Auto blogSun, 06 Jul 2014 13:03:00 EST
A couple weeks ago, J.D. Power released its latest Initial Quality Study, which gave high marks to Porsche, Hyundai and General Motors, with the latter earning more individual IQS awards than any other manufacturer. Now, it's Strategic Vision's turn, and it's doling out its praise not to Porsche, but to Tesla, which wasn't even included in the JD Power IQS.
The Model S was named the best vehicle overall in total quality, while Porsche's corporate brother and endurance-racing rival, Audi, was named the best premium brand, alongside Jaguar. Strategic Vision cited the Q5 and the ancient Q7 for individual segment awards, as well as the A5, which was a mere point off the top of its segment. SV also handed out compliments for the Audi's interior work. The win for the German brand is a nice improvement over its IQS score, with which it landed above the industry average, but solidly mid-pack.
Jaguar was without a segment winner, although SV did say that the Indian-owned English brand had a number of vehicles very near the top of their segments. This is the second significant win for Jag in two weeks, after it finished second overall on the JD Power IQS a few weeks ago.
At the Goodwood Festival of Speed this past weekend, Land Rover previewed its upcoming performance version of the Range Rover Sport. Only instead of wearing the R-S badge that adorns the most hardcore of Jaguar models, the performance SUV from JLR's Special Operations unit introduced the letters SVR. And now, it seems that badge is here to stay.
Following the Range Rover Sport SVR, a new report from Motor Authority now says that Jaguar Land Rover will use those letters to distinguish the top-of-the-line performance models from both marques moving forward. As such, we might expect SVR models of the upcoming Jaguar XE compact sedan and Land Rover Discovery Sport, as well as potential new performance models based on the new F-Type and next-generation XF.
If accurate, the move would seem to separate Jaguar in particular from the R-S badge that has adorned performance models like the XFR-S and XKR-S. Both Audi and Porsche use the letters RS to distinguish its most hardcore models as well (e.g. Audi RS7 Sportback and Porsche 911 GT3 RS). Whether the similarity was a factor in shifting to the SVR moniker, we don't know, but either way, we welcome the arrival of a new generation of Jaguar and Land Rover performance models - especially if they pack the 575-horsepower version of the company's ubiquitous 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Not incidentally, that delicious powerplant gained a couple of new engine bays to call home at Goodwood as well - it's not just found in the forthcoming Range Rover Sport SVR, it's found a home in the F-Type Project 7, too.
A bit of British nobility floods the senses when piloting the 2014 Jaguar XJ. It's an emotional rush, a perception based on physical surroundings that influence the mind in much the same manner that a stein of pilsner tastes best when consumed in a German beer garden and no sand is softer than that found on a warm Caribbean beach. Jaguar has been assembling cars for nearly 100 years, and few automakers are as equally adept at capturing aristocracy and timelessness within the rich cabins of their luxury offerings.
Jaguar would have no concern if it were the only game in town, but that's far from the truth. The premium full-size luxury segment, which includes vehicles hovering just under or at the six-figure mark, is a contentious grouping that includes the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Porsche Panamera. Each of those brings its own game to the battle, and none are easy to dismiss.
To better understand the British perspective and evaluate its latest offering on a land without royalty, I recently spent a week with a long-wheelbase, all-wheel-drive Jaguar XJ in Southern California.
Two days ago, Jaguar announced it had something special in store for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. Then yesterday images of that special creation, the F-Type Project 7, leaked out. And now, as promised, Coventry has released the full details on the ultimate F-Type to date. And its even better than we expected.
The production version of the concept revealed last year, the F-Type Project 7 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the D-Type by borrowing some of that legendary roadster's design cues, right down to the rear fin and British Racing Green livery with white racing stripes.
Of course the Project 7 is more than just a retro appearance package. The bespoke speedster packs a version of Jaguar's prolific 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 575 horsepower - 25 more than the F-Type R Coupe - to make it the Leaping Cat marque's most powerful production car to date. Mated to Coventry's familiar eight-speed automatic transmission, that's said to be enough to propel the Project 7 to 60 in 3.8 seconds en route to an electronically limited top speed of 186 miles per hour. Keeping all that power and pace in check and on the road are such features as carbon ceramic brakes, a full complement of carbon-fiber aero components, electronic differential and brake-based torque vectoring system.
Just yesterday we brought you word that Jaguar was planning to bring something special to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year - the first product of its Special Operations division - and now we have it right here.
Previewed in concept form last year, Jaguar's big reveal appears to be the production version of the Project 7 show car - an extreme speedster version of the F-Type. Though we still don't have official details, these images leaked courtesy of 4WheelsNews show that the roadster seems to have lost little in the transition from concept to reality.
The bright blue paint job has been replaced by a more British shade of green, but the white trim - including the racing stripes running across (not up) the hood, the grille surround and the number circle on the door - appear to have carried over. As has the D-Type-inspired, fin-like, single raised cowling on the rear deck, though now positioned behind the left-hand driver's seat instead of the right. The wheels are fresh and the front lip spoiler looks even bigger, and the rear wing appears to have been reshaped.
It's been barely a week since JLR announced its new Special Operations division, dedicated to creating limited-run halo cars and custom creations for both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Now the British automaker has confirmed the debut of the division's first project.
We don't know what it is, exactly, that Jaguar will be bringing to the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this week, but we bet it'll be exciting. If we were the betting kind, we'd put our money on some kind of hot-rod F-Type, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Alongside whatever JLR Special Operations has got cooking, Coventry will also be bringing the new F-Type R Coupe and XFR-S Sportbrake to run up the hill alongside a whole slew of classic and racing Jaguars, including a pair of D-Types, a Group 44 E-Type, a Group A XJS and the reunion of XJR-9 and Andy Wallace that last saw each other on the top step of the podium at Le Mans in 1988.
We like to think that at least some supercar owners drive their exotic machinery the way they're meant to be driven. The reality is more likely that most pamper them in climate-controlled environments and rarely actually drive them. But Tax The Rich seems dedicated to balancing them all out by hooning the heck out of some of the most expensive and desirable supercars the world has ever seen - whether it's a Ferrari Enzo rallying along dirt roads or a pair of F50s playing tug of war.
The YouTube channel has even played around with a Jaguar XJ220 before, but not quite like this. In its latest clip, Tax The Rich goes a step or two beyond the usual smokey burnout, lighting up the rear wheels of a super-rare Jag, all for our viewing pleasure. And take pleasure we do in the video below, even as part of us cringes at the thought of potentially reducing one of the fastest Jaguars in history to a smoldering hulk.
We'd consider giving up vital organs for the opportunity to drive any number of vehicles on the Nürburgring: supercars, racecars, track cars, even hot hatches... but a station wagon? That might not seem like a top choice at first blush, but this is no ordinary wagon. This is the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake.
Now if that name leaves you scratching your head, there are several good reasons for that - not least of which is the unfortunate reality that, unlike so many performance-oriented crossovers and sport-utes, the Sportbrake is not offered in North America. But suppose it were, or that weren't a factor. You'd likely still be left wondering how the name Jaguar ended up on a station wagon in the first place, and how that machine wound up bearing the letters R-S, the suffix affixed only to Coventry's most hardcore performance models.
Our brief story goes back a little over two years to when Jaguar revealed the XF Sportbrake at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, giving its mid-level sedan an elongated roof and added cargo capacity. The Sportbrake may not be the first wagon to wear the Leaping Cat badge, but following the lamentable X-Type Sportwagon, it could be argued that the XF is the first authentic Jag estate.
Jaguar Land Rover has announced that a new division of the British manufacturer will be dedicated to "bespoke commissions," as well as heritage products and apparel. Oh, and the new Special Operations division will also be behind JLR's halo cars from now on.
It's that last one that is the most tantalizing, as the last real halo product to see production from Jaguar was the XJ220. The Range Rover, meanwhile, has always had its own kind of halo reputation, although the Land Rover brand itself has never really gotten into the game with a dedicated model.
According to JLR, the new halo models will focus on ultra-high performance and luxury with a limited run of vehicles. The bespoke models, meanwhile, will give the wealthiest customers full sway over how vehicles are outfitted, with unique paints, trims and other accessories. The new SpecOps division will be run by John Edwards.
There can't really be a loser between the Jaguar F-Type Coupe R and the Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition. One might be better than the other, but if you're behind the wheel of either of them, you can't complain. In a new video, Motor Trend takes on the difficult task of determining which one of these European powerhouses is the best, not just in terms of raw performance, but also how they actually feel to drive.
The Porsche 911 is one of the perennial favorites of the motoring world. It just doesn't go away and always seems capable of challenging the top vehicles in its class. In this video, Motor Trend takes a look at the 50th Anniversary Edition model that celebrates that heritage while boosting power somewhat over the standard version.
The F-Type Coupe is an incredibly masculine car, MT describing it as "a British Corvette." The coupe's exterior lines are tautly stretched over its athletic body, and it's supercharged 5.0-liter V8 sounds like a demon's growl. Jaguar seems to have things right with its latest sports car.