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First Drive: 2014 Jaguar F-Type

Well worth the wait.

by on Apr.18, 2013

The Jaguar F-Type V8 S during a first drive in Spain.

There’s an unexpected chill in the air as we head out from our hotel on the outskirts of Pamplona, Spain, dawn still 30 minutes away.  Yet despite the early hour, it’s hard to contain the excitement about what’s to come.

It isn’t very often that we get to test a new sports car from the folks at Jaguar.  Indeed, the last time the maker launched an all-new one was more than a half-century ago with the groundbreaking E-Type.  While there have been tweener cars since then, such as the XK, none has truly targeted the sports car segment.  Until now, with the Jaguar F-Type, that is.

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Few new entries have generated more buzz in recent months, and with good reason.  The 2-seater comes through with a blend of sensuous yet menacing styling that one would expect from Jaguar. And those good looks are complemented by exhilarating performance and dynamic handling.  Is the new F-Type really the “best sports car in the world,” as Jaguar officials have started to boast? Here’s what we discovered during two days of hard driving both on-road and on-track.

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Jaguar Readying New F-Type Sports Car

All-new model joining line-up in 2013.

by on Apr.04, 2012

A camouflaged version of the new Jaguar F-Type undergoing testing.

Jaguar will add an all-new sports car to its line-up a little more than a year from now, the maker revealed during its New York Auto Show news conference.

Dubbed F-Type, it is the long-anticipated production version of the CX-16 concept car unveiled last year.  The new 2-seater will slot underneath the British maker’s current XK line and provide an affordable, high-performance entry into the Jaguar line-up.

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“It opens up a much bigger part of the market to us,” explained Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global marketing chief, during a conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com.

Though the production F-Type won’t be quite as radical as the CX-16 show car – with its unusual, side-opening hatchback – Jaguar contends the new model will put a premium on both styling and performance.  It is expected to come close to the brute power of the maker’s current muscle car, the XK-R, hinted Hallmark.

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Jaguar Ready to Give C-X16 Show Car Nod for Production

Final decision may rest on response at LA Auto Show.

by on Nov.16, 2011

Jaguar will decide in a matter of weeks whether to produce the C-X16 sports car.

With its subtle stylistic link to the classic Jaguar E-Type, the British maker’s C-X16 concept has been winning rave reviews in recent months and company officials appear poised to give the show car the go for production “before the end of the year,” according to a senior Jaguar official.

A final decision will likely depend on the response the C-X16 gets when it goes on display at this week’s L.A. Auto Show, where it will vie for attention alongside the maker’s new XKR-S sports coupe.  Should management give the show car the nod it would almost certainly reach showrooms sometime during the 2013 calendar year, company officials confirmed.

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In production, Jaguar’s global brand boss Adrian Hallmark tells TheDetroitBureau.com, it is highly likely that a special high-performance plug-in hybrid system will be among the C-X16’s powertrain options.  But Jaguar officials also stressed that the production version would likely lose a few of the distinctive features of the concept car, notably including the swing-open hatchback.

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Jaguar Reveals New C-X16

Performance hybrid would be smallest Jag in half a century.

by on Sep.07, 2011

The C-X16 is a foot shorter than today's Jaguar XK.

Who says a hybrid can’t quicken your pulse.  Okay, most folks only get excited about a Toyota Prius when they realize they’re saving money at the gas pump.  But Jaguar is betting it can get a little adrenaline flowing with an exotic design that uses a hybrid powertrain to enhance its performance, as much or more than to deliver good fuel economy.

We’ve offered a tease of the Jaguar C-X16 already but now we’ve got the first official pics of the “Baby Jag” sports car that the maker plans to unveil at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.  The Ian Callum styling will clearly be familiar to Jag fans, taking the sleek XK to a new level of aero-swept design.

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The all-aluminum body and chassis measures just 175 inches nose-to-tail — or about 13 inches shorter than the current XK Coupe and four inches shorter than a Porsche 911 – and 51 inches tall.  It would be the smallest Jaguar since the 1954 XK120, in fact.  That is, if it goes into production.

“Jaguars have always been dramatically different,” says Callum. “With the C-X16 we have moved the current award-winning design language on to the next generation, creating a car that is the very essence of future Jaguar performance.”

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Jaguar Will Build 200 mph C-X75 Battery Supercar

"Green" supercar will get 30 miles on battery power.

by on May.06, 2011

Jaguar gives the C-X75 a go for production.

Bowing to strong public pressure, Jaguar has announced plans to put the well-received C-X75 supercar into production.

The striking 2-seater will use an extended-range electric drive system capable of running entirely on batteries – yet also able to launch from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds and reach speeds in excess of 200 mph.  But the maker has opted to go for a relatively conventional gasoline “extender” engine, rather than the futuristic twin turbine system that drove the original C-X75 concept vehicle.

“People expect Jaguar to be innovators – that is when Jaguar is at its best,” said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Brand Director, who only last month told TheDetroitBureau.com that the British maker was hesitant to make the investment in a new supercar while it was pushing to launch more mainstream products such as a new entry-level luxury car to replace its old X-Type.

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But it appears Jaguar simply was overwhelmed by public reaction to the concept, first shown at last autumn’s Paris Motor Show.

“The C-X75 received an incredible reception as a concept car,” said Hallmark. “We’ve been building on that momentum and there is a clear business case for this exclusive halo model. No other vehicle will better signify Jaguar’s renewed confidence and excellence in technological innovation than this.”

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Jaguar/Land Rover Planning 40 New Models, Variants and Major Technology Introductions

British brands plan to shift from niche to mainstream.

by on May.03, 2011

A production version of the striking C-X75 concept would push the number of new Jaguar models and variants to 41.

It has been a roller-coaster ride for Jaguar over the last 15 years, but now part of the ambitious Indian Tata Motors, the British automaker has some ambitious plans in the work along with its sibling Land Rover brand.

Senior company officials tell TheDetroitBureau.com that the two brands will jointly be launching a major product assault over the next five years with the goal of lifting Jaguar and Land Rover out of their low-volume niches and planting them much more firmly in the luxury mainstream.

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“We’ll be launching 40 new cars, derivatives and (major) technologies from Jaguar/Land Rover in the next five years,” said Adrian Hallmark, who joined Jaguar as its Global Brand Director last October.

The list of new programs breaks down into three categories: (more…)

First Look: 2012 Jaguar XF, XF-R and XKR-S

Brits celebrate 50th anniversary of the classic E-Type.

by on Apr.20, 2011

The new 186 mph Jaguar XKR-S.

There will be plenty of reasons to celebrate on the Jaguar stand at the New York Auto Show, this year.  The maker will not only mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of its classic E-Type sports car but will also roll out a significant update of its current midsize “saloon car,” the XF.

Putting a premium on performance, the Brits will have several new muscle cars to unveil, as well, including both the XFR and the 186 mph XKR-S

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With the new offerings, “Jaguar is at full strength,” contends the maker’s design chief Ian Callum – though there remain plenty of rumblings that even more product is in the works, notably a downsized “entry luxury” sedan that will eventually replace the largely unloved X-Type.

The maker has received a far more positive response to its sporty XF, which helped reframe the design equation for Jaguar when it made its debut several years back.

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Jaguar Disavows B99 – Leaves Future of Compact Replacement in the Air

“Not the right direction,” says senior U.S. exec.

by on Mar.14, 2011

Jaguar disavows the Bertone B99 concept.

Don’t expect to see the much-ballyhooed Jaguar B99 concept vehicle hit the assembly line anytime soon.  Make that ever.

Though the Bertone-designed prototype received plenty of attention even before it was formally unveiled at the recent Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar officials are forcefully disassociating themselves from the unabashedly retro design.  And that leaves plenty of uncertainty about if and when the British brand will come up with a replacement for its largely unloved X-Type to fill a big gap in the booming compact luxury car segment.

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The word, “bold,” was frequently used to describe the three-box design of the B99, which was meant to celebrate the long relationship between Bertone and Jaguar, which dated back to the XK150, from 1957.  The look was distinctly different from the wedgy shapes of recent Jag models, such as the XF and XK, and seemed almost aimed at reviving the classic shape of the old and long-running XJ sedan.

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First Look: Jaguar B99

Bertone’s glimpse of the future for the British marque.

by on Feb.22, 2011

The Bertone-designed Jaguar B99 makes its debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

There’s plenty to celebrate with the upcoming debut of the Jaguar B99, the Bertone-designed concept scheduled to debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show marking the company’s 99th anniversary.

The deep red show car also provides a strong hint of what’s to come when Jaguar gets back into the small luxury car segment with a much-needed replacement for the mostly unloved X-Type sedan.

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Roughly 15 feet, nose-to-tail and slotting into the D-segment, the B99 might seem a conservative design, at first blush, with a wee bit of heritage carried over from the classic XJ.  But a closer look reveals some distinctive touches, notably the unusual barn doors – or rear suicide doors, if you so prefer.  They look large but are actually only about half the size of those up front.

The familiar grille of the mid-range XF is carried over, as is, of course, the Leaper hood ornament.  And, in keeping with Jaguar’s focus on light, fuel-efficient luxury cars, the B99 also opts for an aluminum body and chassis.

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First Look: Jaguar C-X75

Maker unveils plug-in hybrid supercar in Paris.

by on Sep.30, 2010

Jaguar claims its C-X75 battery supercar can hit 205 mph.

Jaguar is charging into the Paris Motor Show – quite literally – with an electric supercar concept dubbed the C-X75.

Using four separate wheel motors to produce a combined 770 horsepower and a blistering 1,180 lb-ft of torque, Jaguar claims the striking 2-seater will be capable of hitting 205 mph, and launching from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in just 3.4 seconds.

The Jaguar C-X75 differs from some other recent battery supercar concepts in that it has an onboard power source to keep the vehicle going once its batteries run down.

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The sleekly aerodynamic C-X75 concept, meanwhile, is designed to showcase the British marque’s new design language, according to Mike O’Driscoll, Jaguar’s Managing Director.

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