illumination, just as in the XK.

Standard features include traction control with dynamic stability control; anti lock braking with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist. There are six airbags, pre-tensioners for all seat belts, remote two stage central locking, an intrusion and perimeter alarm and engine immobiliser.

Cruise control, a trip computer, automatic air conditioning, a split folding rear seat to extend the boot’s luggage capacity is also standard equipment.
With the diesel option the X-Type is a Jaguar with broader appeal than ever.