Auto blogSat, 16 Aug 2014 12:01:00 EST
If you're an enthusiast, and you don't know that Dodge spawned another Hellcat this week, you really must have been living in cave. The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is probably the biggest news for enthusiasts since the reveal of, well the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
But, there are some things you might not know or might have missed about the new Charger and Challenger Hellcats. For starters, reports that the Hellcat production would be limited to a low volume are not true.
"We have not capped the Hellcat on either the Challenger or the Charger," Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said.
There are a great many things we love about the Jaguar F-Type, but one of them is that, whatever price point you're looking at, there's an F-Type for you. (Well, not any price point... this is a Jag we're talking about, but pricing varies greatly.) Got $65k to spend? That'll get you into a base F-Type V6 coupe, and you'll likely be happy for it. Eighty grand will get you into an F-Type V6 S, $90k into a V8 S roadster, and a cool hundred grand will get you the top-of-the-line F-Type R coupe. But what if you want to spend more than that? What if you've got more like $165,000 in your pocket and it's burning a hole when it should be burning rubber?
Well we've got good news for you, friend, because that's exactly how much the exclusive F-Type Project 7 will set you back. Making its US debut during Monterey car week, Jaguar has announced that the most exclusive version of its two-seat sports car - revealed in production spec just recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - will cost $165k in the US (plus the standard $925 delivery charge). That's roughly the price of an F-Type R and a base F-Type V6.
For all that scratch, you get an open-top roadster with 575 horsepower on tap - more than any production road car Jaguar has ever made before, and that includes the XJ220 and ultra-rare XJR-15 supercars. The most potent version yet of Jaguar's ubiquitous and long-serving 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is enough to send Project 7 to 60 in 3.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186 miles per hour.
Jaguar has made a lot of great vehicles over the years, but as far as historians are concerned, it still very much lives in the shadow of the original E-Type, small as it was. In its image, Jaguar has made two generations of XK and the new F-Type, but what we have here is the most faithful continuation of the E-Type heritage yet.
Alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR and the F-Type Project 7 (making its US debut), Jaguar Land Rover and its new Special Operations division will roll into Pebble Beach this year with the continuation Lightweight E-Type. Of the 72,500 E-Types which Jaguar built between 1961 and 1975, only a dozen were Lightweight versions, and they remain the most coveted E-Types of all. It originally planned on building 18 examples, though, and five decades later, it's now committed to completing that original production run in faithful detail.
The Lightweight E-Type was based on the standard roadster and was homologated as such, just with some key upgrades to make it lighter and faster. The biggest change, of course, was the lightweight aluminum bodywork that cut 205 pounds off the curb weight. To replicate it, Jaguar took the last example (the only one made in 1964 after the original eleven were made in '63), scanned half its body surface, mirrored it to ensure symmetry and set about reproducing it with the same standard of materials available in the Sixties (and resisting the urge to go with more modern grades of aluminum). 75 percent of the 230 components are made in-house, with the largest stampings outsourced and built on machinery built to Jaguar's specifications off-site.
There's nothing that real, dyed-in-the-wool car geeks love so much as to say "Old Car X is actually a lot better than New Car Y." For reasons that defy both logic and science, we all (your author included) are able to, almost simultaneously, bitch about needed advancements in current vehicles and then bemoan character lost in the next crop.
Mitsubishi Evo models have been supremely prone to this bifurcation of opinion in recent years (ask an Evo IX fanboy about the Evo X sometime... ), and performance cars wearing WRX, Mustang, and M3 badges have been deeply subject to it, as well.
The Jaguar XK and F-Type are not exactly in the same one-model, generational-changeover form as those mentioned above, but that doesn't mean that there aren't defenders of both the old dog and the new joint. Autocar seeks the truth of the matter in this new video, and we're just happy to come along for the ride. May the best sib win.
Care for a bit more proof that the Jaguar Land Rover portfolio of vehicles is the best it's ever been? Well, the Indian-owned pair of brands saw a record year in 2013, while 2014 has seen a 14-percent increase in sales. The crazy thing is, though, is that figure could be even higher, provided the company had the production capacity.
JLR is running a six-month waiting list on two of its most popular models, the Range Rover Sport (above) and Range Rover. According to Mark White, the company's chief technologist for body engineering, the blame can be placed on the paint shop at the company's Solihull factory, in the UK.
"We will probably max out the paint shop before we max out the body shop. Putting the second body shop in has given us the flexibility to ebb and flow the different models that go through there and meet the capacity demands we've got," White told Automotive News. "However, you always hit a bottleneck somewhere. And the paint shop is probably going to be the next biggest obstacle."
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:58:00 EST
There's no doubt that Tesla is downshifting while Fisker has been grinding its gears. But it wasn't always that way.
In the wake of Tesla's recent success, it's easy to forget that there were once two California electric carmakers with bright futures.
Jaguar has a bunch of projects in the hopper, from the replacements for the XJ sedan and XK coupe/convertible to its very first crossover. But arguably the most important among them is the XE - the British automaker's upcoming new sports sedan. Coventry has given us all sorts of peeks at what to expect from the new XE, from a shadowy rendering of the front end to a photo of a camo-wrapped prototype. But this is our best look yet.
As part of an announcement of a planned audio-visual spectacle scheduled to herald the arrival of the XE, Jaguar has released the image you see above, showing the undisguised XE in apparent S specification. From what we can see, it sports a fascia that looks pretty much exactly as we'd expect, though that's no bad thing. The XE is set to introduce the new Ingenium family of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Whether the XE S shown here would carry a version of that (with a potential supercharger) or transplant the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 from the F-Type S remains to be seen, but whatever's under the hood, we'd expect it to hold the top end of the XE range - at least for the car's introduction before a potential R, R-S or SVR version might come along to supplant it.
One way or another, don't be surprised if you see some BMW 3 Series sedans pacing down the street nervously for the next little while. In the meantime, you can scope out all the glorious details of Jaguar's planned collaborations with the likes of Emeli Sandé, Stella McCartney and Idris Elba as part of the FEEL XE campaign in the press release below.
With around a month away from its world debut on September 8, Jaguar continues to issue a constant drip of updates about its upcoming XE compact luxury sedan that's aiming to take on the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Where the company's last bit of info focused on the car's suspension setup, this time Jag's putting the spotlight on the new model's modular platform and making some big promises about it, too. How big? Try over 75 miles per gallon big.
That's the headline figure that Jaguar is claiming for its new sedan, but it's keeping mum on just what powertrain will realize that figure. Furthermore, that result is on the European test cycle, which is more lenient than America's EPA testing regime. In any case, when the XE hits the road, Jag says it will be the most efficient vehicle from the company, ever.
That's thanks in no small part to the aluminum-intensive monocoque chassis underpinning the sedan. It's constructed from a new grade of the lightweight metal called RC 5754 that uses a high portion of recycled material. "The Jaguar XE body uses over 75-percent aluminum content, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This gives us a body structure with unrivaled low weight: it's light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness," said Dr. Mark White, Jaguar Chief Technical Specialist; Body Complete.
Whether you're looking at Bertone going bankrupt or Spyker facing (and subsequently resolving) a large tax bill, it's saddening to see an automaker having to sell off its factory collection. That's why we're glad to report that there are still some acquiring historic vehicles from their pasts. Like Jaguar, which has just bought the largest private collection of classic British cars in the world.
The collection of 543 cars was painstakingly assembled by one James Hull, a British dentist with some 50 dental clinics to his name across the UK and who was keen to find the right buyer to take possession of his life's work and preserve it for years to come.
Of those 543 cars, the majority are of British origin, including over 130 Jaguars. The collection includes seven XK120s, several C- and D-Types, a rare XKSS, eight E-Types, thirty Mark-series Jaguar sedans, nineteen XJS coupes and convertibles, some twenty XJ sedans as well as some pre-war SS models and Swallow sidecars and coachbuilt specials from the company's early days. Among the many noteworthy examples are a rare SS100, an alloy-bodied XK120 and an MK X owned by company founder Sir William Lyons himself, as well as Winston Churchill's Austin, Elton John's Bentley, and racing driver and motorcycle rider Mike Hailwood's E-Type.
Automakers conduct driver training programs on racing circuits around the world for a variety of participants: journalists, customers, even celebrities. And at a recent session of the Jaguar Performance Driving Academy at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the Leaping Cat marque had a couple of the Hollywood types in the paddock.
In addition to the various (evidently well-heeled) members of the public, learning how to pilot the new F-Type Coupe R on the track this time around were actors Sebastian Stan and Mena Suvari. You might recognize Stan from his roll as Bucky Barnes in the Captain America movies and Suvari from such red, white and blue favorites as American Beauty and the American Pie franchise, but both got a first-hand taste of one of Britain's finest courtesy of Jaguar.
So how did it go? Well, as one of the less-famous participants put it, it was #awesomesauce." We couldn't possibly reproduce in words her enthusiasm in person and on camera, so you'll just have to watch the video below to see for yourself.