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Robert Cranna

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Modern Saloons Register

The Modern Saloons Register of the JDCA contains all the 'compact' saloons built by Jaguar since 1999. The modern 'S-Type', the 'X-Type' and 'XF' models. In 2015 Jaguar will introduce the 'XE' model which will also belong to this register. These cars have been extremely important to the development of Jaguar and instrumental to the ongoing success of the marque in the 21st century.

The modern saloons are seen by many as the most practical and reliable cars that Jaguar have built during any era of the company's existence and have brought many new customers to the Jaguar brand. Also many longtime owners of fine classic model Jaguars own a modern saloon as their daily driver. 

Over 650,000 S-Types and X-Types alone were produced and sold worldwide! The XF has won more than 100 awards since it was launched in 2008 and is currently the marque's biggest seller.

 
When you are behind the wheel of a modern Jaguar saloon there is no mistaking the kind of car you are in, 'Grace, Space and Pace' are still combined for a most refined and pleasurable driving experience. Short histories of each modern saloon model follow;

THE S-TYPE:-  

Inspired by classic Jaguar compact saloons of the 1960's (the Mk II and original S Type) this retro/modern model was released to the public in 1999. Styled by Geoff Lawson to be unlike any other current mid-size luxury car the modern 'S' invoked the curvaceous and rounded lines of Jaguar's iconic compacts. From the oval grille, twin round headlights and curved roof-line with rear door 'quarter lights' this car could only be a Jaguar. Initially released in new 3.0 ltr V6 and Jaguar 'AJ' 4.0 ltr V8 variants It caused quite a stir when first seen, but also a mixed reception from the media. Produced during Ford's stewardship of Jaguar some purists bemoaned that it used the floorpan produced for the US Lincoln model and the 'duratec' engine block (but with Jaguar heads, etc) for the V6. However most would have to admit the cars benefited from Ford's push for modern quality control and reliability. 

The original interior also caused some controversy, though woodgrain and leather were in abundance the lack of a traditional style console irked some, Jaguar listened and from late 2002 the dash and console were paradoxically 'updated' to be 'more traditional'. By this time it had become Jaguar's most successful model in the range and soon could be had with a 2.7 ltr diesel. The 'Sport' and soon to be released 'R' supercharged variants appealed to a much needed younger market. The 'Sport' introduced handling improvements and modern colour coded styling while the 'R' took it further with a blown 4.2 ltr V8 making it Jaguar's fastest ever saloon for some years and still a highly desirable car to own. 

In 2004 the S-Type was given a mild exterior facelift which would see it out to 2007 when production ended. These days low mileage S-Types can be had for bargain money and present an excellent way to gain entry into the pleasures of Jaguar ownership.

THE X-TYPE: - 

Released in 2001 the new X-Type bravely went where Jaguar had never been before, the small luxury saloon market. This was motivated by the appeal of smaller cars with better economy for much of the motoring public as well as the need to attract young drivers to the marque. Like it's main competitors Jaguar saw the need for a 'family' of car models that would induce young buyers to start with an X-Type and loyally work their way up through the range as they got older. Pitched as a rival to the BMW '3 series' and Audi A4 the hope was that the 'X' would target a 'New Jag Generation'. 

Like the S-Type the X had input from Ford and was based on the Mondeo platform which again caused much angst for purists. However this model initially introduced 4 wheel drive, a new innovation for Jaguar and the 3.0 ltr and a smaller 2.5 ltr version of the V6 of the 'S'. Design wise the body style looked very 'XJ', indeed the car has been called 'the baby XJ' and some design features would find their way to the X-350 model XJ in 2003. S-Type features were included, like enveloping bumpers and the latest body pressing technology. 

The interior is every bit as luxurious as the 'S'. Also like the S-Type it was offered in a 'Sport' variant and a diesel motor was later available rated at 2.2 ltr. In another first for Jaguar the X-Type was also produced as an 'Estate Car' (station wagon) but this variant is extremely rare in Australia. X-Type production ceased in 2009. Like the 'S' the 'X' is currently available on the used car market for bargain prices. The new 'XE' will rekindle the small car segment for Jaguar that the X-Type began.


THE XF: - 

The genesis of what Jaguar is today began with the XF. A new owner (Tata Motors) and a new designer, Ian Callum, produced a car that firmly took Jaguar into the 21st century. Incorporating the latest technologies for production and on-board systems the XF dazzled the media and general motoring public with it's introduction in 2008. Initially offered with the same 3.0 ltr V6 and 4.2 ltr V8 motors as the S-Type it also gained a modified 2.7 ltr Diesel in 2009.

Since then the XF has used a 3.0 ltr diesel and the 5.0 ltr V8 motors. Currently a 2.2 ltr diesel and a 2 ltr petrol version are also offered.  The XF's body styling was revolutionary for Jaguar, a 4 door with a coupe style roof and rear, this would later influence the latest XJ and will also be seen in the new XE.  The interior was also a break with tradition using the latest modern design and sophistication of 'less is more' by hidden features like air-con vents and a rotary selector for the transmission. But there is still leather and woodgrain to be had and it is elegantly fused within this modern style.

Model variants have included the 'Luxury', 'Premium Luxury' and 'Portfolio' models. Performance has also been addressed by the 'SV8', 'XFR' and 'XFR-S' variants which boast incredible performance and handling. The XF is still a current model and with over 100 awards from prestigious motoring publications continues to be a massive success for Jaguar.




© 2014 Jaguar Drivers Club of Australia PO Box 1485. Macquarie Park NSW 2113.