Thursday, 30 August 2007

Autocar's excellent Jaguar coverage this week

Lots of coverage of the new XF in this week's Autocar, which is well worth checking out. All very encouraging, especially some of the photography which provides a bit more confidence that this car will be a hit. Also, there are the usual updates from the apparently well-informed Julian Rendell on the latest developments in the bidding for Land Rover and Jaguar, which Ford is in the process of selling at the moment.

However, there was also an interesting letter in the mag from a reader touching on the subject I raised here a day or two back in connection with the XF and S-Type - Jaguar's failure to exploit the full range of power units that are available to it in order to provide what would appear to be attractive car/engine combinations. In this case, the reader's letter focused on the X-Type and asked why the company doesn't offer this model with the 2.7 litre diesel V6 in combination with the four-wheel drive transmission fitted to the 2.5 litre and 3.0 litre petrol-powered X-Types.

I've often wondered myself why no diesel/4WD combination is offered because especially in estate form, this would be a great car to sell in Bavaria, Northern Italy, Southern France, Austria and Switzerland to people who want something a bit different and like to go skiing at the weekends. If the 2.7 litre V6 doesn't fit, why not try the existing 2.2 litre diesel already fitted to the X-Type in combination with the 4WD transmission? As I was able to establish in the relevant Verdict tests, this engine is a convincing performer in the existing 2WD X-Type and also in the new 4WD Freelander, so I'm sure a 4WD 2.2 litre diesel X-Type wouldn't feel underpowered. Perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye, but surely this is something that could be addressed at minimal expense just by assembling various bits that already go into the car in different combinations?

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