Gawking at the New Jaguar
Friday, October 19th, 2012
Event photos by Shannon Painter
Jaguar photos courtesy of Jaguar
Earlier this month, Design Bureau was invited to the Arlington Park racetrack in Arlington Heights, IL, near Chicago to meet the new Jaguar—and we mean that in multiple senses.
First off, Jaguar, the company itself has a new life. Acquired by Tata Motors of India in 2008 along with Land Rover, the iconic British brand now seems invigorated—it's product line is suddenly its most exciting in years. The acquisition seems to have paid off for Tata, which, for example has ramped up Land Rover production in the UK because of brisk sales.
And secondly, we got cozy with some new Jaguar models at the event (hosted by Lorraine McKiniry of the Discovery Channel's "What's My Car Worth?") and we liked the way they purred.
We drove the four-door 2013 XF on the street, and loved everything from the torque and acceleration to the heated seats and classic detailing. We drooled over the luxury features in the XJ (mounted iPads, champagne chillers). And we were awed about what we heard regarding the CX75 concept car and electric hybrid that can do 200mph. Add that to Jaguar's portfolio of imaginative concept cars such as the C-X16.
But the big story was the new Jaguar F-Type. Having just debuted in Paris weeks ago (at a party featuring chanteuse Lana Del Rey, no less) and taken home Best in Show honors, the Jaguar F-Type roadster was flown in to the States just for the occasion. It was the first new F-Type to be seen in the United States, period. We're thrilled to report that if there's a car worth getting excited for in this day and age, this is it.
Channeling the '60s sexy style and mod aesthetics of the legendary Jaguar E-Type into a contemporary performance vehicle was no easy feat. But Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum has done it with the F-type roadster. It has a mean looking front grill and echoes of the kind of iconic shape that we think of when someone says "Steve McQueen" and "driving gloves." Due to the States in 2013 (two 3.0-liter V6 models will be priced at $69,000 and $81,000, while the V8 model will come in at $92,000), it will do wonders for sexing up Jaguar's once moribund reputation. We haven't driven it yet, but we're longing for the day when we do.