Washington Auto Show Special Report: Jaguar

2013 XJ

Jaguar.  When you think of a jaguar you think of a big, threatening orange and black animal with yellow eyes and fangs. You think of an animal that can strike its prey with lightning quick attacks that leaves their prey putting together what just happened long after the jaguar has eaten them.  You think of a predator that stalks and quietly and deviously watches its prey walk straight into its impending death.  And with the brand new XJ, Jaguar has truly captured the essence of the jaguar predator.  Minus all the spots and fangs and deadly stuff.

The new Jag flagship car is equipped with a never-before-seen instinctive all-wheel drive system.  Never-before-seen, that is, on Jaguar’s terms.  Basically, what this instinctive system does is constantly change and adapt to road conditions, moving power around to allow the car to find the optimum performance necessary and desired.  And, while this car is powered by an all-wheel drive system, the car is still a rear-biased car, with 20% of power going to the front, and the remaining 80% being sent to the rear.

And with 340 horsepower from a 3.0-liter V6 engine, this car doesn’t come short on power.  In fact, the horsepower produced can send the car from a complete standstill to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds.  Not bad for a large, heavy four-door.  And with an EPA rating of 24 mpg highway, this car has a decent amount of fuel efficiency, allowing men in suits — those are the type of people that drive Jags right? — to get to their all important meetings on time, and with plenty of gas in the tank for the drive back.

However, with a starting price of more than $70,000, this car isn’t relatively cheap.  However, with all the new features being offered, and the classic Jaguar owning experience, this car should be worth the money.

2014 XFR-S

Indeed, what you see above is a blue Jaguar powersliding.  And, in many cases, this isn’t something to be impressed about.  But it is.  You see, this isn’t an XK, or an XKR-S, nor is it the new F-Type.  Instead, the blue Jaguar four-door with the wing on the back is the all-new XFR-S, one of the most powerful saloon cars on the planet.

The all-new tarmac-burner is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine operating as the beating heart of this beast.  This maniacal supercharged engine is capable of kicking out 550 horsepower and makes an astonishing 502 lb-ft of torque.  From a standstill, rear-wheel drive operated by an 8-speed transmission is enough to send the back of your head crashing into the headrest, and send the car to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.  The car then keeps pulling until it’s catapulting you towards the horizon at 186 mph.

Bearing the name R-S on the front grille means a bit more than being really fast.  It also gives the car the R-S aerodynamic package.  On this particular Jaguar R-S model, this means that the car’s rear diffuser channels air to make the car cut more smoothly through the air, and also the carbon-fiber wing fitted on the back creates more downforce when it’s time to slow down for a corner.

The XFR-S was unveiled to the public and the feasting eyes of people obsessed with powerslides at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  The car is expected to go on sale this summer, and starting prices can be expected to be at $99,000.  That’s not including the new infamous Jaguar options list, might I add.  But honestly, who cares about adding a high-definition stereo to the interior when you can hear the deep, bellowing Jaguar engine making you go really fast, and really sideways.

2014 F-Type

It’s tough being the following act.  Just ask any performer that’s had to step on the stage after performances by people like Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, or Jay-Z.  And in the case of the all-new Jaguar F-Type being the successor of the infamous E-Type, it’s an extremely difficult job.  So, let’s see if the car lives up to its father.

From the picture, you’ve most likely established one thing.  This car is astonishingly beautiful.  Arguably, one of the most beautiful Jags ever made.  And when you compare this feature to the E-Type, in which Enzo Ferrari labeled it as being the most beautiful car ever, it seems that the F-Type has lived up to it at something.

Next, the F-Type certainly comes with a punch.  Er, three different punches in fact, as the car comes with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 340 horsepower, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 380 horses in the S version, and a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that makes 495 horsepower in the V8 S version.  These power figures send the car from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds in the regular — if you can call it regular — F-Type, 4.8 seconds in the S version, and 4.2 seconds in the V8 S.  So, it definitely has the XKE beat in the nwighborhood of power.

However, with a predecessor to one of the greatest cars ever made, Jaguar made it a priority to add touches to the car that resembled the original poster car.  On all cars, the rear taillights are a tribute to the iconic lights on the back of the E-Type, and dual trumpet exhausts are literally a blast from the past on the F-Type except for the V8 S version, which comes with four trumpet exhausts.

This car, then, is the perfect successor to the E-Type.  A car so beautiful and with so much pedigree, truly deserves a car like this to follow after it.  With this car, jaguar showed the world that it hasn’t forgotten the past, and instead mixes the past and the present together to make this awesome new sports car.  Daddy would be proud.

2013 XKR-S

The Jaguar XKR-S isn’t new, it’s actually been around for quite some time.  Still, however, the car remains a force to be reckoned with.  Powerful, beautiful, and producing one of the best sounds that any engine on the face of the earth can make, this car has remained at the top of car conversations about the greatest current sports cars.  And with this new one, Jaguar looks like it’s aiming for the top spot.

At the front of the XKR-S, is a 5.0-liter V8 that punches out 550 horsepower through the rear tires.  Nothing to 60 mph takes just 4.2 seconds, and a stop speed of 186 mph can be reached when the needle on the speedometer can’t find another number to go past.

One of the biggest talking points on the XKR-S has always been that wonderful, aggressive, mechanical sound that the exhaust pipes like to play.  This XKR-S will arrive with Jaguar’s performance active exhaust, which opens valves to let the engine flow better, and sound better.

Jaguar likes to consider the XKR-S as being the company’s “big dog.”  But, when you build a car with a carbon-fiber splitter, carbon-fiber diffuser, and a carbon-fiber forged wing, big isn’t necessarily the word that comes to mind.  They were probably talking about the power though.

As far as sportiness is concerned, the gym-rat XK is equipped with an active rear differential and adaptive dynamics, that allow the car to change the way bits of the suspension are reacting in order to make the car handle better.

What you get with the XKR-S, is a $132,00 (starting price) car with a monstrous amount of horsepower, but also the importance of handling.  And it seems that making sports cars is something that Jaguar, and the British as a whole, has been quite good at recently.  So when the car is unveiled at Geneva, all eyes will be focused to see how the car actually is on the road.

 

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