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. Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:00:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 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 » Jaguar http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Oh, Hello There Previously Unseen Jaguar F-Pace http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/oh-hello-previously-unseen-jaguar-f-pace/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/oh-hello-previously-unseen-jaguar-f-pace/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1127873 Jaguar’s coming crossover, dubbed F-Pace, was sent all over the world to test in various climates, and the automaker is sharing its photo album from the trip. The F-Pace pictured here is only slightly camouflaged ahead of its official unveiling in Frankfurt later this year. The pictures show a crossover that’s expected to take on […]

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Jag_FPACE_Cold_Test_Image_290715_02_LowRes

Jaguar’s coming crossover, dubbed F-Pace, was sent all over the world to test in various climates, and the automaker is sharing its photo album from the trip.

The F-Pace pictured here is only slightly camouflaged ahead of its official unveiling in Frankfurt later this year. The pictures show a crossover that’s expected to take on the likes of the BMW X4 and Porsche Macan when it goes on sale next year — if the automaker is to be taken seriously.

The body in the photos closely resembles the C-X17 concept that Jaguar showed off a couple years ago, and spy shots that have been circulating for a while.

While it appears that the rear tail lamps will likely be different on the production version, the concept’s aggressive hood lines and sloping roof line have remained the same. Even from the front, the Jaguar looks, well, almost Jaguar-ish.

The statement from the automaker didn’t reveal any details about what could be stuffed under the hood. Everything from a six- to eight-cylinder engine could make its way in there, forced induction or not. We’ll learn more when the crossover concept becomes a reality in Frankfurt.

The Frankfurt Motor Show begins Sept. 15.

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J.D. Power Ranks Porsche Most Appealing for 11th-straight Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/j-d-power-ranks-porsche-appealing-11th-straight-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/j-d-power-ranks-porsche-appealing-11th-straight-year/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123049 For the 11th-consecutive year, Porsche topped J.D. Power and Associate’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, which measures owners’ satisfaction with their new car. The study surveyed 84,000 new car owners 90 days after their purchase to determine their satisfaction with their purchase. Porsche topped the list, just ahead of Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi […]

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Cayenne Turbo S

For the 11th-consecutive year, Porsche topped J.D. Power and Associate’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, which measures owners’ satisfaction with their new car.

The study surveyed 84,000 new car owners 90 days after their purchase to determine their satisfaction with their purchase. Porsche topped the list, just ahead of Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Land Rover.

So in other words, “Owners Pumped About Paying A Lot for Really Nice Cars.”

2015 JD Power APEAL results

Click to enlarge.

The annual study found that added safety technology was a major contributor to overall satisfaction. According to the study, 36 percent of new car buyers added blind-spot monitoring to their cars (up 7 percent from last year), nearly half of new car buyers purchased vehicles with parking assist or backup warnings (up 4 percentage points), and nearly two-thirds of those buyers said they used the safety features every time they drove the car.

One in five buyers reported buying a car with lane-departure warning systems and one in four reported buying a car with collision avoidance systems, up from last year.

According to the study, buyers are willing to pay up to $750 more for cars with added safety features.

The industry average crept up four points over last year and Mini was the highest-ranked non-premium brand on the list. Smart was the lowest-ranked brand in the survey.

Chevrolet had three segment leaders (Corvette, Sonic and Colorado), same with Ford (C-Max, Expedition and F-150). Dodge had two leaders (Challenger and Charger) while overall-winner Porsche had three segment leaders (Cayenne, Cayman and Macan).

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Jaguar Needs to Get It Together http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jaguar-needs-to-get-it-together/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jaguar-needs-to-get-it-together/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112881 So I’m reading through Autoblog (Motto: All the recall stories that are fit to print!), and I come across an article about how Jaguar is now developing an even higher performance version of the F-Type sports car. That’s right, folks: soon, Jaguar dealers across the country will be graced with yet another six-figure car that […]

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Jaguar F-Type S AWD

So I’m reading through Autoblog (Motto: All the recall stories that are fit to print!), and I come across an article about how Jaguar is now developing an even higher performance version of the F-Type sports car.

That’s right, folks: soon, Jaguar dealers across the country will be graced with yet another six-figure car that nobody wants to buy.

If you’re an F-Type fan (who isn’t?), then you might be surprised to hear me say this — but it’s true. Cars.com does a monthly list of the slowest selling cars on the market — not by sales volume, but by actual days each car spends on the lot — and some version the F-Type is always near the top. It’s often stopped from being the true number one vehicle by only more overpriced cars, like the BMW 6 Series and the Kia K900.

So why are they developing a high-performance version? Because Jaguar remains convinced that this is the way to attract younger, hipper car shoppers: by offering the same old thing with more power at an even higher price tag. The main problem with the F-Type, Jaguar apparently believes, is that it isn’t expensive enough.

Of course, Jaguar is terribly wrong in this assessment. Not only is the main problem with the F-Type that it’s far too expensive, but its other issue is that it’s the latest entrant in a dying segment. Remember the late 1990s, when the BMW Z3 and the Mercedes SLK were everywhere? That world is gone now; dead and buried. Young people aren’t buying two-seat roadsters anymore.

Young people also aren’t buying full-size luxury sedans, which constitutes the entirety of Jaguar’s remaining lineup. There’s the large XJ — ultra-cool when it first came out, but quickly fading into obscurity as used models now trade in the low- to mid-$30,000 range — and the XF, which is among the oldest luxury sedans on the market. When the XF went on sale, people had never heard of Sarah Palin.

And young people certainly aren’t buying larger two-door cars, like the brand’s recently cancelled XK convertible. Yes, it’s true: the XK has finally left market after nearly a decade, largely unchanged, using the same general styling as it did when it rolled off the lot just after I gradated from high school. When the XK first went on sale, people had never heard of Katy Perry.

So what are young people buying? Well, SUVs mostly. That’s been clear since the early 2000s, when we had Tahoes and Explorers and Cherokees and Navigators and Escalades flying off dealer lots at the same rate as promotional brochures. Everybody wanted a piece of the SUV action, and everybody got some of it: there were Hondas and Isuzus and Fords and Suzukis and Land Rovers and Mazdas. Everyone was in.

Except Jaguar.

Fifteen years later, Jaguar still doesn’t have an SUV. They keep telling us they will soon, but we’ve seen no real evidence of it aside from the occasional concept car and a test mule running around every now and again. They have, however, given us a name: The “F Pace,” which kind of sums up Jaguar’s feelings on creating an SUV in a timely manner like everyone else.

Instead, they’re creating a more expensive version of the F-Type. They’re also creating a small sedan called the XE, which seems doomed from the start. I say this because it’s virtually identical in styling to the XF, which is one of the oldest luxury cars on the market. I also say this because Jaguar’s previous small car attempt, the X-Type, did little aside from make sure that every Craigslist used car lot will always have at least one Jag on hand.

So here’s the question: are the XE and the F-Pace signs of a revitalized Jaguar? Right now, my instinctive reaction is that I’ll believe it when I see it. Jaguar always seems to be in the middle of some grand scheme that’s going to completely turn them around — like the 1997 XK8, and the aluminum 2004 XJ, and the X-Type. And frankly, it never really seems to work. What seems to happen instead is Jaguar releases the car, the market loves it for a year, and then everyone goes back to buying Mercedes. Meanwhile, Jaguar lets the design last for another decade.

So my message to Jaguar is this: the time has come to decide whether or not you’re serious. If you are, the time has come to act like it. Start redesigning your cars more often. Bring us new features. Get the XE and the F-Pace on the market. And then, someday, people might bring up Jaguar to discuss something other than the fact that used models cost the same as a dining room set.

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Crapwagon Outtake: 2002 Jaguar XK8 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/crapwagon-outtake-2002-jaguar-xk8/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/crapwagon-outtake-2002-jaguar-xk8/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1111769 Anyone over 30 years of age reminisces about “the one that got away.” The high school sweetheart. The big fish on the lake. The chance to buy AAPL at $3/share. My dad always talked about the E-Type he let slip through his fingers. My folks lived in New Jersey at the time, and I was yet […]

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2002 Jaguar XK8

Anyone over 30 years of age reminisces about “the one that got away.” The high school sweetheart. The big fish on the lake. The chance to buy AAPL at $3/share. My dad always talked about the E-Type he let slip through his fingers.

My folks lived in New Jersey at the time, and I was yet to be. Dad spotted an E-Type — I’m guessing BRG, but that’s not important right now. It was the ’70s and the Jag was merely a used car, not the revered classic it is today. The quick loss of power on the test drive followed by the flames from the sidedraft carburetors meant my dad walked back through suburban Cherry Hill without making a deal on the sexy English roadster.

Jaguars are like that. Beautiful to a fault — and then the electrical or mechanical faults. Ford-era cars of the current millennium seem little changed from the Leyland years. How else can one explain this car, and the dozens like it across the web? $12,000 for a luxury convertible, with satellite navigation, and merely eighty thousand miles on the odometer. The Jaguar XK8 has close to 300 horsepower on tap, and by all accounts handles well for a big car. New at $75k, these can be bought all day long for the price of a new Versa.

Let’s hope Jaguar has turned the corner under Tata. Elsewhere on these pages today, you’ll find Aaron’s impressions on the riotous new F-Type, which promises plenty of performance and luxury at a seemingly astronomical price.

Part of me hopes I can buy an F-Type in ten years for pocket change — but, honestly, that would be a shame.

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2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Review – Bringing the Kitty into Shape http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2016-jaguar-f-type-r-awd-bringing-kitty-shape/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2016-jaguar-f-type-r-awd-bringing-kitty-shape/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112713 I know the experience is inauthentic. I know the sounds are manufactured somewhat. I know the marketing telling me about this car’s “soul” and “passion” is wholly disingenuous. I don’t particularly care. The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD is one of those genetically engineered chocolate-flavored bananas. It’s a trick; I get it. I just don’t […]

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD

I know the experience is inauthentic. I know the sounds are manufactured somewhat. I know the marketing telling me about this car’s “soul” and “passion” is wholly disingenuous.

I don’t particularly care.

The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD is one of those genetically engineered chocolate-flavored bananas. It’s a trick; I get it. I just don’t care. Perhaps the Jaguar’s greatest trick is reminding you that your experience in the car is less organic than a Twinkie, then making you completely forget it.


The Tester

2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Convertible

Engine: 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 (550 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm; 502 pound-feet @ 2,500-5,000 rpm)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Fuel Economy (Rating, MPG): 15 city/23 highway/18 combined
Fuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 19.9 mpg in 50/50 city/highway — liberal helpings of “Dynamic Mode”

Options: 20-inch Gyrodyne Wheels, Performance Red Leather Seats, Red Leather Headliners, Redzone Seatbelts, Vision Pack, Extended Leather Pack-Upper Environment, Illuminated Tread Plate, Black Pack “R”

Price as tested: $121,575


The F-Type is easily one of the best-looking sportscars built for two. Alongside the Mercedes-AMG GT, Dodge Viper, Audi R8 and Porsche 911, the Jaguar is an expensive toy for most people — perhaps a fourth or fifth car. It’s easy to get carried away on the car’s impracticality: the trunk space is comically small, the ingress/egress isn’t ideal and outward visibility with the roof up for someone as tall as I am (6-foot-3) is incredibly limited.

I could have told you all that before I stepped foot into the car.

Rather, my interest in this car was whether AWD somehow spoiled the fun of the last RWD F-Type, and if I believed the inclusion of a manual — which I haven’t driven — could somehow connect people to a car many people say is too fake. Is any car natural anymore?

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD

Exterior
Despite the F-Type Convertible’s brash approach to transporting you and one of your passengers in a loud, shouting roadster — very little of the car’s exterior is polarizing.

The hood’s nostrils and creases are visible without dominating the entire front end, and the functional cooling ducts in the nose aren’t over-engineered a la BMW’s M4. I appreciate that. The black bar running across the grille spoils an otherwise very good nose, and the Jag’s black honeycomb nose does what it should: feed the neutron bomb under the hood without drawing attention to itself.

The Reader’s Digest version: The F-Type’s front is tasteful but aggressive without spoiling or over-promising what’s coming out of the back.

The rear boasts the same aggressive, squinty lamps and raised hips to curve and accentuate the F-Type’s wide 295mm-wide aftward. A body-colored diffuser splits the wide difference between two sets of two tailpipes, presumably to visually fill space between the high-sitting exhausts, but the effect is lost. I almost prefer Arden’s approach with a black diffuser accented by a thin pipe of color. But I digress.

From the side, Jaguar design is tough to beat in profiles. The F-Type’s high belt and level nose and tail are classic roadster look, while the low creases below the doors help ground an already low coupe. There’s almost too much space between the wheel arches and the thin, 3.5-inch sidewall tires, but if the F-Type were any lower it wouldn’t be a Jaguar — it’d be a damn snake.

The worst part of the F-Type Convertible’s look is that the F-Type Coupe exists. That’s really it.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Seats

Interior
If our tester’s red leather seats with embossed R logos in the headrests don’t scream bombastic, then the red seatbelts will. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea (and probably not mine for $2,500 extra dollars), but it is fairly attractive when paired with the right exterior color.

Our white, black convertible with red leather was high contrast and good looking in classical terms — it’d be hard to imagine red leather looking the same with an orange exterior, however.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD InteriorThe F-Type’s cockpit is appealing in its focus on the driver, and that’s it. The passenger hand grab on the left, near the center display screams: “Keep hands and arms away.” It’s a wonderful idea.

Jaguar’s new navigation is slightly easier to use than last generation’s, which is to say, it’s passable. It’s not one of the larger automaker’s systems — Uconnect, Sync, etc. — so it lacks the fit and polish one of those systems can offer. The 770-watt Meridian sound system is sublime, and it’s a damn shame it has to be bolted to a car with no top and four tailpipes.

Although the display is bright, crisp and easily readable, there’s not a lot of information on the 8-inch touchscreen. Similarly, our F-Type’s rear backup camera (which seems a little unnecessary for such a short rear end) didn’t have the cleanest resolution. Also, the round climate control dials were attractive but difficult to understand. For example, the heated seats are controlled via pushing the temperature dial, something you’d only find out by staring at the dial and noticing a small red outline of a chair, roughly 1/4-inch tall. Meh.

Given all that, I found myself looking out more than I was looking in, listening to the car more than I was listening to the radio, and gripping the thick, leather-wrapped wheel more than the suede upper surfaces our Red Leather Package offered.

The driver controls and information are clean and sharp. Jaguar’s beefy three-spoke steering wheel is comfortable to grip and the tilt/telescopic wheel helps to find an ideal position for driving. A large, bright speedo that runs up to 210 mph (even though top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph) and expressive tachometer are classic needles and numbers, which fit the Jaguar.

The pistol-gripped shifter and dynamic control aren’t necessarily classical Jaguar features, if we’re being honest with each other. It takes a good 30 solid minutes with the shifter to discern how to get what gear and when (park is a button on top) and how to avoid shifting into neutral when you’re looking for drive. The dynamic control slider feels like a missile switch — which is awesome — but doesn’t necessarily fit the feel for the rest of the car.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Tailpipes

Drivetrain
An extraordinary body deserves an extraordinary engine, in my opinion. In that event, the supercharged V8 has a lot to live up to. The throbbing, grunting, spitting V8 has been compared to a lot of God-related events, and here’s mine: The engine sounds like a symphonic arrangement of guns, testosterone, God’s pleasure and winning every pissing contest all at the same time.

It doesn’t matter that the cackle and runoff is manufactured. I’m not particularly concerned with the active exhaust button that quiets the F-Type when it needs to slink around a neighborhood corner at 5 a.m. I think everyone should be awake to see this car, no matter how many computers are controlling what sounds and feels so organic.

That was one of my biggest questions for the AWD Jaguar F-Type R, which is the only powertrain available for the top-of-the-line model: Do you need something to swing its ass out to help you forget that it’s a series of computers and sophisticated electronics, and not a wild animal?

Well, no. Jaguar’s Magna all-wheel drive system operates mostly in the background without much intrusion to the driver. One hundred percent of the Jag’s power is sent to the rear wheels in normal driving, but if the system detects slip in the rear wheels, up to 50 percent of the power can be pushed up front. For decidedly un-hero drivers like me, that’s helpful to bring a rear end into shape around a corner, or mitigate understeer in a car with a 53/47 weight-distribution split. In short, with 550 horsepower, you can get the back around all you like, but for drivers without their Super License like me, the machine is best helping us along to faster lap times.

Aside from Jaguar’s move to AWD in the F-Type R, the inclusion of a manual option in V6 models with RWD is the other big news this year. I haven’t driven that box, so it wouldn’t be prudent to speculate, but I do know the automatic 8-speed with paddle shifters is smooth and responsive. When pressed into dynamic mode, the gearbox responds with rapid upshifts and holds gears around corners incredibly well. It may not be amazing like the Corvette’s automatic, but it’s better than slipping a shift around a canyon corner.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD

Drive
Now that I’ve buried the lede, the F-Type is glorious fun to drive. I don’t imagine it’ll be the quickest lap compared to its competition, but it may be the most entertaining.

There’s a prevailing feeling that the Jaguar is doing its best to convince you that you’re part of an organic experience — your right foot commands all the horses all the time, your hands can pummel corners into shape, and your eyes can look through and save a snap oversteer.

In reality, none of those things exist. It’s possible to manipulate the amount of spit the pipes cackle with light throttle applications and holding gears, the Jaguar’s electric assist rack is disconnected despite feeling taut and ready, and the computers can command all 550 horses to four wheels better than I ever could.

I still know all that and I still don’t care.

With the top down and the exhaust fired up, the F-Type AWD R still made me feel special every time I drove it. I care about that.

2015JaguarFType-1 2015JaguarFType-2 2015JaguarFType-3 2015JaguarFType-4 2015JaguarFType-5 2015JaguarFType-6 2015JaguarFType-7 2015JaguarFType-8 2015JaguarFType-9 2015JaguarFType-10 2015JaguarFType-11 2015JaguarFType-12 2015JaguarFType-13 2015JaguarFType-14 2015JaguarFType-15

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This Is the New 2016 Jaguar XJ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/this-is-the-new-2016-jaguar-xj/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/this-is-the-new-2016-jaguar-xj/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:02:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092681 Jaguar has revealed the refreshed XJ for 2016 equipped with a new InControl Touch Pro touch-screen infotainment system. It also has a slightly revised front fascia. Actually, the new car is so slightly revised that the above image is of the 2014 XJ and you probably didn’t know the difference. Here’s the new one: We will give […]

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2014 Jaguar XJ

Jaguar has revealed the refreshed XJ for 2016 equipped with a new InControl Touch Pro touch-screen infotainment system. It also has a slightly revised front fascia.

Actually, the new car is so slightly revised that the above image is of the 2014 XJ and you probably didn’t know the difference. Here’s the new one:

2016 Jaguar XJ Autobiography

We will give it to Jaguar: they themselves call the front fascia updates “subtle”. While the XJ does receive a wide assortment of exterior upgrades, including a “more upright grille with a new mesh pattern” and new R-Sport base model exterior look package, the changes inside are of more importance.

2016 Jaguar XJ Portfolio Interior

Sitting front and center in the Anglo-Indian dash is a new, in-house developed InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, now featuring a quad-core CPU to keep up with the increased software load. A 60GB solid-state hard drive is used for the quick retrieval of map data. The new hardware does its digital dance with a multi-touch 8-inch screen and “pinch to zoom” and “swipe” gesture capability.

The Jaguar XJ will continue to be offered in standard and long wheelbase configurations. Updated units will start arriving at dealer lots this fall.

 

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While You Were Sleeping: BMW M3 Touring Render, Ferrari Dino Returning and Takata’s Quality Chief Gets More Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/while-you-were-sleeping-bmw-m3-touring-render-ferrari-dino-returning-and-takatas-quality-chief-gets-more-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/while-you-were-sleeping-bmw-m3-touring-render-ferrari-dino-returning-and-takatas-quality-chief-gets-more-power/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 13:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1085281 As rumors swirl about the eventual release of the BMW M3 Touring, Theophilus Chin has put a couple of renders together of Bavaria’s hot D-pillared automobile. Here’s what happened overnight (and stories we’ve missed over the last few days). BMW M3 Touring (Theophilus Chin) Knowng Theophilus’ wonderful insight, it wouldn’t surprise me if the M3 Touring […]

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BMW M3 Touring Render

As rumors swirl about the eventual release of the BMW M3 Touring, Theophilus Chin has put a couple of renders together of Bavaria’s hot D-pillared automobile.

Here’s what happened overnight (and stories we’ve missed over the last few days).

BMW M3 Touring RenderBMW M3 Touring (Theophilus Chin)
Knowng Theophilus’ wonderful insight, it wouldn’t surprise me if the M3 Touring looks exactly like this when the sheet is pulled off in Frankfurt.

Ferrari DinoFerrari might bring back the Dino, says Sergio (AutoBlog)
…but it likely won’t be marketed as a Ferrari. Instead, Sergio is keen to build a sub-brand around the idea of a resurrected Dino. So far, that’s worked in Sergio’s favor.

1Takata will give quality chief more authority with board role (Automotive News)
Takata will put their quality chief on the board of directors, effectively giving him a louder voice within the company. It only took them seven years.

pst1002-100k-1_23394248Motor Mouth: Why no one drives like a saint all the time (Driving.ca)
“There’s a good reason nobody drives like a saint all-year round: it’s not practical.”

1282948112939395876You Probably Want To Watch Chris Harris Drive The Ferrari 488 GTB (Jalopnik)
I think the 488 GTB is an ugly ducking that grew up to be an ugly duck. But whatever. Here’s Chris Harris getting it sideways.

15TDI_StarlinkKiosk002-300x204Subaru Starlink services priced, packaged (Technology Tell)
It’s kind of like OnStar, but for people who have a higher chance of driving off a cliff near Kings Canyon.

Speedhunters_Keith_Charvonia_Hilux-2Minitruckin’ All Grown Up (Speedhunters)
This is not your grandfather’s Hilux. Actually, this is your grandfather’s Hilux.

Lotus-Elise-frontJaguar Designer Planning Super Lotus Elise (GTspirit)
Jaaaaaag designer Julian Thomson, responsible for the Series 1 Elise, wants to build this “Super” Elise.

car-wash-girls-china-1a-660x546Underdressed Chinese Girls open a Car Wash in Urumqi (CarNewsChina)
Chinese auto show models have resorted to washing cars to make a living, maybe.

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Piston Slap: Panther Love Crashes a Monsoon Wedding? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/piston-slap-panther-love-crashes-monsoon-wedding/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/piston-slap-panther-love-crashes-monsoon-wedding/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 12:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1066258   TTAC Commentator thirty-three writes: Hi Sajeev, Not sure if this fits into your usual line of questions, but I’m looking for suggestions on renting a car for my upcoming wedding. My problem is that here in Vancouver, BC, I can’t find anyone who rents premium vehicles like a Benz or a Jaguar. Really expensive […]

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True Love = Panther Love (photo courtesy: detroitweddinglimo.com):

TTAC Commentator thirty-three writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Not sure if this fits into your usual line of questions, but I’m looking for suggestions on renting a car for my upcoming wedding. My problem is that here in Vancouver, BC, I can’t find anyone who rents premium vehicles like a Benz or a Jaguar.

Really expensive cars are available (e.g. Ferraris, Maseratis), but I just want a luxury sedan that will seat 5 comfortably. I only need it for one of the five days. Yes, it is an Indian wedding.

Thanks!

Sajeev answers:

Are you sure about that?

But here’s the real question: why can’t I be okay with renting a limo like every other wedding?

What makes your wedding so special?

Well for starters, it’s your wedding. And many Indian communities (especially in wealthy cities with large Indian populations) demand a big deal from their ceremonies. It’s an obligation to friends, family and the community. Special events, top drawer venues, open bars everywhere, international guests, 1000+ attendees for the reception, etc. So wanting a nice car, especially when making a show for family members that care about such things, isn’t really a big deal…right?

WRONG SON: I demand you rent a Lincoln Town Car limo.

How dare you consider true love sans riding in Panther Love?

Even more off-topic: I do not understand the cash sucking, humility negating one-upmanship present in many weddings, especially those of my people. I’m (admittedly) a horrible Indian when it comes to ceremonies, but I digress…your problem has two easy solutions:

  1. Buy a used “premium vehicle” and sell it in 2-3 months. That shows far more commitment to our ceremonies, too! Why, you could have one of those 2+ week ceremonies with the keys to a premium machine in your pocket!
  2. Embrace Panther Love and rent a Town Car Limo. Or an Escalade/Navigator limo if all else fails. Just don’t let me catch you in some abomination like an MKT: Vishnu (or whatever religion applies here) would like, totally, disapprove!

The perpetually single guy demands you rent a Limo, hopefully with white wheels. Off to you, Best and Brightest!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-jaguar-xjl-awd-portfolio/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-jaguar-xjl-awd-portfolio/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 11:45:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1038649 In February of 2013, when speaking to the opening breakfast of the Chicago Auto Show, Andy Goss, the head of Jaguar Land Rover of North America, made a couple of comments about the luxury market in the United States. He said that 90 percent of vehicles with luxury nameplates are sold with V6 engines and […]

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2015 Jaguar XJL AWD

In February of 2013, when speaking to the opening breakfast of the Chicago Auto Show, Andy Goss, the head of Jaguar Land Rover of North America, made a couple of comments about the luxury market in the United States. He said that 90 percent of vehicles with luxury nameplates are sold with V6 engines and  you can’t sell a luxury car north of the Mason-Dixon line if you don’t at least offer all-wheel drive. The 2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio is the result of Goss’ perception of the lay of the luxury land.


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There are those who believe true luxury starts at eight cylinders but the simple truth is most Jaguars ever made, including most of the cars that have carried the XJ nameplate, were powered by six cylinder engines, specifically the classic DOHC inline six in 3.8 and 4.2 liter versions. I’ve owned one of those XJs so the idea of driving Jaguar’s biggest, most luxurious sedan with ‘only’ a six doesn’t bother me. Besides, Jaguar’s current supercharged V6 is tuned to provide 340 horsepower. While that’s 10-15% less power than Jaguar’s naturally aspirated V8 puts out, by my standards it was quick enough. A friend and customer of mine has been driving leased Jaguar XJs for more than a decade and he told me that he didn’t like the performance of the XJ with the six. Another XJ owner, whose car does have a six, told me she loved it. Jaguar quotes a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds. Whether that’s quick enough for you, well, that’s up to you.

 

The pewter colored paint looked great when clean, but got pretty dirty in winter driving. Full gallery here.

The pewter colored paint looked great when clean, but got pretty dirty in winter driving.

As I said, it’s quick enough for me. Over the past few years I’ve reviewed a variety of Jaguar XF and XJ models. At the 2015 New York Auto Show, Jaguar had the formal introduction of their new XF, which is now based on Jaguar’s aluminum architecture and hundreds of pounds lighter than the XFs I’ve driven in the past. The reason for that change is the bigger XJ was actually lighter and had better performance and handling than the previous XF when equipped with the same powertrains. Jaguar’s head of design Ian Callum acknowledged that at the NY show. Though the XJ is big, and the longer wheelbase XJL even bigger, it’s relatively light and nimble, and I don’t think many people will find the lack of an eight cylinder engine to be a significant performance detriment.

When the current body style XJ was introduced, Callum’s use of black trim blending in with the rear window to visually isolate the roof panel was criticized by many. It seems as if Callum is being validated by other designers, as the new Nissan Maxima and Lexus RX, introduced earlier this month at the New York Auto Show, both feature somewhat similar black panels.

In one area, handling, the smaller and lighter six may help offset the additional weight of the components needed to drive the front wheels as well as the back. Of course, without driving them back to back I can’t say for sure, but based on memory the AWD XJL feels just as balanced and handles just as well as the V8 powered rear-wheel drive versions I’ve driven. As mentioned, the XJL feels nimble. You don’t get the feeling you’re driving one of the largest cars on the road. It’s the automotive equivalent to a gentleman or lady’s well fitted suit. While the XJ’s flanks are substantial, visibility is outstanding thanks to a third side light of glass at the C pillar.

If the 340 horsepower V6 seems up to the task of powering a full scale luxury sedan, what about all-wheel drive, Andy Goss’ other benchmark for selling luxury cars in this market? Jaguar’s all-wheel drive system is now available in all of their cars – XJ, XE and the new XF introduced earlier this month at the New York show. The AWD unit, developed with the expertise of the Land Rover side of the company, worked very well. I specifically asked Jaguar if they had an AWD car for me to test out this winter and, fortunately for this review, the Detroit area got about two inches of snow the morning the XJL was dropped off. Ideal conditions to see how the all-wheel drive performed in poor traction conditions. Well, almost ideal conditions. The test car came equipped with all-season tires.

As it turned out, though, the lack of true winter tires ended up demonstrating just how well Jaguar’s AWD works. While the XJL has aluminum construction, it’s still a big car and the AWD version tips the scale at over two tons. There’s some mass to contend with and 340 hp is more than enough to spin tires in bad traction conditions. I was deliberately being ham fisted with the car, trying to make it slide and get out of shape on turns. Because of the all-season tires’ lack of grip in the snow, it was indeed sliding, and it would start to get out of shape, but the AWD, traction control and stability control would step in and keep the car traveling in my intended direction. It wasn’t particularly subtle, and there were some odd sounds going on, but the systems did get the car under control. If you do get an AWD Jaguar, you can afford a set of proper winter tires. Throw on some Blizzaks and your Quattro equipped Audi driving neighbors won’t have anything on you.

The rest of the car was as expected from Jaguar. Space, pace and grace. The cabin was first rate; the seats very comfortable and everything within easy reach. With the L designation in the model name comes substantial rear seat room. Six footers should easily be able to sit behind people just as tall.

While it isn’t world class, the infotainment system is a huge improvement over the clunky Jaguar interface most reviewers dinged a few years ago. I’d say it was competitive with other systems if not at the head of the class. My Samsung Android phone worked seamlessly via Bluetooth. While the light brown leather interior at first looked a bit visually jarring, that was only because I’ve gotten so used to black and grey interiors. Over the week the aesthetics of the brown leather grew on me.

What is world class, I think, is the Meridian branded audio system – a truly audiophile quality set of components. Car sound systems are getting very, very good. One mark of a good sound system is resolution and transparency, allowing you to hear individual instruments instead of a blurry mess. You gain a new appreciation for what you thought were familiar recordings. With this system, you can count just how many acoustic guitars Jimmy Page multi-tracked on Over The Hills And Far Away.

I’m cynical about the business of car audio system branding. The Panasonic-made audio systems in Volkswagen cars carry the Fender brand because those three companies believe American consumers are likely to associate the name Fender more generally with music and rock ‘n’ roll than as a company noted for the distinctive distortion of its guitar pickups and amplifiers. The audio system in the XJL was so good I’d have a hard time believing the audio experts at Meridian, an elite UK audio brand, were not involved in its application.

Also first rate is the way Jaguar engineers have calibrated the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Upshifts are so smooth as to be almost imperceptible, and the way the transmission and ECU work together to slow the car when coasting down to a stop was very impressive. I don’t think I could use engine braking and downshifting as effectively myself with a clutch and manual gearbox.

Besides yielding more than adequate performance, one result of the 8-speed transmission and six cylinder engine is rather impressive fuel economy. The XJL is about as big a car as you’ll find on the American road and in about 600 miles of mixed driving, half urban/suburban and the other half on interstate highways, I saw 24.7 mpg. If I recall correctly, my old mid 1980s Jaguar XJ with the 4.2 liter inline six got 14 mpg.

Speaking of fuel, why do cars that require premium fuel typically call for 91 octane, whereas the vast majority of gasoline stations only offer 87, 89, and 93 octane? There’s no point in paying for more octane than you need so I typically blend 89 and 93 half and half to save money.

Rear passengers in the long wheelbase XJL get their own climate controls. Full gallery here

Rear passengers in the long wheelbase XJL get their own climate controls, with heated and cooled seats, which I’m sure will be appreciated when Shanghai gets hot and humid.

 

Not liking to be a cheerleader, I wish I could find things to criticize about the XJL AWD Portfolio, but everything worked flawlessly, even down to the automatically adjusting windshield wipers. While it’s cliche to say there aren’t any bad cars sold today, it’s not cliche to say there are a lot of great cars you can buy at just about every price point. I don’t have a problem saying the XJL AWD is a great car. When I’m reduced to complaining the automatic climate control seemed to be calibrated a couple of degrees off from what I’m used to, how could I say otherwise?


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Jaguar Land Rover of North America provided the car, insurance and a tank of premium gasoline.

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 get a parallax view 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 for reading – RJS

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Piston Slap: Are you Jagsperienced? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/piston-slap-jagsperienced/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/piston-slap-jagsperienced/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1054761 Allen writes: Sajeev, Hopefully you can offer some light at the end of the tunnel for an issue that a friend has with her 2004 Jag X-type. The car is in great shape for its age and all was well until the bad news came regarding the transfer case. The car recently started acting up […]

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Allen writes:

Sajeev,

Hopefully you can offer some light at the end of the tunnel for an issue that a friend has with her 2004 Jag X-type. The car is in great shape for its age and all was well until the bad news came regarding the transfer case. The car recently started acting up and the local Jag dealer diagnosed a failed transfer case with a part price of 3,600 with 6+ hours of labor.

I’m not Jagsperienced so I have to take their quote at face value.

Do you know of any resources on a failure of this type? The failure occurred virtually overnight and with the value of the car, it seemingly is a death sentence for what is an otherwise healthy car.

Any wisdom you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Sajeev answers:

Explain more about this “acting up” before the car needed to go to the dealer.

Allen writes:

Literally overnight: rough, jerky acceleration closely followed by garbage can full of pistons sound and lack of drive. I had changed the plugs the week before. During the test drive after the plugs, I only heard a couple of rough clashes that I wasn’t even sure were from that car because they didn’t repeat and I was in traffic at the time.

Sajeev answers:

Ah-ha!  This problem?

Click here to view the embedded video.

I reckon this happened because of a lack of fluid changes in the transfer case.  Ask her if she followed the service specifications outlined in the owner’s manual. Even if she did, supposedly Jaguar/Ford doesn’t make it very easy: perhaps no mechanic ever touched the transfer case?  Let’s hope not.

You can get a used X type transfer case, finding one might be easy depending on if her Jag has traction control. But considering the inherent weakness found in a lack of fluid servicing, will you get another pile of crap from the junkyard? Remember this: it’s not your car, not your problem.

Tell her to sell it, or roll the dice with an independent mechanic installing a junkyard replacement (and fluid change). The former is a better idea, especially if she’s better off (financially) in a cost-effective vehicle.*

*That’s not a sexist thing, there are plenty of cash-strapped dudes in ticking time bomb, maintenance deferred premium vehicles when they should be in a used Corolla. Your job as a Piston Slap reader is to give people a reality check if or when they need it. 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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While You Were Sleeping: No Holden Volt, Super Troopers 2, and Meeke Gets a Win http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/sleeping-no-holden-volt-super-troopers-2-meeke-gets-win/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/sleeping-no-holden-volt-super-troopers-2-meeke-gets-win/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 10:03:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1054985 The second-generation Chevrolet Volt won’t go on sale in Australia as GM will not convert it to right-hand drive. The Holden Volt is dead (CarAdvice) It appears a Holden version of the second-generation Volt will not come to fruition as General Motors has decided not to build the car in right-hand drive. Bolt still on the table. […]

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Mary Barra and Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS 2015

The second-generation Chevrolet Volt won’t go on sale in Australia as GM will not convert it to right-hand drive.

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Frankfurt 2015: Jaguar F-Pace Debuting Two Years After C-X17 Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/frankfurt-2015-jaguar-f-pace-debuting-two-years-c-x17-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/frankfurt-2015-jaguar-f-pace-debuting-two-years-c-x17-concept/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 11:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039257 Two years ago after the C-X17 concept debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Jaguar F-Pace will make its global debut during the 2015 edition of the show. Autocar reports the SUV is undergoing testing at present, having caught a camouflaged prototype with physical cues suggesting a supercharged 3-liter V6 under the bonnet. Other possible […]

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Two years ago after the C-X17 concept debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Jaguar F-Pace will make its global debut during the 2015 edition of the show.

Autocar reports the SUV is undergoing testing at present, having caught a camouflaged prototype with physical cues suggesting a supercharged 3-liter V6 under the bonnet. Other possible engines for the showroom-ready model include a 5-liter supercharged V8, and the Ingenium family of gasoline- and diesel-fueled four-cylinder mills.

The publication also noted that the F-Pace’s dimensions resemble that of the C-X17 concept, which is 16 inches longer than the Range Rover Evoque at an overall length of 186 inches, and is 65 inches tall. Other features include “an assured driving position” at “a low height” similar to the aforementioned Evoque, a plunging rear roof line, and an interior completely unlike anything currently offered by Jaguar Land Rover.

The F-Pace will face-off against the likes of the Porsche Macan and BMW X4 in the small SUV game when it hits showrooms beginning in 2016, and is expected to help push total sales volume for Jaguar alongside the XE sedan from 80,000 units/year to 200,000, faring well in SUV-friendly markets like the United States and China.

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New York 2015: 2016 Jaguar XF Arrives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/new-york-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-arrives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/new-york-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-arrives/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 02:22:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1034529 Fresh from its high-wire act over London, the 2016 Jaguar XF made it over the Atlantic in time for its 2015 New York Auto Show debut. Based upon Jaguar’s aluminum-intensive architecture — which reduces weight by 265 lbs over the outgoing model — the second-gen XF will come in five trims: XF Pure/ SE, XF […]

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Fresh from its high-wire act over London, the 2016 Jaguar XF made it over the Atlantic in time for its 2015 New York Auto Show debut.

Based upon Jaguar’s aluminum-intensive architecture — which reduces weight by 265 lbs over the outgoing model — the second-gen XF will come in five trims: XF Pure/ SE, XF Prestige, XF R-Sport, XF Portfolio and XF S. Power is bestowed upon the sedan via three diesel and three gasoline powerplants, though only one — a supercharged 3-liter V6 pumping between 340 and 380 horsepower to the back or all corners through an eight-speed automatic — is available for the U.S. market at this time.

Zero to 60 comes in 5.0 seconds, while adaptive suspension, brake torque vectoring, and Jaguar’s new Adaptive Surface Response system — able to determine what type of road the XF is rolling upon and acting accordingly — keep everything in line.

Other features include: Jaguar’s new InControl Touch connected-vehicle systems with customizable interface; a smartphone app to allow the owner to run diagnostics, warm up the interior, and unlock the doors; intelligent speed limiter; and adaptive LED headlamps.

The 2016 Jaguar XF is set to hit showrooms in the winter, with diesel and higher-performance options following soon after. Pricing information was not available at this time.

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New York 2015: 2016 Jaguar XF Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/new-york-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/new-york-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-revealed/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 19:37:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028393 Want an F-Type but need an extra set of doors and a back seat? Jaguar’s got something for you. The 2016 Jaguar XF gets two V6s borrowed from the F-Type (supercharged 3.0L units with 340 and 380 horsepower) as well as an 8-Speed automatic gearbox. There’s also the Jaguar Configurable Dynamics system, which can adjust suspension, steering, […]

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Want an F-Type but need an extra set of doors and a back seat? Jaguar’s got something for you.

The 2016 Jaguar XF gets two V6s borrowed from the F-Type (supercharged 3.0L units with 340 and 380 horsepower) as well as an 8-Speed automatic gearbox. There’s also the Jaguar Configurable Dynamics system, which can adjust suspension, steering, engine and transmission settings – sadly, the F-Type’s famous exhaust note doesn’t appear to be present.

With a structure that is now mostly aluminum, the XF loses as much as 265 lbs on all-wheel drive models thanks to a revised AWD system. Look for the full unveil at next month’s New York Auto Show.

 

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NYIAS 2015: 2016 Jaguar XF Bowing Over London Prior To Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nyias-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-bowing-london-prior-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nyias-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-bowing-london-prior-show/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024889 Prior to its North American debut in New York, the 2016 Jaguar XF will make its world debut next week over the waterways of London. The second-gen premium sedan will be driven by British stuntman Jim Dowdall over a pair of wires 1.3 inches in diameter in a high-water crossing stunt meant to demonstrate “the […]

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Prior to its North American debut in New York, the 2016 Jaguar XF will make its world debut next week over the waterways of London.

The second-gen premium sedan will be driven by British stuntman Jim Dowdall over a pair of wires 1.3 inches in diameter in a high-water crossing stunt meant to demonstrate “the lightweight and agile credentials” of the second Jaguar model to use the automaker’s aluminum-intensive structure.

For those interested in watching this stunt, Jaguar will stream the event online March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on its XF microsite. More details about the XF, meanwhile, will come when it bows at the 2015 New York International Auto Show April 1.

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Review: Jaguar XF 3.0 Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-jaguar-xf-3-0-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-jaguar-xf-3-0-sport/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1019082 It seems that whenever you read a review of a Jaguar, it’s never of a model that most people buy. It generally has a supercharged V-8 which is powerful enough for law enforcement to be on a first name basis with the driver. Its exhaust is loud enough to force the homeowners’ association to call […]

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It seems that whenever you read a review of a Jaguar, it’s never of a model that most people buy. It generally has a supercharged V-8 which is powerful enough for law enforcement to be on a first name basis with the driver. Its exhaust is loud enough to force the homeowners’ association to call an emergency meeting. The price tag is enough to send someone to a private college for a year and a half. It would be lucky to make less trips to the gas station than Nordstrom. The maintenance costs will come to rival its owner’s property taxes. Jaguar will probably make less than 10,000 units of that model during its lifespan for the entire world.

This review of a Jaguar will be very different from one you typically read in other automotive publications. This Jaguar has a supercharged V-6 (though law enforcement may still get to know you). The price tag is enough for only one year at a private college. The neighbors will be fine with the sound it makes. The owner can afford to shop at Neiman Marcus rather than Nordstrom. Maintenance costs will probably rival its owner’s mobile phone bill. And Jaguar will sell way more than 10,000 of it around the world this year.

Such was the case when I had a Jaguar XF 3.0 Sport for a week. Rather than assuming the persona of a successful business executive who could waltz into Bloomingdale’s like it was his second home, I ended up chauffeuring my friends to their different engagements throughout Northern California. It turned out to be good for reviewing the car, but it resulted in having no time to visit any upscale shopping centers.

In other to get some scenic photos during my time with the XF, in one day I drove from San Jose to San Francisco to Stinson Beach (it’s beautiful) to Petaluma (I got sick of seeing Tomales Bay for miles) to Sonoma (racetrack turned out to be closed) to Calistoga (the speedway there turned into a construction site and was repurposed into a baseball field) to Napa (where there’s really good food) and then back to San Francisco. In the process, I put at least 250 miles in one day on the car. During that trip, I learned many things about the car, both good and bad.

The powertrain, with its 3-liter supercharged V-6 which makes 340 horsepower with the ZF 8-speed gearbox, was excellent. Jaguar advertises that the car can go from 0-60 miles per hour in under six seconds and I believe them. When I needed to pass some slow-moving trucks on a two-lane road, the powertrain had no trouble dropping down a few gears and delivering the necessary power to get past quickly. Personally, getting an XF with the 5-liter V-8 is unnecessary in my opinion. As for handling, during the jaunt from San Francisco to Stinson Beach, there were plenty of winding roads. So I put the XF in dynamic mode, put the transmission in sport mode, and the Jaguar promptly made its point about why there are W-rated tires fitted to it. In other words, it’s very good. During my time with the car, the XF returned an average of 23 mpg, which came right in line with the EPA estimates. There’s also a start-stop system on it which perhaps helped that number.

People loved the looks of the XF, especially the white with black wheels color combination of my test car. Ever since the XF’s facelift for the 2012 model year, the design has become totally timeless. When driving it through San Francisco and Berkeley, people on the sidewalk felt the need to look at the car. Moreover, in a totally unscientific experiment, I parked it in my driveway (in place of my E39 530i) and observed how many people looked the car as they drove by. Almost every time, the driver always felt the need to get a better look at the car. When the car went away, most of my neighbors did a double take at the press vehicle that replaced the Jaguar. (I’m pretty sure my neighbors are thinking the XF is in the shop at the moment.) Furthermore, other drivers tended to move over for the Jag when I was driving up Highway 1.

However, I came across some parts of the car I didn’t like. There’s no way I can sugarcoat this, but the user interface is awful. It’s the only aspect of the car which gives you an inkling that the XF dates back from 2008. I like to make fun of the difficulty of using BMW’s iDrive, but after using iDrive in my dad’s X3, it’s become surprisingly intuitive. Meanwhile, the touchscreen system in the XF’s dashboard is slow, and it takes an eternity to scan through different radio stations. The navigation system doesn’t have the level of sophistication as systems from other manufacturers, giving me a fairly roundabout way to get from San Francisco to Berkeley. The same touchscreen system has to be used to work the climate control. To switch on the seat heaters, you have to press the seat button on the dashboard, and then select the level of heat you want on the dashboard. On the bright side, streaming music from an iPhone 6 using Bluetooth worked out well, while the base Meridian sound system sounds good too.

Since I was driving multiple people when I had the car, I got plenty of feedback regarding the interior. The at-least 12-way front sport seats weren’t liked by everyone, especially since you can’t simply slide into them due to the bolstering. (I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re over 200 pounds.) No one complained about rear seat comfort; I heard no complaints after sitting there for two hours. Folding down the rear seats to fit more cargo is another unorthodox process. You have to open the trunk, pull a lever located on the trunk’s ceiling, and then pull the rear seats down. The opening created isn’t large; it’s best for objects such as skis and narrow suitcases. But most potential XF owners won’t care about that as they’ll probably have another car for that job.

While driving the car, I was constantly on edge that the poor condition of some Northern California roads and highways would put too much strain on the Jaguar’s W-rated tires on 20-inch wheels. Thankfully, a spare tire is included with the XF 3.0 Sport, though it isn’t full-size. Additionally, when fueling the car (with premium, of course), the gas pump tends to shut off after ten seconds, though the fuel tank is nowhere near full. This was a problem at the two gas stations I filled up at. I ended up researching the problem and it’s fairly common. The suggested solution was to not push the nozzle all the way in, but I didn’t have an opportunity to attempt that particular solution.

The XF 3.0 Sport is perfect for the person who always wanted an XFR, but didn’t want to deal with its cost of ownership. After all, the fuel, maintenance, depreciation, and insurance costs seriously add up. The V-6 has three-quarters of the performance of the 5-liter V-8 while getting reasonable gas mileage. Additionally, when I had the XF 3.0 Sport, most people mistook it for the XFR largely due to the body kit, the standard Black Pack with its black grille and other exterior trim bits, and the dark grey 20-inch wheels that were at one point an option on the XFR.

On the other hand, if I were to get an XF, since I’m not one for getting the sport package, I would take the XF 3.0 Portfolio at the same price, as it’s the better choice for both long distance cruising and idling in traffic, with its 19-inch wheels, has the better Meridian sound system standard (825 watts vs. the 380 in my Sport test car), and has more comfortable active heated and cooled seats included. However, other people won’t give the Portfolio without the black and dark grey trim bits the same looks as the Sport, but eventually it comes down to personal preference.

At an MSRP of $58,100, the XF 3.0 Sport is squarely in the price range of the BMW 535i, Mercedes E350, Audi A6 3.0T (which also has a supercharged V-6), and Lexus GS350. However, you can typically negotiate $3,000 to $4,000 off MSRP (sometimes even $5,000 if Jaguar USA is providing incentives too) on the XF 3.0 Sport or Portfolio, which sweetens the case for an XF. All told, you can get an XF out of the dealership’s doors for under $60,000, while having more features than a similarly priced Mercedes or Audi.

In the end, the XF 3.0 is an excellent choice if you’ve always wanted the Jaguar experience but were afraid of the ownership costs. It’s very fast while returning well over 20 miles per gallon. Onlookers will think your XF is vastly more expensive than it really is. Homeowners’ associations across the country won’t give you a hard time if you own one. And most importantly, in a neighborhood of Mercedes E-Classes and BMW 5-Series cars, people take notice of the person with an XF in the driveway. Just be aware your conversations will be longer than before. Some people can go on and on about Nordstrom.

Satish Kondapavulur is a writer for Clunkerture, where about a fifth of the articles are about old cars and where his one-time LeMons racing dreams came to an end, once he realized it was impossible to run a Ferrari Mondial. His past weekend involved seven different conversations with his neighbors about why the XF was gone.

 

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Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991122 Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany. According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly […]

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Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany.

According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly after departing for Germany through the English Channel. Around 1,400 premium vehicles were onboard, including Land Rover Defenders, Jaguar XFs, MINIs, a Rolls-Royce Wraith, and a Porsche Boxster.

Presently, each of the 1,400 vehicles aboard are being inspected for any damage, especially the type that would mean a final ride to the crusher. The final total won’t come until early next week at the latest, though a decision to follow in Mazda’s footsteps — the automaker scrapped 4,700 units aboard the Cougar Ace in 2006 — would prove costly; the total value of Höegh Osaka’s cargo stands at £30 million ($45 million USD).

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NAIAS 2015: Jaguar Land Rover Bringing Diesel Power To US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 00:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=976193 Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear. Land Rover is bringing over its Td6 3-liter turbodiesel V6 from Europe into the U.S. market this year, delivering 254 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and a combined 25 mpg […]

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Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear.

Land Rover is bringing over its Td6 3-liter turbodiesel V6 from Europe into the U.S. market this year, delivering 254 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and a combined 25 mpg to those who desire to burn oil in their Land Rover or Land Rover Sport. Diesel-powered versions of the SUVs will be on display at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show during press days.

Meanwhile, AutoGuide says JLR will install diesels in all future Land Rover and Jaguar models save one: The F-Type. The first Jaguar diesel will be the XE, whose mill a 2-liter four-pot the automaker is confident will deliver 40 mpg on the highway.

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Jaguar Teases 2016 F-Pace Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/jaguar-teases-2016-f-pace-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/jaguar-teases-2016-f-pace-crossover/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:30:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=975673 After three concept crossovers, Jaguar is ready to go all in for 2016 with the F-Pace. Just Auto reports production of the premium crossover will begin in late 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, England, with a Land Rover-based variant — codenamed L560 — to follow later. Both models will be underpinned by […]

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After three concept crossovers, Jaguar is ready to go all in for 2016 with the F-Pace.

Just Auto reports production of the premium crossover will begin in late 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, England, with a Land Rover-based variant — codenamed L560 — to follow later. Both models will be underpinned by JLR’s PLA aluminum platform, currently in use by the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

The F-Pace follows three concept crossovers, all named C-X17. The first concept bowed at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, the second version arrived at both Guangzhou and Dubai auto shows later that year, and the final C-X17 debuted at last year’s Brussels Auto Show.

Per Director of Jaguar Design Ian Callum, the overwhelming response to all three concepts prompted the decision to go forward with building the F-Pace:

We just had to make it a reality. The Jaguar F-PACE, inspired by the F-TYPE, represents a perfectly judged balance of style, performance and practicality. It offers a unique combination of Jaguar sports car inspired exterior design, fused beautifully with a thoroughly practical and spacious luxury interior. The F-PACE is our family sports car.

The crossover is set to go on sale in Europe in 2016, where it will do battle against the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and X4, Volvo XC60, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. JLR expects to produce 50,000 F-Paces annually.

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OEMs Suspend Vehicle Sales In Russia Amid Volatile Currency Situation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/oems-suspend-vehicle-sales-in-russia-amid-volatile-currency-swings/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/oems-suspend-vehicle-sales-in-russia-amid-volatile-currency-swings/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:02:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962674 With the Russian ruble experiencing a near collapse in value, multiple OEMs have decided to suspend sales of its vehicles in Russia. According to a statement sent to Just-Auto, GM’s Russian arm said “In view of the volatility of [the] rouble exchange rate and with the aim to manage its business risk, GM Russia has decided […]

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With the Russian ruble experiencing a near collapse in value, multiple OEMs have decided to suspend sales of its vehicles in Russia.

According to a statement sent to Just-Auto, GM’s Russian arm said

“In view of the volatility of [the] rouble exchange rate and with the aim to manage its business risk, GM Russia has decided to temporarily suspend wholesaling of vehicles to its dealers in Russia as of 16 December, 2014,” said a GM Europe statement emailed to just-auto. At the same time we confirm all Cadillac, Opel and Chevrolet vehicles already purchased by customers will be delivered on the agreed price. We are monitoring the situation.”

Bloomberg is reporting that Audi and Jaguar Land Rover have also suspended sales amid uncertainty in foreign exchange markets. Toyota, Volkswagen are set to adjust their prices in the near future to reflect the new exchange rates.

Russian auto sales have spiked in recent weeks as consumers sought to buy up hard assets to protect against a falling ruble. But the erosion on value of the Russian currency have left several OEMs exposed to currency risks. According to Bloomberg’s report, BMW could stand to lose as much as $135 million dollars due to the recent drop in the ruble.

 

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Chart Of The Day: Jaguar vs. Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-jaguar-vs-land-rover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-jaguar-vs-land-rover/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:10:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=947857 The reasons for the drop of the red line and the steady rise of the grey line on today’s chart are perhaps too numerous to count. Additional product for one brand. Less intervention at another. A move toward high-riding vehicles helped one brand. A move away from traditional cars harmed the other. These two factors […]

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Jaguar vs Land Rover sales chartThe reasons for the drop of the red line and the steady rise of the grey line on today’s chart are perhaps too numerous to count.

Additional product for one brand. Less intervention at another.

A move toward high-riding vehicles helped one brand. A move away from traditional cars harmed the other. These two factors are made all the more apparent when one brand employs a full lineup of SUVs/crossovers and the other has yet to bring its first utility vehicle to market.

One brand’s message has been artfully constructed over a few decades; the other’s has been muddied for at least a generation.

Both have been labelled as dreadfully unreliable at different points. One brand has had trouble discarding that label; the other has succeeded in spite of it.

Both British brands were Ford-owned but now find themselves under the wing of India’s Tata Group.

These lines could yet head in similar directions. Jaguar will begin to sell a crossover and a lower-priced sedan. Land Rover’s Discovery Sport could buoy the brand’s lower range, as the majority of the company’s U.S. sales are produced by the trio of Range Rover-branded products.

At the moment, however, Land Rover USA sales are better than they’ve ever been thanks to a market which is increasingly keen on this type of vehicle and the brand’s broadest product range ever. Jaguar USA, on the other hand,  sold nearly 16,000 S-Types in 2002 but might not sell that many XJs, XFs, XKs, and F-Types in total this year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Los Angeles 2014: Jaguar Adds Manual, AWD F-Type Options http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-adds-manual-awd-f-type-options/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-adds-manual-awd-f-type-options/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:32:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=947449 Big news for fans of the Jaguar F-Type (i.e. me). You can now row your own gears. V6 rear-drive versions of the F-Types can be speced with a 6-speed manual gearbox. No manual will be available for the V8, but that’s ok, since the V6 is, in my opinion, the pick of the range. V8 […]

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Big news for fans of the Jaguar F-Type (i.e. me). You can now row your own gears.

V6 rear-drive versions of the F-Types can be speced with a 6-speed manual gearbox. No manual will be available for the V8, but that’s ok, since the V6 is, in my opinion, the pick of the range.

V8 versions will have standard all-wheel drive to help tame all 550 horsepower. AWD will be optional on the V6. The 911 Carrera 4 may have just met its match.

Apparently, the manual comes at the expense of the hydraulic steering system, which will be replaced with electric steering. So, manual and EPAS, or a current automatic car with hydraulic assist?

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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 […]

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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.

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Jaguar Land Rover Opens Engine Plant In UK http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-land-rover-opens-engine-plant-uk/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-land-rover-opens-engine-plant-uk/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=939505 Queen Elizabeth presided over the opening ceremonies for the first new auto plant in the UK in recent memory, as Jaguar Land Rover opened their new engine facility in Wolverhampton. The plant, which has created an estimated 1,500 direct jobs and nearly 7,000 indirect jobs, will produce JLR’s new family of “Ingenium” engines, with a […]

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Queen Elizabeth presided over the opening ceremonies for the first new auto plant in the UK in recent memory, as Jaguar Land Rover opened their new engine facility in Wolverhampton.

The plant, which has created an estimated 1,500 direct jobs and nearly 7,000 indirect jobs, will produce JLR’s new family of “Ingenium” engines, with a 4-cylinder diesel being among the first to roll off the line.

The engines will appear in the all new Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery Sport, and spread to the rest of the lineup as future products are introduced. For a UK motoring industry that has seen decade after decade of layoffs and plant closures, the opening of a new auto factory is a momentous occasion. JLR’s Halewood plant, once the site of a Ford assembly plant, is now running at full capacity, cranking out the Range Rover Evoque around the clock.

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Maserati Is Surging In The United States http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/maserati-surging-united-states/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/maserati-surging-united-states/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:26:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=935506 How does one make it in America? Grow your product portfolio by 50%. Grow your North American dealership network by 29%. Make all-wheel-drive a part of your business’s best practices. Spend $11 million airing a commercial during the Super Bowl while only bothering to display your product at the tail end of the ad. Name […]

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Maserati GhibliHow does one make it in America? Grow your product portfolio by 50%. Grow your North American dealership network by 29%. Make all-wheel-drive a part of your business’s best practices. Spend $11 million airing a commercial during the Super Bowl while only bothering to display your product at the tail end of the ad. Name your products after a Mediterranean wind, the number of doors they possess, or a video game.

And continue to place one of the industry’s coolest logos on a highly visible portion of all your products.

Cue year-over-year Maserati sales growth in the United States of 307% through the first nine months of 2014, a gain of 6884 units.

Maserati’s U.S. volume has grown in 16 consecutive months. Already in 2014, with one-quarter of the year remaining, Maserati sold more cars than in any year in the company’s not terribly illustrious history; more cars in nine months than in the previous 32 combined.

Yes, Maserati remains a very low-volume brand. Only 1318 Maseratis were sold during the month of September, the brand’s best-ever month of selling cars in America.

But they’re not the lowest-volume brand, either, at least not lately. We’re not just talking about the obvious bit players like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley, but Jaguar, too. Maserati outsold Jaguar by 49 units in August and by 176 units in September. Jaguar USA sold more than 61,000 new vehicles in 2002, a figure which tumbled in five consecutive years before rising slightly in 2008, falling to fewer than 12,000 units in 2009, and climbing back in 2013 to fewer than 17,000 sales.

Jaguar volume is down 5% through three-quarters of 2014 to 11,830 units, 2705 more sales than Maserati has managed. (Jaguar sells cars through 163 dealers in the United States, translating to eight sales per showroom per month.) We’ve already discussed the F-Type-centric nature of Jaguar’s current portfolio.

Naturally, Maserati’s goals are not Jaguar-based. Besides, Jaguar’s product lineup will expand in the near future with a far more affordable XE while the C-X17 Concept previewed a non-Land Rover crossover. Of course, Maserati plans to join the ess-you-vee game, too. In 2012, Maserati hoped to triple global sales between 2012 and 2015 to 50,000 units. The addition of the Ghibli makes this dream possible.

Maserati refused to provide model-specific sales data when asked last week, saying, “We are not able to disclose such granular information at this time.” If we use current Cars.com inventory levels as a general guide, the Ghibli would account for 59% of Maserati sales in the U.S., or around 5380 year-to-date sales. The Quattroporte would generate another 26% of the brand’s volume, or approximately 2370 year-to-date sales. Finally, the GranTurismo lineup would attract the remaining 15% of buyers, about 1370 sales so far this year.

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