The Revival of the S-type

by : Anthony Fontanelle

In 1963, British car manufacturer Jaguar announced that they will be producing a sedan to market above the slot that is currently occupied by the previously popular Mark II. The following year, the company delivered the first Jaguar S-Type fitted with Jaguar XK engines. Although originally intended to replace the Mark II in Jaguar's lineup, the strong sale of the Mark II forced the company to move the S-Type into another segment. In 1968, after only four years after its inception in the market, the Jaguar S-Type was discontinued when the bigger Jaguar XJ6 replaced it in Jaguar's lineup. After a long hiatus, the S-type was revived for the 2000 year model by the Ford Motor Company which currently owns the British marque.

The revived S-Type initially shared its platform with the now defunct Lincoln LS. The lineup of the S-Type is expanded in 2003 with the supercharged S-Type R. The R version of the Jaguar S-type is considered as the most powerful S-Type in production. The midsize luxury car with the R badge is equipped with a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine unit. This V8 engine is capable of producing as much as 390 horsepower. The company claims that this power is enough to propel the S-Type R to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 5.3 seconds or 5.6 seconds to make it zoom from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour. Some of its most notable features when compared to the conventional S-Type are the presence of 18-in alloy wheels, and the wire-mesh grille. The "R" badging is also visible on the boot lid and both front wings of the car.

Aside from its good looks and a powerful engine, the Jaguar S-Type R is also equipped with advanced features such as the Dynamic Stability Control. This feature is also called an Electronic Stability Control and is used so as to improve the handling capabilities of a vehicle. This feature reduces the risk of a person loosing control of a vehicle by adjusting the car automatically to the demand of the road. The system basically evaluates the driver's input to the reaction of the vehicle. If the system senses that too much power is flowing into a wheel or set of wheels, it applies the brakes for that particular wheel or wheels to keep the vehicle balanced. Aside from this feature, the Jaguar S-Type R is also equipped with an active suspension system which controls the performance and reaction of the different suspension components such as , shock absorber, and the like.

The supercharged R variant of the Jaguar S-Type is also equipped with an adaptive cruise control system. This feature uses laser or radar technology to maintain a preset distance between the vehicle and the vehicle in front of it. This technology automatically activates once a preset speed is achieved. When the system senses an impending collision with another vehicle or any kind of object in front of it, the system activates the brakes. This feature is already being used by high-end vehicles and the popularity of this feature has led to the development of cost-efficient laser-based adaptive cruise control systems. The safety that this feature offers to consumers is complemented by the luxurious interior that the S-Type R possesses.

Plush leather seats are standard features for the S-Type R along with a wood gear shift knob and a rear sunshade. The seats are all adjustable. The driver seat is modifiable in 16 ways and the passenger seats 12 ways. These seats complement the adequate interior space of the S-Type R. Both the front and rear seats provide ample legroom and headspace.

The Jaguar S-Type may be once again heading for the shelves as Jaguar announced that they will be replacing it with a new model to be known as the Jaguar XF. The concept model for the production XF was unveiled earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) where the XF immediately attracted the attention of many sports car enthusiasts. Whether the XF will bring Jaguar to profitability is a question that will be answered in the near future. Ford, Jaguar's parent, is currently losing money as the British marque continues its downward slide. In spite of Jaguar's poor performance in the market, Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said that they will not sell the Jaguar brand. This means that Ford will still have a hand in the development and production of the forthcoming Jaguar XF.