by Joseph Scott
Jaguar has launched some exciting new cars lately and seem to be experiencing an economic swing in the right direction, but some online enthusiasts do not agree with the direction Jaguar is going.
I’ve been covering Jaguar for some time now and have read a lot of posts on social media like; Face book, Twitter, and LinkedIn……I also visit various British car forums and internet sports car groups and the feedback I see from many fans has surprised me.
Most loyal Jaguar fans are not happy at all with the direction the brand is going, they fill like Jaguar has cheapened the brand by building more and more cookie cutter cars. Aside from the new F-Type, most fans are just not that excited about the new cars coming soon, the XE and XF to be specific. Many fans are also not pleased with the newest announcement about the F-Pace (Crossover) vehicle from Jaguar, and it’s not just the name they are upset with. They see the venture into the SUV world as an attempt to copy what BMW and Volvo are already doing.
Most of the comments have a common theme that Jaguar needs to stick to what they know and what they are good at – building great cars with style and sophistication like the Jaguar cars are known for. I’m curious if this is just a trend of upset fans or if there are many Jaguar loyalists who truly feel this way. I see Jaguar’s side of this argument, they believe that they can bring more luxury and style into an SUV market with an upscale crossover that will offer more to the consumer than just another boring SUV to haul the kids around in.
I don’t have the answers but I report what I am seeing and hearing. Maybe the designers and engineers at Jaguar will listen to what the voice of social media is saying, but is there any middle ground where both parties will be happy? Time will tell if this is feasible.
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by Joseph Scott
Luxury and Sophistication set Jaguar apart from the competition back in the 50’s and 60’s, and the 1954 MK VII Sedan (Saloon) was an Iconic Grand Touring car with style.
The Mark VII sold almost 21,000 from 1950-54 which may have been due to the six-passenger sedan for the family, but it was also filled with rich walnut and the finest leather. During the 1950’s wood and leather were mostly found only in a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, and for the day it was also packed with the latest technology and performance parts including the 3.5-litre engine (used in the XK120 Roadster), torsion bar font suspension, power brakes, a radio, and a heater. The burled walnut dash was a sophisticated way to house a full cluster of gauges and because the engine had been moved forward, it added three inches of legroom for the rear seat passengers.
Although this sedan was not a sports car or even a roadster, it still sported a respectable cruising speed of 80 mph and a top speed of just over 100 mph. The zero to 60 mph was tested at 12.6 seconds so the 160 horsepower was more than enough to get you where you needed to go and fast. The dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine was fitted with twin SU carburetors. The Mark VII may have been the genesis of where Jaguar began to show their flair for luxury and sportiness in one vehicle.
Hagerty is currently showing these cars on a slight trend upward with an average value of almost $16,000. This 4-door sedan with rear-wheel drive and a 4-speed manual gearbox was a way for Jaguar to offer a sporty sedan (saloon) that was large and filled with luxury and a posh cabin. The Mark V was beginning to look a bit dated, so the Mark VII was just what Jaguar needed to attract new buyers. The separated fenders and familiar grille were a little retro and would appeal to the historic Jaguar fans. The nearly flush mounted headlights were sleeker than the previous bulging look of the Mark V’s and the elegance of the sculpted fender lines flowed along the profile of the vehicle with a modern flair.
When we see these cars today it makes you think about the British Monarchy and stirs up feelings of royalty. The old saying “They just don’t make them like that anymore” is very true and makes me wonder if today’s cars have lost this culture-changing style and elegant sophistication. If I owned one of these cars today, I would want to go for a Sunday drive in the country every week and cruise down a long winding road.
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The Jaguar XKSS was a D-Type racer with enough modifications to make it street legal (barely) – and only 16 XKSS car were ever made. It’s a car that was cool enough for Steve McQueen.
Let’s face it, Steve McQueen was the poster child for Cool, the guys wanted to be him and the girls wanted to be seen with him. He was an American actor that got all the tough guy parts in movies, he drove the cool cars of the day, and was even involved in racing cars in real life. Riding motorcycles, driving fast cars, and exploring the limits of speed were just the ways he was wired. If it was fast and a thrill to drive, he owned one.
Jay Leno’s Garage recently got an opportunity to get a in-depth look at Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS and it’s worth a look:
After watching Jay’s experiences in many rare and exotic sports cars, I’m not sure I have ever seen him this excited after driving a car.
The “Green Rat” is what McQueen called his car and the 3.4 litre (inline six cylinders) engine was rated at 250 horsepower, so this Rat would scat! The engine was bolted to a fully synchronized four-speed manual transmission and the reported zero to 60 mph was just a tick over 5 seconds as it approached its top speed of 149 mph. And the car was also equipped with disc brakes and rack and pinion steering – pretty modern for sports car in 1956. Made mostly of aluminum, this car is incredibly light and thanks to its aerodynamic body the Jaguar D-Type was rumoured to have run almost 180 mph down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.
Although McQueen sold this car in 1969 he had so much regret that he bought it back in 1977 and kept it until his untimely death in 1980. The custom touches that he put on the car were very tasteful, such as the leather crafted interior by Tony Nancy and the Von Dutch custom glove box door. The Jaguar had originally been white with a red interior, but McQueen painted it British Racing Green and installed a black interior.
With triple Webers and a 6,000 rpm redline, this British beast would have been hard to go unnoticed, even if you weren’t Steve McQueen. Celebrity-owned cars always fetch a premium, but when that star is Steve McQueen it just seems to add zeros to the price. McQueen’s 1963 Ferrari 250 GT sold in 2011 by Christie’s Auction house brought $2.3 Million which is approximately five times the normal estimated value of one of those cars.
His on screen persona caused fans to love him and want to drive the cars he owned. When you factor in the rarity of this Jaguar XKSS being only 16 built and that it was derived from the Le Mans winning D-Type race cars, it’s no wonder that the McQueen factor makes it almost priceless. Just to add in the cool factor, legend has it McQueen amassed numerous speeding tickets in this car and even had his license suspended twice.
I’m quite sure that Steve never had bumper stickers on any of his vehicles, but if he did it should have read “I’d rather be driving my XKSS”. This spectacular and ultra-rare car was on display at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, CA as part of a Jaguar Sports Car Exhibit from 2013 to 2014. And as seen in the video, it is seen a few times at auto shows and special car events.
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Jaguar built the XK150 from 1957 to 1961 and it was a radical change in style for the times. The XK150 was equipped with a standard feature that would set the standard for all sports cars.
European Sports cars in the late 50’s and early 60’s were just not that exciting, but Aston Martin, Ferrari, and the Mercedes Benz did add some stiff competition. But the XK150 held its own and was ready to take on the world.
A Jaguar series production car first, 4 wheel disc brakes were offered as standard equipment on the 1960 XK150. It also had a noticeable wider stance and more precise grille, but the car was highly recognized as pure Jaguar. It had however lost the swoopy look of the earlier XK’s and was offered in convertible and fixed head coupe. The gorgeous twin-cam, straight-six still graced the engine bay of this sexy car and most say is almost as attractive as the car itself!
The XK150 was rated at 190 horsepower standard and also offered in the 210 horsepower SE version. And if that was not enough grunt for your appetite, then you might want to opt for the S version (3.4 litre) that came with triple SU carbs and capable of generating 250 horsepower. But to top out in 1960, the 3.4 litre engine was bored out to 3.8 litres and maxed at 265 horsepower and could scamper from zero to 60 mph in just over 7.0 seconds and reportedly could top 135 mph!
This car was built on the heels of the iconic E-Type that would be released in 1961 and quickly become one of the most beautiful cars in the world. So I have to ask the question, did the E-Type steal some of this cars glory? Maybe Jaguar fans were so focused on the new flagship that they forgot to give this car the attention it deserved. The numbers say that Jaguar was able to sell just over 9,300 of the XK150’s and for a car that cost almost $5000 at the time, that’s not too shabby.
Hagerty says the average cost of the XK150 (2 door) fixed head coupe is only $43,912 but the mighty XK150 S Roadster is fetching an average price of just over $129,000. The trend on almost every version of the 1960 XK150 is on the upswing, but it still may be the time to buy one if you are in the market.
Just for comparison, let’s look at the closest German and Italian examples; (the following estimated average values are from Hagerty.com)
If you can find a great example of a clean XK150, the Jaguar might be a bargain ready to be snatched up at a great price before it increases. If you study the clean lines and sexy contours of this classic Jaguar it should be a great way to get into the British Sports Car game and cruise the back roads.
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Car models come and go, but it’s typical for the last edition of each model to do something spectacular and the Jaguar XF answers the curtain call with a XF R-Sport Black Edition.
The new Jaguar XF model is due out this autumn and it’s sure to please the crowds, but before you get the balloons and streamers ready, the XF R-Sport Black Edition says “Look at me”! This edition is dressed to thrill and it starts with the 20 inch Kalimnos alloy wheels and a choice of exterior colors including; Kyanite Blue, Italian Racing Red, Glacier White, Ultimate Black, and Stratus Gray. And one of the most unique colors, the Kyanite Blue is limited to only 100 units sold. The R-Sport Black edition is available in these colors at no extra cost.
The extensive list of enhancements doesn’t stop with just wheels and paint colours, the car also comes exclusively with the 2.2 litre turbocharged 200PS diesel engine. The Black Pack includes a 770 watt Meridian sound system and electric full bond leather sports seats with 18-way adjustments with memory function. The R-Sport models already have a standard Winter Comfort and Parking Pack and a Gloss Dark Oak veneer to add the finishing touches to a classy ride. The long list of goodies also includes; heated seats, heated windscreen, front parking sensors, and rear-view camera. These type of premium trim items are what owners have come to expect from Jaguar and it is what will keep them at the top of the class in most categories.
Jaguar did make the decision to drop the 3.0 liter V6 petrol engine option, so the XF is currently only available with a choice of the 503 horsepower diesel or the 5.0 litre V8 petrol engine (543 horsepower) in the XFR and XFR-S. Jaguar must be doing something right because sales of the XF have increased every year since its release.
To help sweeten the deal on this special R-Sport Black edition Jaguar is offering a reduction in cost of the package. They claim £8,770 worth of premium options for cost of only £2,100, so potential buyers should have some instant equity built into their purchase (if they care about that sort of thing). Jaguar hopes that this limited edition will satisfy consumers until the all-new XF arrives later this year.
The long list of features found on this new Black edition may only be matched by it long name, when called out correctly the 2015 Jaguar XF R-Sport Black is kind of like saying someone’s full name. Time will tell if the loyal fans will run to fetch this sharp dressed sedan (saloon) and take her for a night out on the town. I’d say you will be the belle of the ball in this ride.
- See more atTorque News
By Joseph Scott
Jaguar announces a new system called “Bike Sense” that has the intelligence to warn drivers of oncoming bikers who may be too close.
This new safety system is scheduled to be fitted into Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) vehicles and aims to reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists each year. Estimates say there are 19,000 cyclists who are killed each year on the roads in Britain. The new system should arrive within the next two years and could improve the driver’s ability to detect approaching cyclists and make the roads a safer place for bikers.
The problem has been the tight spaces on the roads and between cars as vehicles and cyclists try to navigate the byways together. If JLR can alert their drivers to when they have a rider close to them or in the hit zone, they can make sure they stay aware of where they are and avoid a collision.
This new system will alert the drivers in many ways including a ringing bell inside the cabin and electronic controls that will actually nudge the driver’s seat cushions. Traditionally the cyclists have always rang the bike bell to alert the driver to the side they are passing on, and now the system inside the vehicle will hear this bell and activate Bike Sense and let the driver know with an audible alert inside on the same side where the cyclist is approaching.
If the car is stopped or parked, the door handle will even vibrate to alert the driver not to open until the cyclist has safely passed. If the driver is about to move the car or accelerate and a cyclist is in the area, the gas pedal will also vibrate to alert the driver.
The goal for JLR was to tap into the motorists’ natural instincts and improve their reaction time to the cyclist. The facts show that even minor accidents involving a motorist and a cyclist can be fatal due to the difference in size and weight of the vehicle and bike.
A Jaguar spokesman said “Sensors on the car will detect when another road user is approaching and identify it as a bicycle or motorbike – it will then make the driver aware of the potential hazard before the driver sees it.”
The coolest feature is when the system senses an oncoming cyclist from behind; the car seat will extend to “tap” the driver on the left or right side of their shoulder causing the driver to instinctively look over that shoulder to find the potential hazard.
Bravo to Jaguar Land Rover for raising the bar on this active safety system that will most assuredly save lives and reduce the amount accidents on the roads involving cyclists and cars.
- See more at Torque News
The official announcement has been made; the future of the Jaguar F-Type will wear an SVR nameplate and you can bet the 600 + horsepower cat will make a grand entrance.
I’ve been reporting for some time now that Jaguar was flirting with the thoughts of building a Super F-Type that would boost up the power and performance of an already awesome vehicle. I think the timing is perfect to launch this performance beast and Jaguar may even attract a few of the Porsche enthusiasts to take a look, but the SVR F-Type will have to come out of the gate strong and never let up.
John Edwards (Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations) confirmed to the Dutch publication Telegraph saying the future performance range will include an SVR version of the F-Type. An SVR would trump the brands current F-Type R model and strong speculation has it north of 600 horsepower. I’m also sure that the torque will increase and zero to 60 mph times will drop a bit more. The current R version of the F-Type already sports the 550 horsepower Supercharged V8 with 502 lb. ft. of torque (at 3500 rpm). With zero to 60 mph times in 4.0 second flat, the SVR F-Type should break into the 3 second range and that’s getting serious. No word on the top speed of the SVR but the F-Type R is limited to 186 mph, so the 200 mph club may not be calling unless the engineers at Jaguar decide to drop the electronic limiter.
The SVR moniker should fit the brand well, however some loyal fans have not been pleased with the recent naming of Jaguar’s new crossover the F-Pace. Fact is the SVR name has already been used on the popular Range Rover Sport which is packed with additional styling and performance goodies. The Project 7 F-Type in the photo above may give us some hints to what’s expected from the SVR “Super F-Type.
- See more at Torque News
One of the ultra-rare Jaguar E-Type “Lightweight” racers has reportedly sold for over $7 million. They originally only made 12 of these iconic stripped down racing version of the original Jaguar E-Type.
According to reports in the UK, one of the original 12 Lightweight E-Type racers made by Jaguar has traded hands and yes, that’s big news. It appears to have been sold by a dealership in London but the exact selling price is unclear. There are only 11 of the originals known to still exist and that’s part of what makes them so highly sought after.
Jaguar built these lightweight cars to compete against their rivals of the day and they did so in winning form. They were factory built cars specifically for European and rally racing events. Featuring an all-aluminum body and engine block, these cars also had most of the interior removed to help reduce even more weight. They are said to have been over 250 lbs. lighter than the standard E-Type’s.
The one sold was model YVH210 and was built in 1963 by race driver Peter Sutcliffe. He drove this car in competition at many tracks including Goodwood, Spa, and the Nurburgring. Reports say this is the second one of these rare cars that have been sold in the last year in London. The incredible rarity and iconic history of these cars is sure to have driven the selling price up. It’s just not every day you see a car of this caliber offered for sale.
The car had recently been restored by Gary Pearson, the son of Sutcliffe’s own mechanic. This particular race car most likely did more racing during this 60’s than any other E-Type. With its 3.8 litre engine and 360 horsepower the 2,224 lb. car was fully capable of 150 mph top speeds. When you factor in the rich history of this car, it's rarity and condition, it’s no wonder the car would sell for this staggering amount.
Also makes you curious if this selling price will bring more of these rare cars out of hibernation to see what they might sell for.
- See more at Torque News
After considering the opinions of over 15,000 UK car owners how did Jaguar end up on top? The XF is the best-selling model and makes no apologies for its looks.
Britain’s popular car buyers website What Car? and JD Power rated Jaguar as 2014/15 Best Manufacturer. Jim Holder (Editor-in-Chief) said “It’s great to see a Jaguar car rated so highly by customers in the company’s home market. The XF is Jaguar’s best-selling model and it’s easy to see why – customers gave excellent ratings across styling, comfort, and reliability”.
High ratings in the areas of styling, comfort, reliability, insurance cost, and dealer facilities helped them attain the Best Brand title. Jaguar’s XF ranked 10th in the survey and was one of the highly rated cars in the executive class. Jaguar continues to impress the automotive press, critics, social media groups, and internet forums as well.
Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director Jeremy Hicks said “I am extremely proud of the design, engineering, and manufacturing teams at Jaguar, for producing a range of cars that our customers adore. And I am delighted that Jaguar UK dealer network consistently delivers a service to our customers that means owning a Jaguar is enjoyable as it is to drive one”. “For Jaguar [to] be placed at the top of the What Car? / J.D. Power survey results for the third year in a row is a huge honor – With a number of exciting new product launches in our plans, we look forward to bringing the Jaguar ownership experience to a whole range of new customers”.
Another J.D. Power survey is the Initial Quality Study, which is a good gauge of new buyers. Jaguar placed 2nd behind Porsche in 2014 among premium brands. Among consumers, this is one of the most anticipated surveys because it’s a great indicator of the trend of satisfaction with each brand. Automakers dream of ranking high on this one and Jaguar is proud of this score because it speaks volumes about what today's buyers are saying.
Customer satisfaction is so important to automakers today that they have a team of specialists who are assigned to keeping track feedback from consumers and studying trends. Any improvement in customers’ experience can help them better manage any problem areas.
With internet and social media savvy consumers it’s easy to either praise or criticize a brand so automakers must stay on top of their game to ensure the customer is satisfied with the new car experience. This encompasses everything from the dealership, the reliability of the vehicle, all the way to service department and how they are treated during the entire process.
Jaguar uses the slogan 'Alive' to describe their brand and they listen to the echoes of their past success - technology, performance, and design…..the very DNA of what made Jaguar the iconic brand it is today.
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by Steve Favill
My first car was bought for me as a gift from my parents at the age of sixteen. It was a 1961 Ford Anglia 105E, in Ford's Ambassador Blue, a rather nice colour that suited the little car perfectly. The registration number, 433CDA, would be worth a small fortune today.....
Mine was the base model, not the fancy one that became famous in the Harry Potter movie. The base model, as it turns out, was much rarer than the DeLuxe and Super versions which came with the full-width chromed grille and chromed strips, headlamp "eyebrows" and upgraded trim. The Super even featured a two-tone paint job, AND a glove-box lid, which mine never had.
I loved that little car. I named it after a girl that I had a crush on in high school which was as close as I ever got to the real thing, and being too young to drive it right away I learned how to find and fix the rust holes with fiberglass and body filler, and I generally messed about with it and developed an understanding of how everything worked. Upon reaching the age of seventeen I was able to get my provisional licence, display 'L' Plates front and rear, and wait impatiently for someone who had a "full" license to agree to come out with me.
It was light, fairly nippy for such a small engine, a 997cc overhead-valve inline four cylinder and with responsive steering. It was also fairly roomy, the goofy reverse-slope rear windscreen allowing a higher roofline and therefore more headroom in the back seat. Not that I ever got the chance to try it for myself, sadly.
I remember a trip to Solva near to the city of St. David’s in Wales, a canoe strapped to the roof, 'L' plates and a full-licence holder in the form of my best mate, Dave Cook, riding shotgun. Nothing too exciting but it was freedom!
I suppose that the biggest test of how good, how reliable, a car is remains in answering the question whether or not I would have another. The answer has to be a resounding "Yes". These are great little cars, full of character and easy to maintain, and in retrospect I have to say that these represent the perfect starter classic (although they were just old cars back then!) for getting a youngster off on the right foot. Parts are reasonably available even today, and club support means that finding body panels and trim parts will not be as difficult as it was a few years ago.