Saturday, June 10, 2006

Jag XK

Nice job on the new Jaguar by Ford in last Sunday's TimesThe sexiest sports car under $100,000.


click for larger photos





DESIGN:  The new XK is elegant to behold, but it seems to lack the swagger and rakish charm of progenitors like the XK 120, XK SS, XKE and XJ 220.

The XK's teardrop-shape headlamps and taillights are one departure. "I looked at the old E-Type elliptical headlights and said, 'It's been done,' " the designer said. "Too obvious. Let's do something different."

The coupe's liftback, however, is pure E-Type. The convertible's rear haunches look a bit swollen, but that is because the trunk had to be big enough to hold the retracted softtop and some luggage.

The Jag does not have a retracting hardtop, like rivals from Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. "There's more power and presence in having two cars — a convertible and a coupe," Mr. Callum said. "It's not just a choice; it's to challenge which one to buy."

The rear wing seems a little too large — it houses the mandatory center brake light. As a result, the spoiler provides more rear downforce than desired, and can cause the nose to lift at speeds over 130 miles an hour. That, happily, is not an everyday worry.

The hood line is not as low as Mr. Callum would have liked it to be; he is also not fond of the lower air dam, which gives the new XK a shovel-nose look. These touches were mandated by new European rules governing front-end design, intended to reduce injuries to pedestrians. "The dimensions are set by regulations," Mr. Callum said of the front end.

There are "gills," or side vents, behind the front wheels that augment the car's catfish face. These recall Mr. Callum's early career designing cars like the Interceptor for the British automaker Jensen . . .

ENGINE: A starter button lights up the 300-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8. The restrained rumble of that engine won't disturb the neighbors, but it will warm the long-neglected cockles of an Anglophile's heart. More powerful XK's are expected to come — with 420 and even 500 horsepower — at six-figure prices. The smooth six-speed ZF automatic transmission — this gearbox is not a choice but a given — is one of this car's finest attributes.

PRICE: The convertible has a price premium of about $6,000 over the coupe, which starts at $75,500. The convertible I tested had a sticker of $85,200, including the $665 shipping charge. This represents a price bump of about $6,000 over the discontinued XK8, but the Jaguar is still priced some $14,000 below the Mercedes SL.

2007 Jaguar XK: A Low-Fat Cat
Jerry Garrett
NYTimes,  June 4, 2006

Posted at 06:10 AM in Automobiles | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Jag XK:


The comments to this entry are closed.