The Truth About Cars » Jaguar http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:26:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Jaguar http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/jaguar/ Jaguar Launches New Historic Racing Series For 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-launches-new-historic-racing-series-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-launches-new-historic-racing-series-2015/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946170 Own a particular, race-ready Jaguar from the mid-1960s or earlier? The English brand is preparing a racing series just for you. Dubbed the Jaguar Heritage Challenge, the five-race historic series will begin its first season next year, and is open to XK, C-Type, D-Type, pre-1966 E-Type, MK I and MK II models. Per Jaguar Land […]

The post Jaguar Launches New Historic Racing Series For 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jaguar Heritage Challenge

Own a particular, race-ready Jaguar from the mid-1960s or earlier? The English brand is preparing a racing series just for you.

Dubbed the Jaguar Heritage Challenge, the five-race historic series will begin its first season next year, and is open to XK, C-Type, D-Type, pre-1966 E-Type, MK I and MK II models. Per Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Business Director Derek Weale, the race series further boosts Jaguar’s presence on the heritage racing scene, which includes famed events like the Mille Miglia and Goodwood Revival.

Operated by the Silverstone, England-based Historic Sports Car Club, the Jaguar Heritage Classic will hold four of its five races in the U.K. in 2015, with the remaining race held somewhere in Continental Europe. Dates, classes and venues are expected to come in the near future.

The post Jaguar Launches New Historic Racing Series For 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-launches-new-historic-racing-series-2015/feed/ 7
Los Angeles 2014: Jaguar F-Type Coupe R AWD Unveiled In South Africa http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-f-type-coupe-r-awd-unveiled-south-africa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-f-type-coupe-r-awd-unveiled-south-africa/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943489 Deciding two wheels weren’t enough, Jaguar unveiled its 2016 F-Type Coupe R in South Africa, which puts all four on the floor instead of just the two in the back. AutoGuide reports the sports car is able to charge from the starting grid to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, hitting the speed wall at […]

The post Los Angeles 2014: Jaguar F-Type Coupe R AWD Unveiled In South Africa appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
jaguar-f-type-coupe-r-awd

Deciding two wheels weren’t enough, Jaguar unveiled its 2016 F-Type Coupe R in South Africa, which puts all four on the floor instead of just the two in the back.

AutoGuide reports the sports car is able to charge from the starting grid to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, hitting the speed wall at 186 mph. The AWD R will be just one of 12 options available to F-Type shoppers by 2016, expanding from just six at present. The expansion is due to the introduction of AWD.

The F-Type Coupe R was also used to help establish communications protocol between the pilot behind the Bloodhound SSC — who will break the sound barrier on the ground on its way to over 1,000 mph — and the vehicle’s team, radioing a jet flying 50 feet above the ground at 500 mph over the Hakskeen Pan.

More details and photos will come next week, when the AWD F-Type Coupe R rolls down the ramp at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The post Los Angeles 2014: Jaguar F-Type Coupe R AWD Unveiled In South Africa appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-f-type-coupe-r-awd-unveiled-south-africa/feed/ 21
Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934122 The United Auto Workers may soon need to add another transplant to convert as part of its Southern strategy: Jaguar Land Rover is considering setting up shop in the Southeastern United States as part of its global expansion plans. Autoblog reports the automaker is looking over potential real estate for a new North American factory, […]

The post Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
land-rover-discovery-sport-production-09-1

The United Auto Workers may soon need to add another transplant to convert as part of its Southern strategy: Jaguar Land Rover is considering setting up shop in the Southeastern United States as part of its global expansion plans.

Autoblog reports the automaker is looking over potential real estate for a new North American factory, honing in upon right-to-work states in the South such as South Carolina, where BMW already has a presence in Spartanburg assembling the X Series. The future plant would have a total capacity of 200,000 units produced per year.

Elsewhere, JLR welcomed all to its new factory in Changsu, China, where the real Evoque — as opposed to the “If you like Mrs. Beckham’s crossover, you’ll love ours” Landwind E32 — will roll off the line, with the new Discovery Sport to follow. Brazil will join the party with its own factory in 2016.

The post Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/feed/ 22
McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927682 Mrs. Beckham’s contribution to the automotive world, the Land Rover Evoque, may gain diesel power in the United States sometime soon. AutoGuide reports the plan to place a diesel engine under the bonnet of the crossover is “being considered,” according to Jaguar Land Rover North America marketing vice president Kim McCullough. At present, only the […]

The post McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
victoria_beckham_range_rover_evoque_f655

Mrs. Beckham’s contribution to the automotive world, the Land Rover Evoque, may gain diesel power in the United States sometime soon.

AutoGuide reports the plan to place a diesel engine under the bonnet of the crossover is “being considered,” according to Jaguar Land Rover North America marketing vice president Kim McCullough. At present, only the 2-liter EcoBoost powers the U.S. market model, as the 2.2-liter diesel sold elsewhere cannot meet emissions here.

JLR’s £500 million ($804 million USD) engine production plant will begin production early in 2015 of a 2-liter Ingenium diesel, which will first find a home in the U.S. under the bonnet of the new Jaguar XE. The Ingenium turbo-four gasoline engine will also likely replace the EcoBoost sometime in the future, though McCullough declined to confirm anything more.

As for the diesel Evoque, she believes greater acceptance of diesels overall in the U.S. market could help Land Rover navigate its way through increasing fuel-efficiency targets, with Ingenium diesels landing in U.S. market Jaguar and Land Rover models as the product cycle moves forward.

The post McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/feed/ 8
Capsule Review: 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6S Convertible http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/capsule-review-2014-jaguar-f-type-v6s-convertible/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/capsule-review-2014-jaguar-f-type-v6s-convertible/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=918066 I felt very conflicted following a quick nighttime Boston-to-New York City drive in this new Jag. It just did not meet my expectations. The car drove nice on the twisty and hilly Merritt Parkway but it was neither the sports car I desired, nor the grand tourer that the XKR was. Something was clearly wrong. […]

The post Capsule Review: 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6S Convertible appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Jaguar F-type convertible rear left

I felt very conflicted following a quick nighttime Boston-to-New York City drive in this new Jag. It just did not meet my expectations. The car drove nice on the twisty and hilly Merritt Parkway but it was neither the sports car I desired, nor the grand tourer that the XKR was. Something was clearly wrong. Upon reaching my destination I carefully re-read Derek’s reviews and quickly realized that I am an idiot and that this F-Type has failed me in another way altogether.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible top up top down

Like any proper modern sports car, the F-Type has a number of settings and adjustments available to its driver; suspension, transmission, steering, stability control, and even exhaust. I fiddled with the transmission and the exhaust because those settings were convenient, but I did not know that the others even existed. In my re-reading of Derek’s F-Type V6S review I came upon these words:

“Oh, and you absolutely must get the car with the “Configurable Dynamic Mode”, which adds another $3,000 to the base price, but effectively gives you two cars for the price of one.”

Son of a gun. My car had that option but I just dismissed it as a stability control setting that allows you to wag the rear-end like a pro, which I had no desire to do. Selecting it changes suspension, steering, transmission, and exhaust settings to ‘dynamic’. Like in many other sports cars, notably BMW’s M cars, this button transforms a smooth and quiet roadster that my mother would love, into a loud and quick sports car that I want. I am not exactly sure what the checkered flag button physically does, but all that a potential buyer needs to know is that it takes a vehicle that feels like an entry-level Mercedes SL and turns it into a Porsche Boxster.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible dash

But I had another issue with this Jag, and here is where this Jag has clearly failed me. In his review, Derek was going on all about how every woman in the world loved this car and its driver. Reading deeper into his writing, women were literally throwing themselves at Derek just to be chauffeured around in the slick new roadster for a bit. The car has transformed him from being a humble but righteous autoscribe into a playboy that surpasses the likes of Lapo Elkann.

That did not happen to me. Not a single woman has expressed any interest what so ever in this car. I even made a point of dressing a little better when driving it and ensuring that my pricey mechanical timepiece was visible to all passer-bys. Not one woman even looked at me. Not even my wife. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Point. Zero. Now I’m no Jack Baruth, I got zero game, but c’mon, I did not even get a gander from the ladies.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible exterior details 2

But the car did attract a lot attention, except that it was from every single balding middle-aged man in vicinity. They inquired about the British Racing Green paint and how it glistened in the sun. They needed to know the engine specs. One asked if it was a V12. They needed to hear it. I was tailgated by a young guy in a 3-series and challenged to a drag race by a Cayman owner. Even a homeless man yelled at me from across the sidewalk “how about five bucks for a bottle wine, stylin’ man!?” Five bucks!

I understand that attention as the F-Type is a gorgeous car. From bonnet to boot, there is not a wrong line on this car. There are however some questionable details and cost-cutting, such as the sculpted bolts on the rims of the wheels or plastic roll-bar covers which should really be aluminum. Open the huge front-hinged bonnet and you’ll see a plastic engine cover and not hand-polished aluminum velocity stacks. No complaints about the interior, other than outside visibility with the top up and the outdated infotainment system. The seats are adjustable in umpteen ways and wrapped in soft leather that has an intoxicating smell.  Only the British can do leather like this.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible interior details

While fun in the corners and highway ramps, the ride is bouncy when the road gets bumpy. There was also surprisingly more wind noise with the top up than one would expect, and the Meridian audio system did not sound nearly as good as the one in the Range Rover. The best solution to those problems is lowering the top and pressing the active exhaust system button.

In alfresco cruising wind buffing is kept to a minimum, with only a slight breeze over the top of the driver’s head. The heater vents are positioned so that hot air blows directly over the 2/3 and 9/10 hand positions on the steering wheel, which itself is heated. The top setting for the heated seats is akin to sitting on hot lava rocks, which makes me believe this car could be fun with the top down over three seasons.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible front left top

The 2015 Jaguar F-Type convertible starts at $69,000. The more powerful F-Type S, such as the one pictured here starts at $81,000. The test vehicle was splashed in $1500 British Racing Green paint, stanced with 20” $1500 Tornado wheels, outfitted with a $2000 Premium Pack 2, $2400 Vision Pack 2, $3400 Performance Package, heated seats and steering wheel for $600, Meridian audio for $1200, Ivory headliner (not made of real ivory) $500, HD and Sirius radio $450, and extended leather package for $1925. The total price of the test car, with delivery, came to $97,400. Those wanting more power can opt for the $92,000 F-Type V8 S. All trims are available in a coupe version for about $4000 less each. Additionally, the coupe is available in the even more powerful $99,000 550hp F-Type R trim.

Currently there are surprisingly many premium sports cars and roadsters on the market. Their abilities surpass those of supercars of only few years ago and are only limited by the driver’s skills, and even that is vastly supplemented by modern electronics. The question of which to buy is no longer answered by buff-book performance numbers, but rather by finding one that best matches your desires – there are no bad choices.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible vaz 2303 23033 lada

Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. 

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC provided the vehicle for this review.

The post Capsule Review: 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6S Convertible appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/capsule-review-2014-jaguar-f-type-v6s-convertible/feed/ 38
Potential Second-Gen Jaguar XF Caught Testing In The Wild http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/potential-second-gen-jaguar-xf-caught-testing-wild/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/potential-second-gen-jaguar-xf-caught-testing-wild/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=916794 Now that Jaguar bestowed the XE upon the world, the automaker’s engineers and designers are turning toward updating the XF as the first generation draws closer to the end. Autoblog reports the second-gen XF will likely be based upon the same iQ A1 platform used for the XE, along with losing a few pounds and […]

The post Potential Second-Gen Jaguar XF Caught Testing In The Wild appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
jaguar-xf-spy-shots-13-1

Now that Jaguar bestowed the XE upon the world, the automaker’s engineers and designers are turning toward updating the XF as the first generation draws closer to the end.

Autoblog reports the second-gen XF will likely be based upon the same iQ A1 platform used for the XE, along with losing a few pounds and gaining some new tech.

Under the bonnet, firepower will mostly remain the same, from four-pot diesels to supercharged V8, as well as the introduction of a PHEV variant. Rear- and all-wheel drive should still be around, as well as the choice between sedan and wagon.

Whatever happens, the new XF has some stiff competition waiting outside the assembly line, including the Audi A6, Infiniti Q70 and Volvo S90. Until that day, however, a few spy photos shall suffice.

jaguar-xf-spy-shots-12-1 jaguar-xf-spy-shots-13-1 jaguar-xf-spy-shots-09-1 jaguar-xf-spy-shots-04-1 jaguar-xf-spy-shots-02-1

The post Potential Second-Gen Jaguar XF Caught Testing In The Wild appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/potential-second-gen-jaguar-xf-caught-testing-wild/feed/ 5
Study: Nine Brands Suffer Loyalty Issues Among Their Customers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/study-nine-brands-suffer-loyalty-issues-among-customers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/study-nine-brands-suffer-loyalty-issues-among-customers/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=896834 Honda, Ford and Toyota all have one thing in common as far as Kelley Blue Book knows: All three inspire brand loyalty among over half of its customer base. Alas, nine other brands wish they could be just as inspirational. In its study of KBB data from 33 brands regarding customer loyalty, 24/7 Wall St. […]

The post Study: Nine Brands Suffer Loyalty Issues Among Their Customers appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Scion tC Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Honda, Ford and Toyota all have one thing in common as far as Kelley Blue Book knows: All three inspire brand loyalty among over half of its customer base. Alas, nine other brands wish they could be just as inspirational.

In its study of KBB data from 33 brands regarding customer loyalty, 24/7 Wall St. says the following nine brands are likely to see their customers jump ship to another brand come trade-in or lease time:

  • Mitsubishi: 21.77 percent average
  • Chrysler: 22.72 percent average
  • Dodge: 22.88 percent average
  • Jaguar: 25.45 percent average
  • Scion: 25.79 percent average
  • Lincoln: 27.49 percent average
  • Infiniti: 28.25 percent average
  • Volvo: 29.41 percent average
  • Buick: 29.45 percent average

The study notes the brands with the highest loyalty averages also move the most units off the lot, while low-loyalty brands have sales to match; six of the nine listed sold less than 100,000 units during H1 2014.

As for what inspires loyalty in the first place, KBB senior manager of marketing intelligence Arthur Henry says price and reliability play the most important roles in whether a customer will stick with a brand. However, luxury makes like Jaguar, Infiniti and Buick suffer not from perceptions of poor reliability, but fierce competition from within the U.S. luxury market.

That said, Arthur notes customers can switch loyalties no matter how a brand is perceived, citing economic conditions and changing consumer preferences as factors in switching.

The post Study: Nine Brands Suffer Loyalty Issues Among Their Customers appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/study-nine-brands-suffer-loyalty-issues-among-customers/feed/ 191
US-Spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 Unveiled At Pebble Beach http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/us-spec-jaguar-f-type-project-7-unveiled-pebble-beach/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/us-spec-jaguar-f-type-project-7-unveiled-pebble-beach/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=894002 Unveiled at this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the U.S.-spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will make its home in a few garages beginning next spring. Autoblog reports the limited edition roadster — developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations — will leave showrooms in 2015 for a base price of $165,000. A tribute to […]

The post US-Spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 Unveiled At Pebble Beach appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-56-1

Unveiled at this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the U.S.-spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will make its home in a few garages beginning next spring.

Autoblog reports the limited edition roadster — developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations — will leave showrooms in 2015 for a base price of $165,000. A tribute to the D-Type, the Project 7 will have a 5-liter supercharged V8 delivering 575 horsepower to the back, pushing the cat to a limited peak of 186 mph with a nil-to-60 charge out of the gate in 3.8 seconds.

As for what color to paint your roadster, the Project 7 can be had in either Glacier White or Ultra Blue, with British Racing Green, Ultimate Black and Caldera Red as optional colors.

jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-56-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-01-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-33-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-36-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-37-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-38-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-52-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-48-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-49-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-50-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-47-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-42-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-46-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-41-1 jaguar-f-type-project-7-white-43-1

The post US-Spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 Unveiled At Pebble Beach appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/us-spec-jaguar-f-type-project-7-unveiled-pebble-beach/feed/ 1
Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Prototype To Bow At 2014 Pebble Beach Concours http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/jaguar-lightweight-e-type-prototype-bow-2014-pebble-beach-concours/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/jaguar-lightweight-e-type-prototype-bow-2014-pebble-beach-concours/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=889217 Should you find yourself at Pebble Beach this weekend for the golf course’s famed Concours d’Elegance, you’ll be able to gaze upon the prototype for Jaguar’s newest skunk works project, the Lightweight E-Type. Autoblog reports the prototype, known as “Car Zero,” will join Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ Pebble Beach lineup, posing for all the photos […]

The post Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Prototype To Bow At 2014 Pebble Beach Concours appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
jaguar-lwe-build13-1

Should you find yourself at Pebble Beach this weekend for the golf course’s famed Concours d’Elegance, you’ll be able to gaze upon the prototype for Jaguar’s newest skunk works project, the Lightweight E-Type.

Autoblog reports the prototype, known as “Car Zero,” will join Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ Pebble Beach lineup, posing for all the photos alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR and F-Type Project 7 during the Concours’ opening reception August 14. Once its promotional activities and testing are complete, the prototype will become a permanent part of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust’s collection.

As reported earlier, the final six Lightweight E-Types are picking up where the series left off in 1964, following the production of the 12th vehicle in the limited edition series. Each of the six will be built-to-order at JLR Special Operations’ Jaguar Heritage workshop, and all will be FIA-certified for historic racing.

The all-aluminum E-Type is driven to anger through a 3.8-liter I6 pushing 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque to the rear 15-inch wheels through a four-speed manual. Each owner will also be presented with a bespoke matching watch from the Bremont Watch Company, just so they can always know when tea (or tee) time is.

The post Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Prototype To Bow At 2014 Pebble Beach Concours appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/jaguar-lightweight-e-type-prototype-bow-2014-pebble-beach-concours/feed/ 9
Jaguar Reveals Face Of 2016 XE-S Ahead Of September Official Unveiling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-reveals-face-2016-xe-s-ahead-september-official-unveiling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-reveals-face-2016-xe-s-ahead-september-official-unveiling/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=876897 Behold the face of the 2016 Jaguar XE-S. Also: Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandé. Autoblog reports the sports sedan will be launched in early September through a sound + vision extravaganza called FEEL XE. Sandé will be kicking off the festivities in a secret location near the Thames, with influence from social media from now […]

The post Jaguar Reveals Face Of 2016 XE-S Ahead Of September Official Unveiling appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
jag-feel-xe-image-300714-1

Behold the face of the 2016 Jaguar XE-S. Also: Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandé.

Autoblog reports the sports sedan will be launched in early September through a sound + vision extravaganza called FEEL XE. Sandé will be kicking off the festivities in a secret location near the Thames, with influence from social media from now until September 8 deciding the direction of the extravaganza. Fashion designer Stella McCartney and actor Idris Elba will also be a part of the promotion through separate projects.

As for the XE-S itself, it may possess under the bonnet either a turbocharged variant of the new Ingenium 2-liter four-cylinder engines, or the 3-liter supercharged V6 from the F-Type S. The XE range as a whole will feature aluminum throughout 75 percent of its architecture, and may be the most fuel-efficient Jaguar ever built to date once official numbers are revealed.

The post Jaguar Reveals Face Of 2016 XE-S Ahead Of September Official Unveiling appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-reveals-face-2016-xe-s-ahead-september-official-unveiling/feed/ 10
Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=871890 Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs. Drive.com.au reports the parent company is using the technical and design know-how JLR to begin growing its passenger vehicle line in Australia and beyond, though Darren Bowler, […]

The post Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Tata-Xenon-11

Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs.

Drive.com.au reports the parent company is using the technical and design know-how JLR to begin growing its passenger vehicle line in Australia and beyond, though Darren Bowler, managing director of importer Fusion Automotive, assures that no badge engineering would occur between the two brands.

What would be shared, according to Bowler, would be platforms and engines, such as the global platform underpinning the upcoming Nexon SUV that could “be used as an Evoque… a Tata, [or] a Jaguar,” as well as the Ingenium family of four-cylinder engines that will soon turn up under the bonnet of many a JLR product.

In the meantime, Tata Australia plans to tackle the medium- and heavy-duty markets with the Ultra and Prima, both joining the light-duty Xenon.

The post Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/feed/ 13
Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=863225 Jaguar Land Rover is bringing a duo of augmented-reality HUDs to its respective brands, each with a different take on the technology. Autoblog reports the Land Rover’s setup will have what they dub a Smart Assistant handling nearly every function and task so as to allow the driver to focus on driving to their destinations. […]

The post Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jaguar HUD

Jaguar Land Rover is bringing a duo of augmented-reality HUDs to its respective brands, each with a different take on the technology.

Autoblog reports the Land Rover’s setup will have what they dub a Smart Assistant handling nearly every function and task so as to allow the driver to focus on driving to their destinations. The assistant connects with a driver’s smartphone to do everything from reminding you to drop off the children at school, to playing those morning jams Jalopnik likes to recommend. Meanwhile, the technology is also at work on-board, noting how many passengers are with the driver, knowing how the driver drives, even adjusting the air suspension to make exiting the vehicle easier.

Jaguar, on the other hand, is taking the video game approach with the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen, turning a day at the track into a scene from Forza or Gran Turismo. The race-oriented HUD offers lap times, virtual racing lines and ghost competitors among other data selections. There will also be gesture controls and configuration options, as well.

The post Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/feed/ 6
Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type – Base Is Best http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-base-is-best/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-base-is-best/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:30:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=834465 How much power is enough? 300 horsepower? 400? 500? Let’s put it another way? How much is enough to impress people you don’t even like? The vehicle above is identical to the Jaguar F-Type V8S I drove: Sandfire Metallic, Dynamic Mode, cheesy gold-painted plastic paddles (ugh) and an exhaust note that sounds like a 1200cc […]

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type – Base Is Best appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014-F-TYPE-tunnel-main_rdax_646x396

How much power is enough? 300 horsepower? 400? 500? Let’s put it another way? How much is enough to impress people you don’t even like?

The vehicle above is identical to the Jaguar F-Type V8S I drove: Sandfire Metallic, Dynamic Mode, cheesy gold-painted plastic paddles (ugh) and an exhaust note that sounds like a 1200cc Harley with the mufflers cut off – with some added popping-and-farting noises programmed in for good measure.

2014-Jaguar-F-Type-S-interior (1)

This is a car that impresses other people. It looks like a sports car, or even a junior exotic. It certainly sounds like one. As I recounted in my last review of the F-Type V6S, it is one automobile that really does make you more attractive to the opposite sex. It’s also the worst F-Type variant on the market.

Ok, the soundtrack is intoxicating – to a point. The only way you can enjoy that mechanical orchestra is to accelerate really quickly and then let off the gas, to decelerate to the point where you might get a hefty speeding ticket, but not a roadside impound. Forget flying under the radar (literally) –  it’s so bloody loud that every highway patrolman or concerned citizen within a 25 mile radius can hear what you’re doing. The Group B rally-car noises plumbed in to the V8 exhaust note is like spiking Chateauneuf-du-Pape with Grape Kool-Aid.

2014-F-TYPE-V8-S-parked

While you’re doing busy making a scene, you are probably negotiating some bends, and the V8S, with its extra two-cylinders, supercharger and associated plumbing and massive wheels, feels substantially heavier than the other models. The difference coming out of the two cars is drastic, like you’ve just removed a rucksack full of dumbbells from its back…err, front.

The best comparison that can be made is between the various last-gen Mustangs. As you go from a Shelby GT500 to a V8 to a V6, you feel the nose get lighter and lighter progressively. Which shouldn’t matter on a less track-focused car that’s all about excitement and getting attention to make up for a lack of parental love. But it does, especially when you’re getting an indicated 11 mpg, while trying to use the F-Type’s quad pipes to recreate the sounds of the Battle of Britain.

2014-F-TYPE-beauty

When it was time to return the V8S, I felt satisfied that I had been sufficiently validated by anonymous motorists and pedestrians. It was time for the V6S – or so I thought. Horror of horrors, it turned out that I was incorrect. It was a V6. The base V6. Oh, the indignity of having to drive a base model F-Type, with just 340 horsepower (rather than the 380 ponies of the V6S), a (slightly) quieter exhaust, and smaller wheels without faux-Brembo red calipers.

photo 3 (1)

Well, it turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As good as the V6S I raved about last fall? No. But there would be no shame in driving one of these every day, because if nothing else, it’s more exciting than a base Boxster. For starters, the aforementioned front-end liposuction works wonders in everyday situations. The base F-Type actually feels nimble and easy to toss around, to say nothing of maneuvering through traffic. There’s still Dynamic Mode, the active exhaust and a Sport Mode for the transmission, which makes things a fair bit louder and a bit more raw, without sacrificing everyday comfort or drawing the ire of your neighbors when coming home late at night.

Despite being down 40 horsepower compared to the V6S, the base car is still reasonably quick, but adds another level of engagement to the experience. You have to work the car a bit harder to access the still-plentiful power reserves, and in the real word, that’s often more rewarding – meanwhile, fuel economy was an observed 23 mpg, or about double what I recorded during the V8S’ totally unscientific acceleration/efficiency testing. At a base price of $69,000, it’s also about $23,000 less than the V8S.

photo 3 (1)

Ask yourself, can you live with an extra $23,000, while also having to tell people that yes, the V6 models are actually the superior choice? I tried, and my explanations about less weight over the nose, a more exotic soundtrack (the V8 sounds like a cross between a Spitfire aircraft and a Pontiac GTO – the V6 sounds like a cross between a Lancia Stratos and Hendrix’s version of Voodoo Chile ) and, worst of all, less horsepower

Personally, I gave up, exasperated, but I didn’t care. A lot of people do. They have to be able to tell people that they bought the best, the most powerful, the most expensive, even if its capabilities are so beyond them, it would be like giving a .500 S&W Magnum to somebody who doesn’t know how to fire a .38. It’s all that most F-Type buyers really need, but when does logic ever pop into the sports car purchase decision?

I know this because I’m the kind of person that felt exactly the same way about the V6 Mustang – it’s more nimble and agile, it’s got plenty of power and it’s the better choice for most daily driving situations. But I’m vain, and I’d never buy a V6 Mustang because then, you won’t be impressing strangers and people you don’t actually like. But I’m human, and prone to inconsistencies bordering on the hypocritical. And with the F-Type, I’m making a deviation from my usual logic.

I wish I could close out the article by saying that my girlfriend agrees that the V6 is her choice too, but she just dumped me.  All I can think about is how even though the Porsche Boxster is a sharper machine, I’d really like to go for a drive in the F-Type right now. Given the chance, I would take the V6, not the V8, to help me clear my head and get over the fact that my passenger seat is going to be empty for the next little while.

2014-F-TYPE-beauty 2014-F-TYPE-tunnel-main_rdax_646x396 2014-F-TYPE-V8-S-parked 2014-Jaguar-F-Type-S-interior (1) 2014-Jaguar-F-Type-S-interior 2014-Jaguar-F-Type-S-track-close

 

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type – Base Is Best appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-base-is-best/feed/ 46
Jaguar Will Finish Lightweight E-Type Project 50 Years After It Began http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/jaguar-will-finish-lightweight-e-type-project-50-years-after-it-began/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/jaguar-will-finish-lightweight-e-type-project-50-years-after-it-began/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 11:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=821330 Those with enough money their pockets and desire a new Jaguar E-Type could opt for the restomod offerings from Eagle, and would likely be happy with what they receive. However, an exclusive few may manage to snag a new E-Type directly from Jaguar as soon as this summer, when the automaker finishes the final six […]

The post Jaguar Will Finish Lightweight E-Type Project 50 Years After It Began appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1963-silverstone-lightweight-e-type-003-1

Those with enough money their pockets and desire a new Jaguar E-Type could opt for the restomod offerings from Eagle, and would likely be happy with what they receive. However, an exclusive few may manage to snag a new E-Type directly from Jaguar as soon as this summer, when the automaker finishes the final six of 18 Lightweight E-Types after a five-decade pause in production.

Autoblog reports the program — begun in 1963 — will pick up where it left off in 1964, when the last of the first 12 of the all-aluminium cars rolled out of the factory. At the time, the remaining sextet of E-Types had chassis numbers ready to go, only for life to take Jaguar elsewhere.

With the numbers found, however, the automaker will at last build the missing cars. The work will occur in-house, with its craftsman hand-building each one to the exact specs as the original 12, all of them powered by an aluminium 3.8-liter I6. The cars will weigh 250 pounds less than the standard E-Type.

As for when and where the first Lightweight will roll off the line, Jaguar says the car could arrive sometime this summer, though “established Jaguar collectors, expecially those with historic race car interests,” will have first dibs on the six vehicles. No price has been stated thus far.

The post Jaguar Will Finish Lightweight E-Type Project 50 Years After It Began appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/jaguar-will-finish-lightweight-e-type-project-50-years-after-it-began/feed/ 13
Drive Slow, Homie http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/drive-slow-homie/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/drive-slow-homie/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=789233   A good friend of mine has a bit of wisdom that I try to follow whenever possible: “Say yes to everything.” It’s easy to misconstrue this as encouragement to engage in promiscuous behavior, ingestion of narcotics and other activities that are indicative of poor future-time orientation. Instead, it’s an exhortation to open oneself up […]

The post Drive Slow, Homie appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_8619

 

A good friend of mine has a bit of wisdom that I try to follow whenever possible: “Say yes to everything.” It’s easy to misconstrue this as encouragement to engage in promiscuous behavior, ingestion of narcotics and other activities that are indicative of poor future-time orientation. Instead, it’s an exhortation to open oneself up to experiences and opportunities, without regard for the kind of details that the more neurotic among us might obsess over.

I kept this in mind when I got a call from a local fleet manager not long ago. His offer was simple: drive a brand new Jaguar XKR for a week. As always, there were conditions attached.

1) This was, literally, a brand new car. When I picked up the keys, it had roughly 50 miles on it.

2) I had to help with the “break-in”, which meant driving it fairly long distances, and with extra care in mind. Gentle acceleration was fine. Mashing the throttle and lighting up the rears in an effort to recreate the audible signature of a Spitfire (aircraft, not roadster) was not.

3) The last of the winter weather had yet to recede. Temperatures were still in the mid to high thirties, sporadic flurries had not yet given way to spring showers, and the car was wearing a set of fat Pirelli P Zeros.

Did I mention the 510 horsepower supercharged 5.0L V8?

Challenge accepted.

The XK has been out since the 2006 model year, and it’s only just starting to look dated right now – especially inside. As Alex Dykes noted in prior reviews, the steering wheel looks like something you would have found in a Hertz Prestige Collection car a decade ago. The most bit of evidence in our exercise in dendrochronology is the in-dash touch screen. Even though it dates back to 2006, it looks and feels more like Windows 95, though it works well enough.

To jaded enthusiasts already charmed by the Sloan Ranger flash of the F-Type, the XK might look a little stale. To everyone else, you’re driving the only supercar that doesn’t cause a reflexive feeling of hostility. Pedestrians stop and stare, little children point and, crucially, other motorists will let you in when attempting to change lanes or make left turns. You will frequently get this car confused for an Aston Martin, at which point, you have to inform them of one major difference: this thing is actually good to drive.

My lone experience with Aston Martin proved to be a real letdown. The V8 Vantage was a victim of an immense, Clarkson-driven jingoistic hype machine. Well, that’s not entirely true. The V8 Vantage was fairly well-reviewed, mostly by journalists who were angling to get back on another Aston Martin junket. Since I drove a privately owned car and my self-worth isn’t based on what junkets I get invited to, I can let you in on a secret.

The V8 Vantage was barely quicker than a 4.6L Mustang from the same era, and arguably less satisfying to drive. Not a whole lot has changed in the interim. Save yourself the $20,000 (likely more, once options are added) and buy this. It’s a bit quieter, a bit less impressive to the bystanders that you imagine are staring at you admiringly, but it’s better in the real world.

At typical speeds, this is an extremely comfortable car. Even with the comically large 20″ wheels and 20-Series tires, the ride over Toronto’s pothole-and-frost-ridden roads is superb. Somehow, the ride remains composed without ever feeling soft. Impacts are absorbed, but don’t seem to unsettle the car or make their way through the cowl like some oversprung sporty cars do. At all speeds, the car is quiet – too quiet even. With the windows up, the muted burble of the blown eight is no louder than say, the Hyundai Genesis V8 I recently tested. That’s not a good thing, even for a car that is rightfully considered a Grand Tourer.

Pick up the pace a little, and the XKR responds in a far more athletic manner than any GT has a right to do. With it’s all-aluminum structure, the car feels far lighter on its feet than a BMW M6, though in reality, it’s still just a hair under 4000 lbs, and 250 lbs lighter than the Bimmer. The steering is still hydraulic, but doesn’t have an abundance of feel or feedback. Any confidence inspired by the car is thanks to its composed chassis, which is largely absent of body roll or unwanted motions and the enormous, sticky Pirellis. It might not be the most communicative car on the road, but the XKR is very capable at making its way through turns at far higher velocities than what’s considered socially or legally acceptable.

Where the Jaguar really excels is as a high-speed, long-distance cruiser. By nature of its design, the rearward visibility makes rapidly changing lanes a bit of a challenger, with a rather small aperture that can be viewed by the rear-view mirror. On the plus side, the cushy seats, utter absence of NVH and the superb stereo make the XKR as comfortable as sitting in your favorite armchair, with a subdued NASCAR soundtrack looping in the background – not that you’d ever do something so declasse.

Being forced to drive this car at an artificially gentle pace made me appreciate that the exalted sports cars in our hobby – the Elises, Miatas the E30 M3s and Toyobarus – are fantastic cars when the conditions are perfect and the roads are properly paved and there’s not much else going on in your life to prevent you from unplugging your life and driving for a couple hundred miles to your favorite road.

That scenario is like a first date that stretches into the next morning: often discussed, rarely realized and necessitating unplanned food and bathroom visits, the latter of which can be rather awkward. For every other situation, cars like this are underappreciated. They let you crawl in traffic, take calls via Bluetooth and get you where you need to go without turning you into a sweaty, oily mess with rumpled clothes and a well-worn AAA card. There’s a reason why our EIC is so enthusiastic about his Honda Accord V6 6MT. The drive wheels might be swapped and the cylinder count might be down, but both cars fulfill the same purpose.

By the end of my time with the XKR, I had racked up nearly 1000 miles, and felt confident that I had treated the car with sufficient care that something that pushed the limits of my instructions could be done without causing excess mechanical harm. I knew from driving XKRs in the past that engaging Dynamic Mode and stepping on the accelerator from a dead stop would produce a launch like a pre-facelift Shelby GT500, with a bucking back end, a flickering traction control light and a demonic wail from the supercharged V8.

I found myself on an abandoned road in an industrial park. I was glad I said “yes”.
IMG_8492 IMG_8502 IMG_8505 IMG_8509 IMG_8605 IMG_8616 IMG_8619

The post Drive Slow, Homie appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/drive-slow-homie/feed/ 19
Geneva 2014: Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/geneva-2014-jaguar-xfr-s-sportbrake/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/geneva-2014-jaguar-xfr-s-sportbrake/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 16:22:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=765393   550 horsepower supercharged V8 in a British wrapper coated in French Blue paint. A bit confusing? Not really – it’s a CTS-V Wagon for those under the jurisdiction of the EU Parliament.

The post Geneva 2014: Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake (1)

 

550 horsepower supercharged V8 in a British wrapper coated in French Blue paint. A bit confusing? Not really – it’s a CTS-V Wagon for those under the jurisdiction of the EU Parliament.

2015-Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake-01 2015-Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake-02 2015-Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake-04 2015-Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake-05 2015-Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake-06 2015-Jaguar-XFR-S-Sportbrake-08

The post Geneva 2014: Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/geneva-2014-jaguar-xfr-s-sportbrake/feed/ 10
New Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Brazil to Open in 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/new-jaguar-land-rover-factory-in-brazil-to-open-in-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/new-jaguar-land-rover-factory-in-brazil-to-open-in-2016/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 11:30:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=677250 If you live in Brazil and are pining away for a Jaguar or Land Rover, Tata Motors will open a factory for the luxury marques in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The new factory, slated to produce 24,000 units annually at the beginning, is set to begin construction in Itatiaia sometime next year. The […]

The post New Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Brazil to Open in 2016 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

If you live in Brazil and are pining away for a Jaguar or Land Rover, Tata Motors will open a factory for the luxury marques in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The new factory, slated to produce 24,000 units annually at the beginning, is set to begin construction in Itatiaia sometime next year. The two luxury brands already hold 53 percent of the luxury SUV market in Brazil, with a goal to sell 10,000 units in 2014; 9,549 Evoques, Freelanders, Discoverys et al have left the showroom through October 2013.

Tata will use the new factory to meet local demand before considering export markets nearby, and is considered to be a major step in their overall global manufacturing strategy.

The post New Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Brazil to Open in 2016 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/new-jaguar-land-rover-factory-in-brazil-to-open-in-2016/feed/ 4
UR-Turn: Tesla Model S vs. Jaguar XF http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/ur-turn-tesla-model-s-vs-jaguar-xf/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/ur-turn-tesla-model-s-vs-jaguar-xf/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 11:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=647642 A colleague and friend of mine just bought himself a Tesla Model S (the fast P85 edition). I’d been wanting to find a suitable car to compare it against, so I approached a major European car vendor’s media relations people, asking for a loaner so I could do a head-to-head comparison. The response: “Unfortunately, Mr. […]

The post UR-Turn: Tesla Model S vs. Jaguar XF appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
tesla-vs-jaguar-front

A colleague and friend of mine just bought himself a Tesla Model S (the fast P85 edition). I’d been wanting to find a suitable car to compare it against, so I approached a major European car vendor’s media relations people, asking for a loaner so I could do a head-to-head comparison.

The response: “Unfortunately, Mr. Large And In Charge [not his actual name] isn’t interested in a comparison against the Tesla, Dan.” Knowing I’d never have the pull of Top Gear to get the gear I wanted in hand, I resolved that I’d do it some other way.

Recently, I received a card in the mail, inviting me to a Jaguar ALIVE Driving Experience. I’ve been to things like this before. They feed you mini-muffins, they let you tear around a mini-autocross track, you leave with a baseball cap, a mini-grin on your face, and mini-spam in your email box for months to come. I decided to invite my Tesla buddy along and see if I could get an expensive Jag in one side of my brain and compare it to the expensive Tesla in the other side of my brain. Here’s what happened.

First, let’s just look at them side by side, shall we? From the front, the Jaguar XF and the Tesla Model S have distinct personalities. The Tesla’s oval mouth probably has more in common with a Maserati Quattroporte, but the headlights have comparable anger to them. Both of these cars are snarling at you to get out of the way. Here’s a rear view.

tesla-vs-jaguar-rear

The resemblance is clear. The Tesla’s hatchback and the Jaguar’s trunk are cut from the same cloth. You can see how much wider the Tesla’s hatch is, though, making it much easier to get big stuff in and out. What about the mirrors? Our own Sajeev loves to obsess over the little triangle where the mirror joins up with the front window. Here we go.

tesla-vs-jaguar-mirrors

Tesla’s mirror is a bit more svelte, but there’s more than a passing resemblance. Now wait a minute, you might be complaining, how can you possible compare these two cars? The Jaguar XF starts around $50k with a two liter turbo four-cylinder and runs well north of $100k by the time you’ve got a firebreathing supercharged V8 installed. The cars are comparably sized, at least on the outside, although the Jag’s back seat is cramped, versus the entirely adult-compatible Tesla. Both vendors are clearly going after the same buyers.

Jaguar notably didn’t bring along the two liter. I sadly only got to drive the insane supercharged V8 for exactly one lap. (Summary: it’s got huge gobs of power and lots of electronic nannies to keep you alive. Since they required us to drive with the nannies on, all I can say is that it was holding back my flooring-it throttle inputs until it felt it safe, and it was readily applying its massive brakes even when I thought it didn’t need to.) Since that’s the car they’re using to show off the line, and it’s priced roughly the same as the P85 Tesla Model S (yadda yadda government subsidies vs. gas guzzler taxes, yadda yadda), the comparison seems fair game to me.

The Jaguar’s interior is pretty much what you’d expect at this price point from a conventional car. It’s got nice fitted leather seats with contrasting stitching and that fantastic new car smell. It’s got a touch screen (deep, sometimes confusing menus), voice recognition (not terribly useful), and a bunch of buttons. The Tesla has their unlike-anything-else spartan interior. I’m including a photo here of the nav screen with direct sunlight on it. It’s bright enough that it’s still entirely usable. Anybody who knows their way around a modern smartphone will have no trouble operating the Tesla. This is the future.

tesla-nav

What about a performance comparison? Handling! Acceleration! Growling exhaust! I didn’t have anything even vaguely resembling the opportunity to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Suffice to say that the P85 Tesla’s acceleration is instantaneous and violent. And silent. On paper it’s faster than the über Jaguar and my butt dyno and I totally believe it.

Instead of that, I’ll offer a more direct comparison of the sort that automotive journalists usually ignore: sound-system quality. My buddy’s Tesla has their uprated stereo system. I asked the Jaguar folks if I could get some quality time with their sound system and they happily left me alone in an optioned-up XJR. I paired my phone, via Bluetooth, and cranked my favorite test tunes through the Jaguar’s Meridian sound system and later ran the same exact tunes through the Tesla.

jag-xf-meridian

If you’re the sort of person who reads audiophile reviews, you’ll know they come in two varieties: “meaningless adjectives alongside descriptions of the reviewer’s favorite tunes” or “soulless test measurements”. Since I didn’t exactly have serious test gear in hand, nor do I wish to bombard you with meaningless adjectives (“a light, airy sound with a tight thunderous bass”), I’ll say that I used one classical orchestral piece, one late 1950’s jazz studio recording with Ella on vocals, and two bits of carefully chosen 90’s techno that will drive any subwoofer to submission.

In a nutshell, the Jaguar’s sound system was perfectly fine on the orchestral piece (lots of dynamic range, etc.), was a bit muddy with the famous female jazz singer, and the techno revealed the dreaded one-note-bass-thud-thud-thud, of the sort that you’d expect from somebody’s riced out Honda Civic. The Tesla was similarly fine on the classical piece, was slightly better on the jazz (something a bit off in the upper treble of Ella’s voice), and was 95% there on the techno, with different bass notes sounding notably different. (In my previous Tesla Model S encounter, that car didn’t have the uprated stereo. I played the same tunes there, and they were noticeably worse. If you want to listen to anything more demanding than talk radio in your Tesla, pony up for the good sound system. And somebody please invite Tony Stark Elon Musk to listen to a good pair of ribbon speakers so he knows what to shoot for.)

Before I go, I’ll offer a couple quick words on the other Jaguars. The XK is still the best looking Jaguar out there. Below is a tricked out XKR-S, with matching contrasting stitching. Oh, and the driver’s seat is set perfectly for me (5’10”). Those ain’t back seats. They’re parcel shelves.

jag-xj-interior

They also let us drive the new F-Type, in supercharged V6 and supercharged V8 form. This car is every bit the hoontastic screamer as the XK, and for a slightly less outrageous price. The only thing you’re giving up is the rear parcel shelf seat. However, I’ll draw your attention to the gear selector (photo below). This is guaranteed to be misunderstood by the first valet you give the keys to, who will promptly back your car up into traffic and destroy the poor thing. You see, to put it in “park”, you press the “P” button on the top of the stick. If you just move the stick up, like every other automatic ever made, that’s just “reverse”. (Pro-tip: buy a manual transmission. Oh wait, you can’t.)

jag-ftype-interior

And, last but not least, when I first saw the XFR-S in its “French Racing Blue” (vraiment?), the comparison that sprang to mind was the dearly departed Pontiac G8. Is it just me?

jag-xf-vs-pontiac-g8

The post UR-Turn: Tesla Model S vs. Jaguar XF appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/ur-turn-tesla-model-s-vs-jaguar-xf/feed/ 36
2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe to Debut at LA Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/2015-jaguar-f-type-coupe-to-debut-at-la-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/2015-jaguar-f-type-coupe-to-debut-at-la-auto-show/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 14:11:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=643570 For those of us who love the Jaguar’s F-Type’s zazz but would prefer to keep the wind out of our hair (along with the rain, sleet and snow) on a more permanent basis, Jaguar now has an option for you. The hardtop iteration of the British-Indian automaker’s halo car will make its global debut in […]

The post 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe to Debut at LA Auto Show appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
F Type Coupe

For those of us who love the Jaguar’s F-Type’s zazz but would prefer to keep the wind out of our hair (along with the rain, sleet and snow) on a more permanent basis, Jaguar now has an option for you.

The hardtop iteration of the British-Indian automaker’s halo car will make its global debut in Los Angeles November 19 at an exclusive party for VIP customers and media types prior to taking the floor at the LA Auto Show a day later.

Though little is known about what’s under the bonnet or the glass roof panels, the all-aluminium cat most likely won’t have the C-X16’s KERS-inspired hybrid drivetrain. Rumors are abundant that a manual gearbox will debut along with the coupe. The coupe will debut in showrooms across the United States in the spring of 2014.

The post 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe to Debut at LA Auto Show appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/2015-jaguar-f-type-coupe-to-debut-at-la-auto-show/feed/ 16
The Jaguar F-Type vs. Some Tunnels http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-jaguar-f-type-vs-some-tunnels/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-jaguar-f-type-vs-some-tunnels/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=638505 Six days a week, Monday through Saturday, I get up at 4:45 am – five o’clock and I’m plonked in front of the keyboard, staring at the blinking cursor of my computer screen, fuelled by caffeine and ready to start shovelling words into its gaping maw. Six days a week, but on the seventh day […]

The post The Jaguar F-Type vs. Some Tunnels appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_5261
Six days a week, Monday through Saturday, I get up at 4:45 am – five o’clock and I’m plonked in front of the keyboard, staring at the blinking cursor of my computer screen, fuelled by caffeine and ready to start shovelling words into its gaping maw. Six days a week, but on the seventh day I sleep in.

Sunday, a day for rest. But this day, I rise at my usual time to drive a hundred and fifty miles through the blackness and the pouring rain.

As I move east, the traffic thins. The gaps between spray-flinging semi-trailers increase. Where the highway splits, in the little town of Hope, I take the route that heads North, and find myself alone on the road in the purring Jaguar. The FM radio begins losing reception and I turn it off. The concentrated showers fade, replaced by heavy, clinging mist.

Buttoned-up, the F-type pads its way through the still-sleeping town of Yale, a light or two on here and there, but no-one stirring. The road snakes up out of town, the speed limit climbs back up – and there it is, first of seven. I pull the car over, stop, put the top down.

IMG_5250

Hell of a car, this thing, all sharp angles and compact muscle. This is the light version too, the supercharged-six rather than the blown-eight, but its 380hp is plenty of punch for the street, and with everything softened-up and battened-down for the bad weather, it’s been a great highway cruiser. I’m not here to cruise though: toggle flicked to dynamic, shifter snapped to the left, a pull on the rubbery paddle shifter to lock the eight-speed in manual mode.

Ready…

Aim…

I’ve always loved tunnels, even as a kid. Driving through them at night, you’d suddenly be transported into a world of flickering sodium-lamp orange, the car dropping into warp-space as you peered out the back seat window. In the daytime, the radio would spit, sputter, and fade to static as you passed from here to there, wherever there might be, ahead, a brightness in the shape of a D lying on its back.

IMG_5255

Fire.

Baffles fully opened, the little Jag skitters forward with a nasty cough of aggression that rises to a yowl of fury. The tiled sides of the tunnel bounce the waves right back in a crescendoing shock-wave – second-to-third with a snap and a snarl and the briefest shift of the F-Type’s hips on the rain-slicked surface.

The strip-lighting blurs, the cacophonous bellowing playing castanets with my inner ear, the plates of my skull starting to approach valve float – and then we’re through, through into the purple-black early morning and the stillness of the surrounding mountains. I come off the throttle immediately into a Sten-gun chorus of backfires – with this engine, the Jag isn’t insanely fast or anything, but abandoned though it may be at this early hour, this is still a public road.

And anyway, what’s the hurry? That was just the first of seven.

IMG_5291

This is the Fraser Canyon’s gem, not quite a secret, but an oddity I’d forgotten about. The road itself is a joy, not the knotted crest-and-dip roller-coaster of a California canyon road, but winding and undulating and – best of all – almost completely deserted. That’s not what got me out of bed though.

There are seven tunnels here, in the short space of just twenty-five miles. The longest, the China Bar Tunnel, is up at the North end of the run, a 2000-foot flourish for my impromptu symphony of fire. This first borehole was a straight-shot, a musket-barrel to fling the car out like a projectile chased by an eruption of violence, but the others are a variety of shapes and sizes like over-boiled macaroni noodles stuck in the bottom of the pot.

IMG_5266

In between them, the Jaguar’s cockpit is wind-whipped and damp, more so than a Boxster’s would be. The copper-coloured shifters feel a bit cheap, and this 8-speed automatic is no eye-blink dual-clutch. Plus it’s a maybe a little bit too expensive, and the wisdom of buying a first-year British car is highly suspect. I had at least one serious issue with it in my week (gearshift locked in park – self-resolved after sitting for an hour or so), and you just know the ownership cycle’s going to be full of major/minor irritations.

But oh, how she howls. Luxury and polish is all very fine, but occasionally I can’t help but fall entirely for a car that utters a barbaric yawp every time you prod the loud pedal. Juvenile, I know, but it’s what makes me love the Boss 302, the 500 Abarth, the GLI, even my own crappy Subaru.

The 8-speed lets you hold a gear right up to and past the red-line – want to charge stupidly into the rev-limiter? Go ahead. The rasp and crackle of lift-off backfire fills the China Bar’s hollow tube, and then it’s stab at the throttle again and cranking it up to 11, innit? What a moron I am. What a happy moron.

IMG_5273

We’ll miss this sort of thing in the electric future. The Model S has its own ffffwwweeeee of happy electrons fizzing away under hard acceleration, but its not quite the same thing sometimes. Sometimes the automobile is a source of pride of ownership. Sometimes it’s sensible and clean transportation. Sometimes it’s even a musical instrument, of sorts.

But sometimes it’s just a place to crank the distortion and hamfist your way through a tunnel playing three raucous chords. Three chords and the truth.

The post The Jaguar F-Type vs. Some Tunnels appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-jaguar-f-type-vs-some-tunnels/feed/ 29
Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type V6S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-v6s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-v6s/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=598353 As a teenager reading “Death in Venice,” I understood the world to be divided between the Aschenbachs and the Tadzios. There are those who gaze, and those who are gazed upon. – David Rakoff I, as Rakoff would put it, am not a handsome man, though my mother would disagree. If I were to be […]

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type V6S appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

ftypebaronsmall

As a teenager reading “Death in Venice,” I understood the world to be divided between the Aschenbachs and the Tadzios. There are those who gaze, and those who are gazed upon. – David Rakoff

I, as Rakoff would put it, am not a handsome man, though my mother would disagree. If I were to be cast in a James Bond movie, I would probably play the villain. Past lovers have often commented on my intelligence, my charm and my high earning potential as an automotive journalist, but rarely if ever on my physical appearance. I’m at peace with this, for I have discovered that the one automobile that can “increase sexual arousal, particularly in women” is not the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible, as P.J. O’Rourke would contend, but a Jaguar convertible.

xkr

My first realization of the aphrodisiac qualities of the Jaguar convertible was not in the F-Type, but with its older sibling, the XKR.  An affable but outdated grand tourer, the XKR was borrowed for competitive analysis against the F-Type, which consisted of numerous acceleration tests to confirm the potency of its 510 horsepower supercharged V8 (potent, indeed) as well as the efficacy of the large monobloc brake calipers to help reduce speed in the presence of local law enforcement (also excellent). The XKR’s major failing would be the uselessness of its backseat. Even the rather diminutive Jackie, who scarcely protested while sitting in the rear seat of a hardtop Shelby GT500, was forced to sit with her legs across the back seat, akin to how an XKR owner who lay his golf clubs across the rear bucket seats.

Shortly after Jackie departed, my friend Kyle and I entered ourselves in the Yorkville Grand Prix, named in honor of the tony downtown district that functions as an informal home to Toronto’s supercars. There are no winners, but entrants are required to drive in either first or second gear under significant load, while spectators jeer the participants sotto voce. As I completed lap number 3, I was taken aback by a rare phenomeon. A gorgeous young girl, barely older than 20, crossing the street as I sat waiting at a red light. As she strutted past me, her skintight white pants and skimpy halter top were only secondary considerations. She was making eye contact with me!

“There’s a nice Jewish girl for you,” remarked Kyle.

The best I could do was to flash a meek smile, more forced than the ones I pulled on antecedent elementary school picture days. To my surprise, she smiled back and blushed a little. I reflexively  drove off when the light turned green, not even thinking about trying to engage her in any way. I decided to turn back and try and find her, but it was in vain. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get to enjoy that feeling again,” I lamented, as the XKR roared down University Avenue. It turns out I was wrong.

IMG_4759

If you want to be the center of attention, especially among nubile women, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not remember the XKR even exists. You want an F-Type, perhaps in Polaris White as shown above. Italian Racing Red is certainly striking but will invite too many snide quips about inadequate genitals to be beneficial. You will get so many stares from attractive women of all ages that you will begin to feel the kind of contempt for them generally known to deeply damaged people who spurn romantic advances because they feel unlovable. Oh, and you absolutely must get the car with the “Configurable Dynamic Mode”, which adds another $3,000 to the base price, but effectively gives you two cars for the price of one.

IMG_4781

With Dynamic Mode off, the F-Type is all show but feels like it has a lot less go. The 380 horsepower V6 is still there, but throttle response is muted, the exhaust produces a rather banal hum akin to a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 and the steering feels a bit like the current Mazda MX-5, with lots of response but not as much feel. But it’s also not a supple grand tourer like the XKR. One would be forgiven for thinking of it as a halfway sports car for the chest-hair-and-Hublot-watch crowd.

IMG_4757

But with Dynamic Mode toggled to the on position, the F-Type stops being a fashion accessory. It’s difficult to think of a car that can change its character so completely with one simple action, but the transformation is remarkable. Suddenly, the V6 has found its lungs, emitting a demonic snarl that sounds more exotic than Ferrari’s most recent V8s, with all the popping and backfiring that any attention-seeker could want. The numbed throttle and steering are suddenly crisp and responsive, while the chassis becomes even more taut.If you listen closely, you can hear the faintest bit of supercharger whine, something that, in my opinion, should be more present on a car like this. Slot the 8-speed transmission into “S” and the shifts are executed with an alarming brutality, akin to the very first Lexus IS-F. You feel each gear change through your spine as the car hurtles you forward. Industry scuttlebutt claims that a manual may show up alongside a coupe version. They can keep it. Even without a clutch pedal and a gearshift, it will make your facial muscles hurt from grinning so much.

IMG_4779

Back on planet earth, the car is affable in everyday situations. On longer highway drives, the revs are kept below 2000 rpm thanks to the 8-speed transmission. There is a slight hint of wind noise right where the convertible top meets the A-pillar, but generally, road noise is dependent on whether the active exhaust is open or not. There are flaws too. The stop-start is a little ridiculous on a car like this. When the top is up, blind spots are massive, as one would expect with a convertible. The trunk is unable to hold even one golf bag, which will apparently put off some potential buyers.

IMG_4762

And so will the fact that, according to reputable sources, this car is not quite the dynamic proposition that a Porsche Boxster or 911 is on the Race tack. Frankly, I couldn’t care less, and I’m sure plenty of customers don’t either, though they won’t have the bragging rights of a Nuburgring time or some other meaningless performance benchmark. Today’s Porsche sports cars, dynamically competent as they are, don’t make you feel this special. Then again, I’m not sure any car feels this special. If you want to win an HPDE event, then a P-Car is your only choice. If you want to feel like an equine-endowed billionaire Formula 1 champion petroleum tycoon international playboy film star every single day of your life until the warranty runs out, this is your only option. At $84,000, it will make you better looking too, without you ever having to go under the knife.

text

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type V6S appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-v6s/feed/ 46
Capsule Review: Jaguar XJ 3.0 AWD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/capsule-review-jaguar-xj-3-0-awd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/capsule-review-jaguar-xj-3-0-awd/#comments Fri, 24 May 2013 13:22:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=489321 It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which of the Jaguar Land Rover partnership is the breadwinner. People cannot get enough Evoques, LR4s and Range Rovers, even though the competition can do pretty much everything else in a more competent fashion, for less money. But at least Land Rover stands for something. Never mind the […]

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar XJ 3.0 AWD appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
xjlawd

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which of the Jaguar Land Rover partnership is the breadwinner. People cannot get enough Evoques, LR4s and Range Rovers, even though the competition can do pretty much everything else in a more competent fashion, for less money. But at least Land Rover stands for something.

Never mind the snide remarks about the Kardashians and McMasions in my prior piece. Land Rovers have fought in wars, kept the peace, carted around countless dignitaries and monarchs and been to the kind of places that require vaccinations before you depart. And people remember that.

What about Jaguar? How many people still remember them for the E-Type versus their history of questionable reliability? I’d place my money on the latter being the brand’s defining characteristic that doesn’t have to do with their country of origin. Watching the XJ make an appearance in the latest James Bond movie, I was struck by how appropriate it was for M to be chauffeured in a dark colored XJ (note to Jaguar: get Bond in an F-Type next time around), but I doubt many people shared my sentiments. That’s a shame because there is a fair amount of history linked with the XJ and the various institutions of the United Kingdom as there is with Land Rover. Think of Margaret Thatcher leaving number 10 Downing Street after being ousted by her own party or Tony Blair arriving at Princess Diana’s funeral if you need examples.

The current shape XJ (now employed by David Cameron) was an enormously polarizing design when it debuted in 2009, and a good part of that sentiment had to do with the fact that the XJs had undergone mild, 911-style evolution in the preceding decades, during which they were the ride of choice for all manner of British VIPs. The 2005 redesign that introduced an all-new aluminum construction was barely distinguishable from the generation before that. Meanwhile, BMW had introduced the Bangle-look 7-Series and Audi’s A8 was starting to get some traction among luxury buyers. Sales were unsurprisingly dismal, and the radical change in design was deemed necessary.

Personally, I love the look, even if its more French than British. To me, it recalls the profile of the Citroen C6, with the quirky French styling cues replaced by a masculine, squared-off stance. Unlike the supercharged V8 versions, this one doesn’t have absurdly sized shiny rims, but the design doesn’t suffer for it the way that some cars, like Bangle BMWs and current Audis, look a bit wonky when devoid of big dubs.

The big news for the XJ this year is the addition of all-wheel drive and a new supercharged 3.0 V6 engine. The two drivetrain options come bundled together, as a response to the twin desires of more modest fuel consumption and improved winter-weather traction. Since it was 25 degrees and sunny for most of the week, I didn’t get a chance to try out the all-wheel drive system.

Alex Dykes last clocked a blown V8 Supersport at 4.3 seconds to 60 mph, and based on my own impressions of that car, I’d concur. It is a seriously fast set of wheels. Not having the capability to do instrumented testing, I will have to take Jaguar’s estimate of 6.1 seconds for the V6 car at face value – but I’d never complain that the V6 felt slow. The reluctance of the 8-speed automatic to downshift upon applying the throttle was noticeable, but once the transmission complied, there was no shortage of power available. Fuel economy in mixed driving was roughly 23 miles per gallon – not much better than the 21.5 mpg Alex managed with his Supersport, but I suppose some of the blame – and the appeal of the 3.0 – could be pinned on the AWD system.

Thanks to its aluminum construction, the XJ feels light on its feet. The chassis is a credit to JLR’s engineers, which managed to strike a balance between providing engaging handling while isolating the car’s occupants from the road surfaces, especially poor ones. The lack of big rims and low profile tires also play a part in delivering such good ride quality.

The one blight on this car is the Start-Stop feature, which was far from unobtrusive. I don’t have any philosophical opposition to these systems, but myself and several other passengers noted that the system was rather abrupt in cutting power and re-starting the engine; certainly, it operated in a manner that was inconsistent with the overall supple, isolating nature of the car’s ride and NVH characteristics. Some of TTAC’s Europe-based commenters have been skeptical of the efficacy of these systems with respect to fuel economy, but North Americans have had little exposure to them. I expect many will elect to disable this system.

Although the somewhat clumsy infotainment system is shared with the Range Rover, the rest of the interior is all Jaguar. Gone is the black plastic and the aluminum looking trim, replaced by acres of wood and dead bovine hyde. Your eyes will forget about the rather lackluster digital gauge cluster and instead gravitate to the long, arcing section of wood that spans from A-pillar to A-pillar just above the dashboard. When these cars end up as one of Murilee’s Junkyard Finds, I will be going into the carcass of an XJ and extracting this piece to hang in my future garage.

While I criticized the Range Rover for not offering much above and beyond its rival aside from a great badge, there are plenty of compelling reasons to pick an XJ over its rivals. There is an argument to be made for the Audi A8 being a more precise drive, but I prefer the increased isolation and the wood-and-leather cabin of the XJ compared to the more austere Audi – or any of its rivals. Since I’m not overly concerned with tech features, the Jag’s superior road manners give it the edge over the 7-Series, S-Class or LS460 in my books. At an as-tested price of $86,000, it’s neither the cheapest or the priciest car in its class.

Jaguar hasn’t been associated with the “Grace, Pace and Space” mantra in some time, this car would be the perfect manifestation should they ever decide to use that as the brand’s messaging. There is no shortage of power, comfort or elegance, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the most beautiful 4-door car on sale today. But judging by recent sales figures, more people are choosing the A8 –  at least the addition of all-wheel drive gives them one less excuse for ruling out the XJ.

 

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar XJ 3.0 AWD appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/capsule-review-jaguar-xj-3-0-awd/feed/ 89
2013 Jaguar F-Type Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/2013-jaguar-f-type-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/2013-jaguar-f-type-review/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 14:46:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484561 More than 50 years after the E-Type was launched, Jaguar has brought its successor, the F-Type to the market. You might wonder why such a long gap between both the cars. Well, the British automaker was developing the F-Type way back in the 1980s but the project was delayed time and again, finally being cancelled […]

The post 2013 Jaguar F-Type Review appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-08

More than 50 years after the E-Type was launched, Jaguar has brought its successor, the F-Type to the market. You might wonder why such a long gap between both the cars. Well, the British automaker was developing the F-Type way back in the 1980s but the project was delayed time and again, finally being cancelled after Ford bought the company. In 2000, Jaguar showcased the F-Type concept but that too did not make it to production. Now the F-Type is finally on sale and is offered with an option of 3 engines, the base V6, mid level V6 S and top end V8 S. The F-Type is priced right between the Porsche Boxster and Porsche 911 Carrera, thereby sitting in no man’s land.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-11

The styling of the F-Type is gorgeous. While it may not be a design breakthrough like the E-Type, the exteriors are very attractive and draw a lot of eye candy. The highlight at the front is the large grille with chrome lining and big air vents on either side of the bumper. There are some E-Type cues too but not very excessive. The door handles pop out of the doors when you need them, this helps the vehicle to remain aerodynamic.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-10

The rear of the F-Type is by far the most attractive part of the car. The rear is simple, minimalistic yet so visually pleasing. The small tail lights give an E-Type deja vu, while the rear stance is extremely sporty with twin centre tail pipes on the V6 models and quad pipes (two on either side) on the V8 model sitting on the rear bumper. The rear spoiler electronically retracts at speeds over 95 km/hr and generates 120 kgs of downforce. It stays closed otherwise to keep the lines at the rear clean.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-13

The interiors of the F-Type are a mix of sporty and luxury. The cabin is very well laid out and features excellent quality all around. You sit low but the seats are extremely supportive offering tremendous comfort. The centre console borrows some cues from the E-Type like the AC switches which take inspiration from aircraft switches. There is a grab handle for the co-driver on the centre console, it does look a bit out of place. The steering wheel feels nice to hold and the dashboard has been designed keeping the driver in mind, as every control falls into the hands of the driver easily. Being a Jaguar, there has to be some gimmick, like the centre AC vents which rise up when you turn on the air-conditioner.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-03

The F-Type is powered by three engines. The 3.0-litre V6 produces 340 PS of power and 450 Nm of torque. This engine offers good performance even though it is the base variant. Zero to  60 mph  takes  5.1 seconds, top speed and top speed is limited to 161 mph. The V6 motor is quite driveable and power delivery is linear. The V6 S engine gets an additional 40 horses and 10 Nm of torque, reducing the 0-60 sprint to 4.8 seconds. Top speed  gained 10 mph.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-12

The V6 S engine has the best balance of performance and dynamics. It has 50:50 weight distribution and both V6 S and V8 S models get active exhaust note, which amplifies the sound with a touch of a button. The V6 S feels much faster than the additional 40 horses would suggest. It pulls quickly to high speeds and even manages to offer good in-gear acceleration times. A drive around the Navarra Circuit in Spain clearly showed the good balance of the F-Type, it turns in eagerly and the steering wheel is a delight, offering tremendous feedback. There is slight bit of understeer, but very negligible.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-07

The top end variant is the V8 S which gets the fire breathing 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 engine, producing 495 PS of power and 625 Nm of torque. This engine takes just 4.2 seconds to nudge past 60 mph from zero and has a top speed limited to 186 mph. In terms of performance, the V8 S F-Type is the quickest and feels terrifically fast with an exhaust note to match. The quad pipes emit pure melody and there are cracks, burbles and the likes every time you down shift. Step on the accelerator pedal and the F-Type responds immediately, pulling quickly to high triple digit speeds with furore. It simply feels quicker than it actually is.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-04

However the heavier engine means the V8 S equipped F-Type is not as nimble. This model has 51:49 weight distribution and doesn’t glide through corners like the V6 S. The handling is good and so is the steering but the F-Type is not an all out track car. The Porsche 911 Carrera is more track focused. The F-Type weighs a good 150 kgs more than the Porsche and those motors handling the door and AC vent pop out mechanism add to the unnecessary weight of the car. Jaguar says the F-Type is 6% bigger than the Porsche while weighing 3-4% more. It is however unfair to compare the Jag with the Porsche, as the F-Type is an all new car, while Porsche has been tweaking and bettering the same car for 50 years now.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-06

Mated to all engines is a 8-speed automatic gearbox which is quick with shifts and is very refined too. One can manually change gears through the SportShift gear lever (no rotary knob here) or steering mounted paddle shifts. In Sports mode, the gearbox won’t upshift and will hold the gear till you manually change-up. In Dynamic mode, the F-Type becomes more eager with better acceleration, more weight on the steering and faster shifts. The suspension too becomes stiffer and all that contributes to the vehicle offering more driver oriented performance. There is even a launch control mode, which reduces traction control to facilitate maximum acceleration. All this works very well and transforms the F-Type in a very fun to drive car. There is even a Configurable Dynamics option which lets you tweak throttle response and steering weight. You can also time your lap and measure G-forces, quite Nissan GT-R like.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-05

The brakes on the F-Type are fabulous, they shed speeds at an instant. Pedal feel is splendid too and in spite of heavy braking on the circuit, there was very little signs of brake fade (almost negligible). Ride quality is surprising good and despite those low profile rubber, the F-Type absorbs bumps with authority, transferring very little to the occupants. The car remains glued to the road at high speeds and even with the roof down, it never feels affected by the wind.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-09

The roof comes down in 12 seconds and the use of a soft top helps in reducing weight and bettering packaging. A wind deflector should be offered as an option. The boot is small at 200.5-litres but can swallow a golf bag. It is also bigger than most of its rivals.

Jaguar-F-Type-V6S-02

The Jaguar F-Type has quite a lot to offer the sports car buyer. It looks really smashing in flesh and has interiors which are comfortable and feature rich. The ride quality is excellent and so are the brakes. All engines offer very good performance and offer a smashing exhaust note, which is reason enough to buy the F-Type. The vehicle handles well, it jinks into corners with good precision. Although the F-Type is not as track focused as its chief rival, the vehicle does offer a fun experience behind the wheel which makes it so desirable.

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.

The post 2013 Jaguar F-Type Review appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/2013-jaguar-f-type-review/feed/ 64
Review: 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/review-2012-jaguar-xf-supercharged/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/review-2012-jaguar-xf-supercharged/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459748 I’d say that writing car reviews can be difficult at times but then it’s not really seemly to complain when nice folks drop off free cars to drive. Still, the gig does have its challenges. The last time that I reviewed the Jaguar XF Supercharged, a day after the fleet management company picked it up, […]

The post Review: 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

I’d say that writing car reviews can be difficult at times but then it’s not really seemly to complain when nice folks drop off free cars to drive. Still, the gig does have its challenges. The last time that I reviewed the Jaguar XF Supercharged, a day after the fleet management company picked it up, their competitor, which works for Kia, dropped off a nicely equipped Sportage. At the time I joked with Ed Niedermeyer about reviewing both cars simultaneously. After all, with the democratization of luxury the cars were similarly equipped, sort of. Ed and I decided that silly or not a comparo wouldn’t be fair to either manufacturer. Still, it’s hard not to ruminate about comparisons when you’re working on a review.

The Sportage comparo was a joke but not long before I was loaned a 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged, I reviewed the 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series and in this case it was very hard not to compare the XF to the 300. Both cars are fairly large rear wheel drive four door sedans with just about every convenience and luxury option checked off down to the power sunscreen for the back window. As a matter of fact, the Chrysler had a couple of toys that aren’t available on the XF. Of course the Jaguar is significantly more expensive. As equipped with the 470 HP supercharged version of Jaguar’s corporate V8, the XF is $69,845, just about $25,000 more than the Chrysler. I gave the Chrysler a positive review and I was very impressed with it, so I couldn’t help but keep asking myself if the Jaguar was worth $25,000 more than the Chrysler. I recently reviewed a Jaguar XJ, which stickered out at about $80K so I was also mentally comparing the XF Supercharged to the larger, but less powerful, Jaguar.

My conclusion after a week with the XF Supercharged was that I really couldn’t say if the Chrysler was a better bargain or if the XJ was worth spending an extra ten (without the supercharger) or twenty thousand dollars (with the blown motor). I can say that if you’re looking for a fast, comfortable and luxurious 5 passenger car, you could do worse than the XF Supercharged. The ultimate difference that I perceived between the XF Supercharged on one hand and both the Chrysler 300 Luxury Series and the Jaguar XJ Portfolio on the other is summed up in that word “Supercharged”. The Chrysler had the 292 HP Pentastar V6 and the XJ Portfolio had the normally aspirated 385 HP version of the Jaguar V8, and it’s that 470 HP compressed charge engine that’s the XF Supercharged’s raison d’etre.

The Chrysler wasn’t slow. I said that it had adequate power for all situations you’d find on a public road. The XJ Portfolio was also quick. Though less powerful than the blown version in the XF Supercharged, the NA V8 in the XJ was hauling around a bit less weight than the XF since the larger Jaguar is made of aluminum and actually is a bit lighter than the steel XF. Pardon the pun but as quick as the Chrysler and bigger Jag are, the supercharged XF blows them away. With almost 100 more HP than the XJ and almost 200 HP more than the Chrysler, the XF Supercharged effortlessly surpasses “adequate”. Simply put, if you need power to do something in traffic, you’ll have it with this car. Anything requiring more power would probably be something imprudent and unsafe to do with other drivers on the road. You decide to do it, you put the right pedal down, and the car goes.

Getting back to the hypothetical comparison reviews, I had praised how quiet the Chrysler was and how smooth the ride was. In fact the Jaguar was noisier. Some of that noise was deliberate – any time you step on the gas you can hear the exhaust burbling in the way that only a V8 can do. As with the XJ, some underhood engine noise is also ported to the cabin. Though not as hardcore as the 510 HP XF-R, the XF Supercharged has most of the XF-R’s chassis upgrades, and it was undoubtedly tuned for a “sportier” ride than the Chrysler. That doesn’t explain, however, the amount of wind noise around the XF’s front side windows. A couple of times there was so much wind noise I had to check to make sure that the windows and moonroof were fully closed. With the windows down it also seemed to me that there was an unusual amount of wind buffeting the interior. The ride was sports sedan firm, stiffer than the Chrysler but also a bit more controlled, and a bit less harsh over irregular pavement.

That wind noise was a bit out of place considering how luxurious the XF’s interior is. Though a good chunk of the 25K difference in price between the Chrysler and the Jaguar is that exquisitely smooth and powerful supercharged engine, and though the Chrysler indeed is well featured and nicely appointed, if I had to pick a word to describe the difference besides the engines, I’d say refinement. That extra money definitely buys you refinement. The refinement extends to things like the trick articulated trunk hinges and struts that take up no cargo space at all, compared to the Chrysler’s goose necks that lose a lot of trunk space. Yes the Chrysler’s interior is slathered with leather, but the leather in the Jaguar is softer, even that appliqued to the dashboard and other panels. I regularly work with leather in my day job, machine embroidery, and all split grain leather is not created equal. Jaguar uses superior skins. Concerning embroidery, as is au courant with automotive interiors these days, there is contrasting detail stitching on the dashboard leather, which is made up of about a half dozen separate pieces. I’d like to believe it’s old world craftsmanship but it’s more likely a computer controlled sewing machine, but however they do it, the number of stitches and their locations are so precise and uniform that wherever two pieces of leather are seamed together the detail stitching precisely bridges the seam with a single stitch.

Speaking of “split grain” leather – in a recent review, Alex Dykes alluded to Honda’s hyping of their use of split grain leather in a steering wheel cover. That’s a case of hyping something that isn’t particularly special. Any real grained leather you see in a car is split grain. Full grain leather is the entire skin (minus the fur and epidermis), it’s thick and stiff and used for things like boots and saddles. One or more layers of suede are shaved off the back of the full grain skin to make it thinner and soft enough to use for upholstery and apparel, leaving what is called split grain leather. If it has suede on one side and real grain on the other (some “leather” is really suede splits with artificial grain glued on), it’s “split grain leather”. The next time a car salesman or PR flack tells you that their product comes with split grain leather, ask them, “as opposed to what other kind of leather?”

So the Jag’s leather was softer. It also had a much stronger smell. Maybe it was just psychological but I thought that the dark brown leather even had a few flavor notes from cigar tobacco. The nannies won’t let us have cigarette lighters and ashtrays in our cars anymore, but a small humidor would not seem out of place in the XF.  It’s a modern luxury car, but it’s still a proper British sedan with plenty of real wood to go with the cowhide.

To make the comparison unavoidable the Jaguar’s interior, like the Chrysler’s, was a mix of dark brown and beige. Though the dashboard, upper door surfaces and carpeting were a chocolate brown, the upholstery and Alcantera headliner and pillars were in a light beige, giving the cabin an airy feel. I thought that the light upholstery with dark accent inserts looked great. If you can’t adjust the gazillion-way power front seats with memory, you’re in the 99th percentile. With heated, cooled and ventilated seats your bum will be comfortable year round. My friend Al, who is close to 6 feet tall and weighs a bit more than the 280 lbs it says on his drivers license offered the unsolicited opinion that the back seat was even more comfortable than the front seats, but then there aren’t side bolsters in back.

I’m happy to report that for the first time I don’t have to complain about Jaguar’s clunky infotainment touchscreen. The screen was responsive and easy to use. Voice controls worked but I found them a bit infuriating in how the menus were nested and how slow it was. I also am not fond of navigation systems that don’t let you enter an intersection. I do like how Jaguar has the auxiliary controls configured on the leather wrapped steering wheel. For some functions they use thumbwheels, which strike me as easier to use than up/down buttons. The 600W sound system sounded fine regardless of the source. I did notice a glitch with the car’s Bluetooth. While most of the time the car would automatically recognize and pair with my Android based phone, there were times when they wouldn’t hookup, even if I tried to connect from both devices. In those cases, power cycling my phone would effect a pairing. Once paired, the audio system easily accessed music on my phone. Interestingly, connecting the phone to the car’s USB port, as the owner’s manual suggests for iPods and other portable music players, didn’t work with my phone. When scrolling through music sources from the steering wheel you’re still going to have to use the touch screen to select between user supplied media under the My Music control, which is a bit inconvenient if you have both your phone/iPod and a CD connected.

Geez, I’m reviewing a 470 horsepower sports sedan and talking about music and leather??? You want to know how it drives. In short, the way you’d hope a Jaguar would drive. Yes, the steering could have a bit more feel at lower speeds and the turn in could be sharper around town (though out on the highway it was razor sharp), but the way the car goes from the apex to the exit of a turn induces joy. Set up the car and power through the turn. The XF Supercharged has a trick rear end that uses an electric motor to control torque distribution and even with stability control on and Dynamic mode off, it will let you break the rear wheels loose just a tad before stepping in and keeping you from hitting a tree ass end first. I did notice that the rear end sometimes made a small noise when the car was in gear with the brake on while sitting on a slope but for the most part it does its job without any fuss. If I compared it to a discreet English butler, would that be cliched in a Jaguar review? Sticking with the Brit domestic servant theme, the safety nannies are about as unobtrusive as I’ve experienced.

Once you get an idea of how the car handles, its purpose becomes obvious. This is not a boy-racer car, it’s a car for grownups who want to get someplace in a hurry. It’s meant to move four or five adults in comfort and speed. It’s also not an economy car. Over about 350 miles of what I’d characterize as spirited urban and suburban driving (cf. 470 HP) my avg fuel economy ranged between 14 and 16 mpg, though that lower figure involved some idling. Of course you aren’t reading this review because you’re interested in how miserly the XF Supercharged uses petrol.

I noticed that Jaguar did something clever with the brakes in terms of aesthetics. Front and back rotors appear to be close to the same outside diameter, so the 20″ rims look to be about equally filled. Significantly smaller rotors in the back sometimes look a little bit funny with all that empty space. The front wheel hubs on this car, though, have a narrower diameter, allowing a greater swept area for the front’s six piston calipers to the rear’s four pot grippers. The result is superb braking, easily modulated at all speeds, perhaps the best brakes I’ve experienced. That comes at the cost of budgeting for a weekly car wash – as with other Jaguars that I’ve tested the brakes shed copious amounts of pad dust.

The XF’s styling was updated for 2012, in part to harmonize it with the newer XJ. The Supercharged edition shares most body panels with the normally aspirated XF, though there are non-functional hood vents that read Supercharged. I said that this is a car for adults. If you want more boy-racer styling, you’ll have to upgrade to the XFR, or the almost cartoonish XFR-S, on sale later this year, that fastest production Jaguar ever made. In general I’m a fan of Jaguar stylist Ian Collum but I don’t particularly like what his team has done with the highest performance Jaguars. The R and R-S models seem fussy compared to their cleaner forebears.

I do have a styling complain about the engine compartment. While shooting the photos to accompany this review, I noticed that the molded plastic engine cover could be removed rather easily to expose the housing of the supercharger, which like in the GM LS9, is nestled in the V between the cylinder banks. Though the aluminum supercharger housing bears the marks of some rough grinding, it’s basic shape is rather pleasing to the eye. It’s possible that there were some cost savings involved, but the supercharged engine is so much a part of the XF Supercharged’s character that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to show it off. I suppose that cosmetic finish machining can be expensive, but then the cost of machining a multiple cavity injection mold for a piece as large as the polymer engine cover is not insignificant either. I’m not saying they should go to a hood with a window, like on the Corvette ZR1, but I think most Jaguar owners would like to see what their money was buying instead of a piece of plastic.

In general, though, I think the XF looks great. People admire it, and while the previous XF looked a bit generic, the new one is readily recognized (and approvingly so) as a Jaguar.

So, ultimately do I think that the XF Supercharged is worth $25,000 more than the Chrysler I recently reviewed? For the cost of a nicely equipped compact car or even an average D segment midsizer, you get a bit more refinement, a better handling car (though the 300 was perfectly competent in that regard, it was tuned for comfort, not maximum grip), and that wonderful, mailed fist in a velvet glove of an engine. I was impressed with the Chrysler’s 292 HP Pentastar, but the XF Supercharged’s 470 HP really separates the two cars. It should be noted that the XF Supercharged is the cheapest XF with a V8. With new CAFE standards on the horizon, Jaguar has been introducing downsized engines. The engine in the $46,975 base XF is a 240 HP I4 though I don’t see them selling very many, because for just $3K more, you can get the 340 HP V6 which still gets 28 mpg on the highway, compared to four cylinder’s 30. One thing is for sure, you have an abundance of powerplant options and if almost twice as much power as the base model isn’t enough, you can upgrade to 510 HP in the XFR and even 550 with the XFR-S.

Four cylinder Jaguars. God it sounds wrong to even hear that said. Speaking of comparos, it would indeed be interesting to drive the XF Supercharged back to back with the four cylinder model since the blown model is just 10 HP shy of having twice the power.

So I think that yes, the XF Supercharged is worth the difference in price over the Chrysler (though I’d be perfectly happy with the big Mopar as a daily driver). Going in the other direction, comparing the XF-Supercharged to the more expensive normally aspirated XJ I recently reviewed, though I liked the XJ and think that in general it’s a bit better balanced (the XJ is all aluminum, the XF is ferrous so the larger car is actually lighter), the XJ Portfolio that I tested was about $13,000 more than the XF Supercharged, and while you get a larger and nicer car for that 13K, you also have to give up that marvelous supercharger. Then the question becomes, is the $89,600 XJ Supercharged worth 20K more than the XF Supercharged?

That’s not a real world question that I will ever likely have to answer since I can’t afford either one. However, Jaguar is returning to the Detroit auto show this year, after an absence, so there’s a good chance that at the NAIAS media preview I’ll run into the nice lady who manages Jaguar’s press fleet. If there’s a XJ Supercharged available for review, I’ll let you know.

Disclaimer: Jaguar of North America provided the car for a week, insurance and a tank of 91 octane. Thanks to the Inn at St. John’s for the photography location.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

IMG_0098 IMG_0002 IMG_0003 IMG_0004 IMG_0005 IMG_0006 IMG_0008 IMG_0009 IMG_0011 IMG_0012 IMG_0013 IMG_0014 IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0017 IMG_0019 IMG_0020 IMG_0020a IMG_0021 IMG_0022 IMG_0023 IMG_0024 IMG_0025 IMG_0026 IMG_0027 IMG_0028 IMG_0029 IMG_0030 IMG_0031 IMG_0032 IMG_0033 IMG_0034 IMG_0035 IMG_0036 IMG_0037 IMG_0038 IMG_0040 IMG_0041 IMG_0042 IMG_0043 IMG_0044 IMG_0045 IMG_0046 IMG_0047 IMG_0048 IMG_0049 IMG_0050 IMG_0052 IMG_0053 IMG_0054 IMG_0054a IMG_0056 IMG_0058 IMG_0060 IMG_0062 IMG_0062a IMG_0063 IMG_0064 IMG_0065 IMG_0065a IMG_0065ab IMG_0067 IMG_0067a IMG_0068 IMG_0069 IMG_0071 IMG_0082 IMG_0083 IMG_0084 IMG_0085 IMG_0086 IMG_0087 IMG_0088 IMG_0089 IMG_0090 IMG_0091 IMG_0092 IMG_0094 IMG_0095a IMG_0096 IMG_0097 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

 

 

The post Review: 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/review-2012-jaguar-xf-supercharged/feed/ 18
Capsule Review: Jaguar XJL Portfolio http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/capsule-review-jaguar-xjl-portfolio/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/capsule-review-jaguar-xjl-portfolio/#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:37:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=465803 Auto journalists have a habit of being cornered at parties by interested outsiders – usually, the boyfriend of the cute girl you were just flirting with – and pounced upon with the standard question. After “what’s your favorite car?” and “what’s the fastest you’ve ever gone”, you are likely to get some kind of consumer […]

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar XJL Portfolio appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Auto journalists have a habit of being cornered at parties by interested outsiders – usually, the boyfriend of the cute girl you were just flirting with – and pounced upon with the standard question. After “what’s your favorite car?” and “what’s the fastest you’ve ever gone”, you are likely to get some kind of consumer advice question. “I have $X to spend on a car. What would you recommend?”

When you’re on the free car gravy train, the concerns of the commoners, like reliability, practicality, fuel economy and running costs disappear. That’s why I’ve witnessed some members of my guild encourage people, with an unflinching earnestness, that the best car for someone looking for reliable family transportation, would be a used Saab 9-5 Aero. Or a brown Citroen SM. Or that legendary stalwart, the TDI Jetta Sportwagen.

I confess that my own choices will always lean towards the quirky, the thrilling or the intolerably obscure, but for us scribes, it’s easy. We always have reliable transportation in our driveways on a weekly basis, so when the work-in-progress Lamborghini Espada won’t fire up, you can take the 38 MPG 2013 Nissan Altima to the store for the milk run. If you’re a regular sap, that option doesn’t always exist, and reliability gains more importance. That’s why, despite it being my favorite car I’ve driven all year, I would never recommend a Jaguar XJ to anybody, even if it’s within the warranty period.

Before I skin the cat, sans anesthesia,  let me gush over this car in the metaphor-saturated hyperbolic tone that passes for great automotive writing these days. This car is all things to all people; comfortable enough to get driven in, but exciting enough that you’ll want to take the wheel. I think it looks stunning, though 75 percent of commenters will disagree with me. Even over local roads that looked like they’d be repaired by the Syrian Air Force, the XJ glided over the dips and bumps with a softness that toilet paper marketers yearn to verbalize. The 470-horsepower supercharge engine is near silent from inside, but delivers muscle-car like thrust. On the highway cycle, I got 22 mpg cruising at 80 mph with the A/C blowing cold.

The interior somehow managed to top the 2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport I drove last year; I thought the purple velvet-lined cigar box inside the rear armrest was as good as it got. The Portfolio package, with its rear-seat entertainment system, wireless headphones (so you can listen to your own music while front seat occupants play their own music) and the wireless controllers for all of that (which look like little Gameboys) take it to the next level. Also present are the mirrored tray tables (which I assume are for the consumption of liquid, rather than powdered intoxicants) and my favorite detail, that long, curved piece of wood that wraps from A-pillar to A-pillar. My mind contorts at the thought of how difficult and expensive that piece was to make.

Now that I’m done angling for a Pulitzer Prize, let me tell you why I’d never tell anyone to go out and buy this. The atrocious reliability. When you vouch for someone or something, you put your own credibility on the line, and for most people, a car is the second biggest purchase of their lives. The stakes aren’t quite as high for your typical XJ buyer as they would be for, say, a single mother that needs a good car to get to work and pick her kids up from school. Nevertheless, reliability data from Consumer Reports and True Delta confirms that Jaguar cars still struggle with reliability. Some local journalists even reported quality problems with the press fleet units, including infotainment systems that would randomly decide to stop working.

Until there is some kind of real evidence that Jaguar is making real strides in the quality of their cars, I’ll have to recommend something else to anyone looking for a $100,000 luxury sedan. Then again, if you’re the type that owns or admires the Citroen SM, this would make a great daily driver. Think of it as a much quicker, more opulent Citroen C6. With similar reliability.

The post Capsule Review: Jaguar XJL Portfolio appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/capsule-review-jaguar-xjl-portfolio/feed/ 75