|Wednesday, 21-Feb-2024 05:40:59 CET
Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles
September 9 2003
X-TYPE ESTATE MAKES ITS DEBUT AT FRANKFURT
is now yet another reason to buy a Jaguar the new X-TYPE Estate.
As versatile as it is desirable, this striking new addition to the X-TYPE
range gives drivers the option of a premium estate with no compromise
on the style or driving dynamics expected of a Jaguar.
There is now yet another reason to buy a Jaguar - the new X-TYPE Estate. As versatile as it is desirable, this striking new addition to the X-TYPE range gives drivers the option of a premium estate with no compromise on the style or driving dynamics expected of a Jaguar.
The new model - Jaguar's first ever production estate car - continues the British marque's expansion into important market segments where previously it has not been represented. It followed hard on the heels of the first ever Jaguar diesel-engined cars, which are now being delivered to customers.
The X-TYPE Estate has been designed to meet the needs of a new generation of estate car buyers. Style is now a key motivation when choosing an estate car, with more than a third of European purchasers citing it as their number one consideration. This is not surprising when you consider that the market share for estates easily outweighs that for coupes and convertibles combined. Dynamic qualities are also very important, with owners refusing to compromise on the driving experience they want from their car.
Research has revealed that those buying an estate car today are on average significantly younger than their saloon car counterparts. They are also more likely to participate in active sports than they are to spectate. In short, they demand a car that complements their lifestyle - and the new X-TYPE Estate is just that vehicle.
Petrol and diesel engines, manual or automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive are all available within the new X-TYPE Estate range, with three specification levels and a portfolio of comfort, convenience and performance options giving customers further opportunities to personalise their car.
Based on the X-TYPE saloon, but with unique new body styling and structure from the B-pillars back - including rear doors and roof - the new X-TYPE Estate offers an unrivalled combination of luxury, refinement and versatility. Its maximum usable load volume with rear seats folded flat is greater than that of the BMW 3-Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate, and an astonishing 20 per cent bigger than the Audi A4 Avant - an impressive achievement.
But more important still is that this level of practicality is offered in a car with all the style and dynamic agility of an X-TYPE saloon. Body stiffness that ranks with the best in class is the starting point for excellent chassis dynamics.
The driver environment, too, will be familiar to those who have experienced the X-TYPE saloon - although, in common with all X-TYPEs, a number of improvements and additional specification choices have been introduced for the 2004 model year. Drivers who prefer a more sporty look, for example, can now specify carbon fibre facia trim and Alcantara seat trim. This allows even greater differentiation between luxury and sports models in the X-TYPE range.
There are three versions of the X-TYPE Estate: Classic, SE and Sport. The Classic provides a 'younger' exterior look than the luxury-focused SE, which features a more traditional, chrome-enhanced appearance. Sport models are distinguished by a body-coloured grille and an absence of chrome, and have larger wheels and lower-profile tyres.
A host of intelligent interior features will give owners of the X-TYPE Estate flexibility to use their vehicle as best suits them. The rear seat can be configured to provide seating for one, two or three passengers, depending on how much luggage space is required. The load area is fully carpeted and trimmed. A generously sized, easily accessed storage area is located under the one-piece floor. Featuring a power output socket, it allows, for instance, a laptop computer to be recharged while discreetly concealed below the floor.
Depending on specification, additional stowage boxes for small items are installed behind removable doors in either or both rear sides, while luggage in the main load area is concealable by a retractable soft cover. Easy loading is aided by a split tailgate, with the option of opening either the entire tailgate or just the rear window.
Externally, fixed roof rails are fitted as standard and a range of additional carrying systems are available, from ski clamps to roof boxes.
The engine range for the new X-TYPE Estate comprises 2.0 litre diesel, 2.5 litre V6 petrol and 3.0 litre V6 petrol. The two larger V6 petrol engines power vehicles featuring Jaguar's Traction-4 all-wheel drive. In addition to the advantages that all-wheel drive provides in normal road driving, it makes the X-TYPE Estate an ideal choice for those who need extra grip when pulling boat trailers or unloading sports equipment on rough terrain.
When it goes on sale in spring 2004, the X-TYPE Estate will add a further dimension to a model range that has been instrumental in driving Jaguar's sales growth in recent years. Since its introduction in May 2001, more than 140,000 X-TYPEs have been sold in almost 70 markets worldwide. With this new Estate - and the recently announced new diesel engine - the X-TYPE not only now offers the widest ever choice in a single Jaguar model range, but also opens up exciting new market opportunities to the Jaguar marque.
The New Jaguar X-TYPE
· The new X-TYPE Estate makes its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on 9th September 2003 and goes on sale in spring 2004.
· Based on the successful X-TYPE saloon, but redesigned from the B-pillars back, the new X-TYPE Estate features new rear doors, a completely new roof and rear body structure and additional rear quarter windows.
· The new X-TYPE Estate is designed to satisfy the demands of a new generation of estate car buyers who base their purchase decisions primarily on style, versatility and driving dynamics.
· As well as scoring highly in these areas, the new X-TYPE Estate also enjoys the largest usable maximum load volume in its competitive set, bettering the equivalent BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
· Body stiffness of the new X-TYPE Estate - the starting point for excellent chassis dynamics - ranks with the best in class.
· The tailgate has an independently opening rear window as well as conventional full tailgate opening.
· The new X-TYPE Estate provides both luxury and versatility. A new headlining incorporates additional rear lighting, while the rear luggage area includes two interior lights and window vents. The luggage compartment is fully trimmed, and carpeted up to the interior waistline.
· Beneath the
load floor is a storage space incorporating a power supply socket in the
spare wheel area.
· Four spring-loaded,
chrome-finished D-rings in the rear load compartment provide a secure
luggage tie-down facility.
· The split-folding rear seat folds virtually flat without the need to remove headrests, providing a versatile balance between luggage volume and passenger accommodation that allows for one, two or three people to sit in the rear seat. A tonneau cover assembly combines a retractable luggage cover with an optional vertical luggage-retaining net behind the rear seats, and is easily detachable for maximum load volume.
· Black roof rails are standard on all X-TYPE Estates. Bright silver rails are an option. Both can be used in conjunction with a range of carrying systems, from ski clamps to roof boxes.
· A discreet roof spoiler on the new X-TYPE Estate incorporates a high-mounted stoplight and rear washer nozzle.
· The new X-TYPE Estate will be available with a choice of 2.0 litre direct-injection turbodiesel, 2.5 litre and 3.0 litre V6 petrol engines.
· The 2.5 and 3.0 litre V6 models feature Jaguar's Traction-4 full-time all-wheel-drive transmission as standard.
· All petrol X-TYPEs offer a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmissions.
· The new X-TYPE Estate has been engineered to offer the same rewarding driving characteristics as the X-TYPE saloon. All X-TYPEs benefit from a class-leading combination of ride comfort and sporting, driver-focused dynamic ability.
· The new X-TYPE Estate is available in three guises: Classic, SE and Sport. Combined with the three engine options, this gives a potential 40-plus X-TYPE models - more than double the previous range.
· A wide range
of accessories - including a luggage partition and divider, roof cross
bars, a boot utility protector and a detachable tow bar - will be offered
to enhance the X-TYPE Estate's inherent versatility.
Worldwide, the majority of saloons and estates are bought either with diesel engines or with petrol engines of over 2 litres capacity. By adding the X-TYPE Estate, with the full choice of powertrains as in the X-TYPE saloon family - including the new 2.0 litre diesel - Jaguar now fully covers this market, continuing its strategy of widening the marques accessibility.
Estate cars are an area in which Jaguar has not previously been represented - largely because this did not sit well with the marque's core values of exceptional refinement and a sporting drive. But estate cars - like diesel cars - have developed, and now it is entirely natural that Jaguar should make a premium estate car, incorporating all the values for which the marque is renowned.
The three key targets identified by Jaguar on entering the market segment were versatility, the needs of the family, and a desire to make the X-TYPE appeal to the younger customers who buy premium estate cars. But the basic proposition was that, in building its first estate car, Jaguar shouldn't change any of its core values. Rather, it should extend that core Jaguar character to a new, younger generation of customers, many of whom will be new to the Jaguar marque.
The compact premium estate market is sophisticated, well established and very competitive. It is dominated by the German makes that Jaguar identified as the main targets for the X-TYPE Estate. The Jaguar designers' brief was not to be the same as those competitors but to stand apart from them - differentiated by the quality of the product and its intrinsic Jaguar personality.
The core target customer is an extension of the X-TYPE core customer: relatively young (32 to 35 years old), predominantly male, with a comfortable income and an active lifestyle. They may use their car for business during the working week, as well as for active leisure-time pursuits, such as skiing or mountain biking. They want the load space and carrying capacity of an estate car, but they do not want to compromise on driving dynamics. Styling is also a very important part of their purchase decision - there is strong evidence to suggest that far from choosing an estate car on the basis of practicality, many people buy them because they prefer the styling to that of a saloon.
Beyond that group, and the business user who has to carry larger loads, there is another target customer, who rejects the alternative of an MPV or SUV, but would like the flexibility of an estate car - again, as long as it is stylish and good to drive. Finally there are those, mainly business, people who need executive transport through the week, but want an estate car to support family activities at other times.
Jaguar's essential brief for the X-TYPE Estate, therefore, called for a credible and contemporary alternative to the German competition, in a car that would deliver all the driving pleasure of a saloon but packaged as a luxury estate. It should be strikingly stylish, with a luxurious and comfortable interior, together with superior packaging and functionality, yet should also lead the competition in terms of sleek design and sporty, saloon-like driving characteristics.
A car, in short, engineered for maximum practicality with maximum driving pleasure. A true Jaguar.
An estate car with style and strength
The X-TYPE Estate was designed and engineered by Jaguar at the company's Whitley Engineering Centre, near Coventry in the UK. Working with key competitor benchmarks in terms of carrying capacity and convenience features (including a split-opening rear tailgate design), the overriding brief was not to compromise the X-TYPE's Jaguar aesthetics simply to achieve load volume. As it transpired, that was never an issue, as the natural shape of an estate car based on the X-TYPE saloon provided class-leading luggage volume and practicality. The new X-TYPE Estate offers Jaguar style and dynamics at all times and the useful carrying capacity of an estate car whenever you need it.
While, on the surface, the development of an estate car based on an existing saloon may not look too difficult, the reality is vastly more complicated than simply grafting a large box onto the back. One key requirement, for instance, was that the X-TYPE Estate bodyshell should retain the X-TYPE saloon's exceptional body stiffness, despite losing the stiffening structures of the rear seat back and parcel shelf. In fact, the new X-TYPE Estate exceeded its targets - the torsional stiffness of 16,319Nm/deg is, for example, stiffer than the new BMW 3 Series Touring - and did so with an average weight increase of only 65kg over the saloon.
The major changes to the body-in-white are all rearwards of the B-pillars, and involve virtually every panel. The roof is completely different, not only because it is much longer than on the saloon but also because it dips much more gently towards the rear - further improving already generous rear-seat headroom. The new roofline demands completely new upper rear side-door shapes, running into totally new rear quarter windows, which echo the familiar Jaguar shape.
The tailgate has a dynamic slope to its rear glass, and a neat spoiler on its top edge where it joins the roof, helping to give the X-TYPE Estate a subtly sporty side profile. Even the new roof-mounted aerial emphasises that line, as do the standard fixed roof rails, sweeping gracefully along the length of the roof, from just ahead of the B-pillars to just short of the tailgate. As standard they are finished in black, but bright silver rails are available as an option. The neat roof ditch finishers are also black.
The tailgate offers maximum practicality and versatility. It features a separately opening rear window, with its own control options. The entire tailgate can be opened like any conventional estate car tailgate, either from the remote key fob or via an electrically operated lock controlled by a button concealed under the bright horizontal finisher above the number-plate recess. The tailgate opening and closing is assisted by a pair of gas-filled struts, and is very light. It opens through a wide 88-degree angle - virtually a right angle to the sloping rear pillars - and opens completely to an all-new low bumper top, with very little intrusion from the completely new rear lights, which wrap around the new rear body sides.
Adding even greater practicality, the rear window can be opened independently of the lower tailgate - useful for loading lighter luggage, such as soft sports bags or everyday shopping. The window is released via a button neatly incorporated into the finger pull around the base of the rear wiper, although it is also possible to programme the remote key-fob to open only the rear window rather than the entire tailgate if desired.
Interior versatility and safety
The new X-TYPE Estate is a stylish car, designed for people with active, demanding lifestyles. But it isn't merely a 'lifestyle estate' - where looks and image are more important than genuine practicality and load-carrying ability. The X-TYPE Estate has both looks and image, but it also has a larger maximum load-carrying capacity than any of its direct, compact premium rivals, and it offers maximum versatility as well as maximum volume. To emphasise the difference between real life and lifestyle, the X-TYPE Estate's maximum volume with both rear seats folded forwards is an impressive 1415 litres compared with the Audi A4 Avant's 1184 litres - an advantage of more than 20 per cent. That 1415 litres also beats both the Mercedes C-Class Estate's maximum of 1384 litres and the BMW 3 Series Touring's 1345 litres. Even with the rear seats in use, the X-TYPE Estate offers an impressive 445 litres of luggage volume to the bottom of the window level, and 685 litres to the roofline.*
When maximum load space isn't required, the rear seats of the X-TYPE Estate have as much room and as much luxurious comfort as the seats of the X-TYPE saloon - with even more headroom.
* Jaguar figures / published competitor figures
The space is easy to utilise. Split-folding rear seats allow one, two or all three rear seat spaces to be allocated to luggage-carrying, so it is still possible to carry either one or two rear-seat passengers even with the seatbacks partially folded. The seats are released by a simple catch in each seatback, and can be folded forwards without removing the rear-seat headrests.
When the luggage space behind the rear seats is loaded below the window line, security is enhanced by a retractable tonneau cover which rolls out above the load area and fixes securely at the back of the luggage space to keep its contents hidden. The cover can also be specified with a retractable mesh guard which fits up to the roof behind the seats and prevents smaller loose items from being thrown into the passenger area during heavy braking or in the event of an accident. Larger items can be restrained by tie-down straps hooked onto the four strong, chromed, spring-loaded D-rings which are incorporated into the rear luggage space and fold neatly away when not in use. An elasticated luggage net to go between the loops is available as an accessory. For maximum load-carrying capacity with both seats folded down, the tonneau cover housing can be removed completely by releasing two catches.
There is more secure storage in a large moulded tray below the rear floor, above the space-saver spare wheel housing. The tray contains two deep storage sections and is accessed by lifting the latch in the boot floor and then lifting the boot floor itself on its hinges. The under-floor storage also incorporates a 12-volt power output socket, while the storage cover is designed to allow a cable to run unobtrusively from the power outlet to the storage area - for example, to allow a laptop computer or other portable electrical equipment to be charged while being discreetly concealed below the load area floor. The floor is fully carpeted and the inside of the luggage space completely trimmed.
Access to the rear load space is both convenient and versatile. The X-TYPE Estate features a large tailgate with a separately opening rear window - so when loading very large items, the whole tailgate can be lifted, and when only putting in smaller items, such as light shopping or smaller travel bags, the rear window glass can be opened on its own. Both the tailgate and the window glass can be opened to the same full height, and lights inside the luggage compartment come on when the tailgate is opened.
The rear washer and wiper are controlled from the same column stalk as the front wipers and have intermittent and continuous settings. They also have a useful automatic function when the car is being reversed. If reverse gear is engaged while only the front wipers are switched on, the rear wiper will switch on to intermittent. If reverse gear is engaged when the rear wiper is already switched on to intermittent, it will automatically switch to continuous wipe and back to intermittent when a forward gear is selected.
Alongside all these comfort and convenience features, the X-TYPE Estate has the high levels of both active and passive safety Jaguar buyers expect. Active safety begins with an extremely strong bodyshell, energy-absorbing impact zones and class-leading chassis dynamics, including Traction-4 all-wheel drive on the V6 versions. The X-TYPE also has one of the most comprehensive passive safety packages available in this market segment, including occupancy-sensing restraint systems, adaptive dual-stage driver and passenger front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags - for both front and rear occupants.
For the X-TYPE Estate, with its revised roofline, the side curtain airbags have been modified to provide the same level of side-impact protection for rear-seat passengers as in the X-TYPE saloon. Front seat belts have pre-tensioning and load-limiting functions, and the rear seats offer three three-point belts, and adjustable head restraints. Also for the X-TYPE Estate, rear seat mountings and release catch strength are designed to exceed all legislative requirements on luggage retention in case of an accident. Even the vertical luggage net of the load cover system is designed to keep the back of the X-TYPE Estate safe as well as tidy, and it meets all requirements for luggage-retention performance. As with the saloon, there are 'door open' warnings for both elements of the new tailgate.
Chassis dynamics - Keeping the 'car' in estate car
A key part of the engineering brief for the X-TYPE Estate was that it should have the same combination of sporting driving dynamics and excellent comfort as the X-TYPE saloon. That meant its bodyshell had to retain the exceptional torsional stiffness of the saloon and, as such, the body stiffness of the X-TYPE Estate rank with the best in its class. That is the solid foundation for Jaguar's renowned suspension dynamics.
Like the X-TYPE saloon, the X-TYPE Estate is engineered to deliver a supple ride with maximum control and sporting dynamics, including exceptional steering feel. Most aspects of the Estate's suspension and electronic control systems have been tuned to its specific needs, but essentially the layout is unchanged from the saloon. The front suspension is a twin-tube MacPherson strut design with a fabricated steel front cross member and lower control arm. A unique double bearing top strut mount reduces friction around the damper rod, which enhances the smoothness of both suspension and steering.
The X-TYPE Estate's multi-link rear suspension layout uses a torsion control link that allows each wheel to react independently, again improving handling and reducing harshness. Like the front suspension, it is virtually identical to that of the X-TYPE saloon. Its very compact packaging makes almost no intrusion into the sides of the new load area, and allows an impressively low boot floor, for easy loading and maximum luggage volume.
Steering is by a speed-sensitive variable-ratio ZF power-assisted rack and pinion system, which provides high-speed stability even with full loads, as well as the same ride comfort and responsive handling that have made the X-TYPE saloon the segment benchmark for feel and precision. The brakes are discs all round, ventilated at the front, and ABS anti-lock is standard across the range.
Jaguar's high levels of ride, handling and steering performance are achieved only through minute attention to detail, so although the differences in weight and weight distribution between the X-TYPE saloon and X-TYPE Estate are small, every aspect of both the front and rear suspension has been retuned to best suit the Estate. This includes revised spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings, and modified rubber bump-stop designs. In addition, most of the X-TYPE's electronic safety and driving aid systems benefited from software changes. These include unique calibrations for the anti-lock braking and EBD Electronic Brakeforce Distribution settings, and for the optional DSC Dynamic Stability Control settings.
And the aim of all this fine-tuning? To ensure that the X-TYPE Estate remains fundamentally true to the dynamic spirit of the X-TYPE saloon.
Powertrains and the new Jaguar diesel engine
The new X-TYPE Estate offers three powertrain choices including, on the V6 petrol models, the Traction-4 all-wheel drive system that helps make the car so rewarding to drive. With the recently launched four-cylinder diesel engine and the X-TYPE's already highly regarded V6 petrol engines, plus manual or automatic transmissions, and the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive depending on engine type, the X-TYPE offers the widest powertrain range in the Jaguar line-up.
The lightweight, compact, all-aluminium V6 petrol engines available in the X-TYPE Estate are all part of the highly developed AJ-V6 family and are available in 2.5 litre and 3.0 litre versions. Sharing the same advanced design features, including variable camshaft phasing and variable geometry inlet manifolds, they each offer sporting performance, low fuel consumption and low emissions. They also deliver excellent mechanical refinement, thanks to design features including a very rigid construction, isolated magnesium camshaft covers for low radiated valvetrain noise, tuned air-cleaner and inlet passages, which reduce unwanted boom while allowing a degree of sporty growl under hard acceleration, and a pressure die-cast front engine cover and direct-mounted engine ancillaries for excellent NVH performance.
The 2.5 litre has a 24 valve 4-cam Jaguar V6 with an actual capacity of 2495cc. Its maximum power output is 194bhp (145kW) at 6,800rev/min, with peak torque of 244Nm (180lb ft) at only 3,000rev/min, confirming its very strong low-down flexibility. That power output represents a specific output of 77.7bhp/litre - virtually a match for the 3.0 litre V6's class-leading 77.8bhp/litre, and an indication of the exceptional efficiency of these superb engines.
Like other X-TYPE
V6 petrol engines, its basic architecture includes a 60-degree vee angle,
a forged steel crankshaft with four main bearings, two chain-driven overhead
camshafts per cylinder bank, and four valves per cylinder operated via
lightweight, direct-acting mechanical bucket tappets. It also features
The 2.5 V6 offers impressive performance, with a top speed of 138mph (222km/h) in manual form or 135mph (217km/h) with the five-speed automatic option, and 0-60 mph acceleration times of 8.1 seconds (manual) and 8.8 seconds (automatic).*
Performance figures for all models are provisional and will be confirmed nearer to the Estate going on sale next year.
Topping the range, the 3.0 litre V6 has a capacity of 2967cc. It is also the most powerful engine in the range, with a maximum output of 231bhp (172kW) at 6,800rev/min, and a very strong torque peak of 284Nm (209lb ft) again at a usefully low 3,000rev/min. And while it is the most powerful engine in the range, the 3.0 litre V6's efficiency means that it is still impressively friendly in terms of both fuel consumption and emissions. The 3.0 litre X-TYPE Estate is also the quickest car in the range, with a maximum speed for the manual version of 144mph (232km/h) or 141mph (227km/h) in automatic form, and 0-60 mph times of 6.8 and 7.3 seconds respectively.
Also available to
X-TYPE Estate buyers is the new diesel engine announced by Jaguar in June
2003. Taking the marque into a hugely important new market, the 2.0D is
a four-cylinder, direct-injection turbo diesel that is not only light,
compact and highly efficient, but also remarkably refined. It offers class-leading
The state-of-the-art common-rail direct-injection turbodiesel develops a maximum of 130PS (128bhp, or 96kW) at 3,800rev/min, and 330Nm (243lb ft) peak torque at only 1,800rev/min. With its turbocharger overboost facility, it is also capable of briefly raising available torque to a maximum of 350Nm (258lb ft). In the X-TYPE Estate, with the 2.0D's five-speed manual transmission, that smooth and flexible power delivery gives a maximum speed of 123mph (198km/h) with a 0-60mph acceleration time of just 9.8 seconds.
Based on Ford Motor Company's TDCi engine (already much admired in the Mondeo) the 2.0D engine was further developed by Jaguar for its new and very demanding role in the X-TYPE, to produce effortless, refined power with low noise and optimum drivability.
The in-line four-cylinder
unit, which is constructed using a very stiff cast iron block with an
aluminium ladder frame, is light, compact and strong. Including its flywheel
and clutch assembly, it weighs only 195kg (430lb), and is just 503mm (19.8in)
long, 608mm (23.9in) wide and 681mm (26.8in) tall. The engine
To provide the throttle response expected of a Jaguar, the new diesel engine's fuel system combines very high pressure common-rail direct injection with a variable-geometry turbocharger and a charge-air intercooler. The injection system achieves pressures ranging from 230bar (3,380psi) at low engine speeds, to 1,500bar (22,000psi) at engine speeds above 2,000rev/min, which contributes to ultra-fine fuel vaporisation for improved combustion. Jaguar also specified a short nozzle cylinder head design and short-nozzle fuel injectors that reduce noise and improve refinement. Each nozzle, electronically controlled by the engine management, can deliver two precisely metered shots of fuel, a pilot injection and a main injection, on each power stroke. The small pilot injection comes earlier in the stroke, followed by the larger main injection that produces the power. This helps make the combustion process more progressive and more efficient, so the engine runs more smoothly and quietly while delivering more power for less fuel, at all engine speeds.
To further optimise efficiency and refinement, Jaguar has introduced the CNS Combustion Noise Sensor, which detects and reduces combustion noise by listening to each stroke in the cylinder and making tiny adjustments to the pilot and main injections every 0.3 milliseconds.
The everyday benefits are evident from the X-TYPE Estate's fuel economy - 48.7mpg (5.8 litres/100km) in the combined cycle* - and CO2 emissions figures. Its rating of only 154g/km is amongst the best-in-class compared with rivals such as the Audi A4 1.9 TDI, BMW 320d and Mercedes C220 CDI.
When the X-TYPE was launched in 2001, all models had Traction-4 all-wheel drive, but the addition of, the 2 litre V6 and, more recently, the new 2.0 litre diesel has seen the introduction of front-wheel drive.
The Traction-4 full-time
all-wheel drive of the 2.5 and 3.0 litre V6 X-TYPE Estates makes the new
Jaguar a direct competitor to Audi's quattro-equipped Avants. The compact
and durable yet sophisticated all-wheel drive system gives sure-footed
roadholding at all speeds and in all weather conditions while retaining
* Fuel economy and emissions figures are provisional and will be confirmed nearer to the Estate going on sale next year.
The transfer drive
assembly that is the heart of the Traction-4 system is mounted on the
engine block for improved stiffness and compact packaging. It takes power
from the transmission output and splits it, as needed, between the front
and rear wheels. Nominally, the torque output from the transmission is
split 40 per cent to the front and 60 per cent to the rear, the rearward
bias giving much of the handling balance of a rear-drive car and underlining
the driver-focused, sporting character of the X-TYPE Estate. In slippery
conditions or on poor surfaces, a viscous coupling incorporated into the
epicyclic centre differential senses differences in speeds between the
front and rear wheels and adjusts torque distribution accordingly,
The manual transmission fitted to all versions of the X-TYPE Estate is the familiar five-speed gearbox. Its cable-shift mechanism provides a smooth and precise gearshift while isolating the lever from any powertrain vibrations and transmitted noise. Like many other elements of the X-TYPE drivetrain, the manual transmission is designed to be as light and compact as possible, with maximum durability. All major components are of lightweight, die-cast aluminium - the clutch system weighs just 17.9kg and the overall transmission weight is only 47.7kg. The self-adjusting single-plate clutch is combined with a dual-mass flywheel for vibration insulation, and helps extend the service life of the transmission to 150,000 miles (240,000km) while the transmission has a filled-for-life oil system.
The optional electronic five-speed automatic transmission gives optimum fuel efficiency (not available with 2.0D) as well as punchy acceleration and refined motorway cruising. Like the manual transmission, it is designed for maximum service intervals, and has a filled-for-life oil system. It is controlled by the latest version of Jaguar's unique J-gate gear selector, which offers manual control of the automatic transmission for those drivers who prefer to have greater control. When used in the normal 'D' automatic position, two selectable shift modes, Normal or Sport, modify the way the transmission changes ratios to complement different driving styles.
2004 model year revisions and the X-TYPE range
As well as acquiring a new body style and a new diesel engine - and potentially a whole new audience - the entire X-TYPE family has undergone a subtle detail makeover for the 2004 model year. The revisions freshen its looks and further improve safety, practicality, trim quality and the already impressive equipment levels. Naturally, the new X-TYPE Estate benefits from all of these recently announced improvements.
Each X-TYPE, including
the new Estate, continues to be available in Classic, SE and Sport versions,
Steering wheel-mounted ICE controls are now standard on all SE and Sport models and optional on others. These feature on the new steering wheel which also carries the cruise control buttons (when this system is fitted).
Front parking-aid sensors are a new option for the X-TYPE when rear park-distance control is fitted, helping prevent bumps against hidden obstacles such as bollards or high kerbs. Behind the foam-filled bumper is a totally new BOFE Bolt-On Front End structure that replaces the original welded-on steel cross beam with a bolted-on aluminium beam. This not only saves around 3.5kg in weight, but also reduces repair time in the event of a front-end impact at less than 15km/h by 3.9 hours - which equates to a significant reduction in repair costs.
There are new, more vibrant exterior colours, too, with Ultraviolet now a mainstream choice, and a number of distinctly different new wheel styles in sizes from 16 to 18 inches diameter.
The numerous cabin changes have, of course, also been incorporated into the Estate. Designed to move quality, equipment levels and the car's sporting character on another step, the trim and material upgrades reinforce Jaguar's commitment to luxury and craftsmanship. New trim and contrast colours, more luxurious fabrics for the headlining and interior door pillars, and a new, high-quality soft-touch material for the parcel shelf further improve the ambience of the X-TYPE interior.
Suede-effect Alcantara is now available as a sports upholstery option, and new veneers give a fresh, contemporary spin to the traditionally luxurious look, with carbon fibre available on Sport models, and classy Piano Black available on all models.
The X-TYPE also gains a new driver's seat, with the option of 10-way power adjustment, and a three-position memory function that includes the exterior mirror settings. Front-seat headrests now include fore and aft tilting as well as height adjust, and reshaped front seat cushions optimise the space between the seats and the centre console, which now includes a new style of twin cup-holders.
There are also significant changes to the X-TYPE's already impressive ICE In Car Entertainment package. The speaker count for the standard system goes up from four to six, while the upgraded nine-speaker premium system, which includes two sub-woofers with their own dedicated amplifiers, now operates up to a car-filling 320W. The quality of the sound, as well as the quantity, is also upgraded, with the facility to optimise the sound balance for specific seating positions, and four zones inside the car: front-left, front-right, rear, and all.
A new-look instrument
cluster, with black instead of green dial faces, incorporates a new dedicated
warning light that alerts the driver to outside temperatures of below
4deg C - low enough to pose a risk of ice on the road.
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