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Auto blogThu, 10 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST
Jaguar Land Rover is on a bit of a tech bent today. It's announced its new family of four-cylinder engines and a "self-learning" vehicle Range Rover prototype, and now it's announced what it calls the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen.
The technology is similar to other head-up displays and telematics recorders already on the market, the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen concept takes things to the next level to turn real-life driving into a video game-like experience. It's being demonstrated with data like lap times, grid positions, virtual racing line and brake guidance... even "ghost" cars from previous laps and virtual cones for simulated autocrossing. Just like you'd find in the latest version of Forza or Gran Turismo, but you know... in an actual car - in this case a Jaguar F-Type. It's similar to the Transparent Bonnet system Land Rover revealed a couple of months ago, but instead of rock-crawling, it's for the race track.
The system also incorporates gesture controls and could be configured to display instrument data, a video feed from a rear-view camera to replace the mirror. Check out the details and the video below for a closer look at what JLR has got in store for the near future.
Back in February of 1963, Jaguar set about making a small run of lightweight E-Types. It recrafted the bodywork out of aluminum, shoehorned in a 3.8-liter straight-six with an aluminum block, stripped out the interior, removed the chrome trim and fitted lighter-weight side windows. The result was a 250-pound reduction in curb weight and a commensurate increase in performance, especially evident on the race track. The company originally set about building 18 examples, but only managed 12. The remaining six were allocated chassis numbers, but were never built. That is, until now.
Fifty years since the last of the original 12 lightweight E-Types were completed, Jaguar has announced that it is preparing to resume production and complete the final six examples. The company has assigned its top craftsmen to the job, who will build the half-dozen continuation Lightweights to the same exact specifications as the original dozen. Former sister-company and perennial arch-rival Aston Martin undertook a similar task (or at least authorized Zagato to do so) when it sanctioned four continuation examples of the original DB4 GT Zagato based on original chassis numbers in 1988, and another two based on original body shells and stock DB4 chassis in 1992.
Jaguar has not yet announced pricing and availability for the continuation Lightweights, but the first old-is-new example is set to debut this summer, whereupon Coventry will release further details. You can bet, though, that each one will be snapped up rather quick at just about any price the British automaker cares to put on them.
In the market for an amped-up Jaguar? Look for the letter R, adorning such performance models as the XFR and XJR sedans, the XKR coupe and convertible and the new F-Type R. But if it's bonkers performance you're after, you'll want to add the letter S into the mix as well. Jaguar uses the letters to connote its most hard-core performance variants like the two-door XKR-S and four-door XFR-S. And now it's applied them to the XF wagon as well, skipping the R treatment and going straight for the new XFR-S Sportbrake.
Leaked just the other day and headed for the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar has now revealed its new power wagon in full. The XFR-S Sportbrake packs Coventry's ubiquitous 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine boasting 542 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. That's the same version that powers the XKR-S and XFR-S sedan (not to mention the F-Type R and XJR), and drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic to rocket the estate to 60 in 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186 miles per hour.
That may be pretty quick, but doesn't quite stack up to the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate whose 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 offers up 577 hp and 590 lb-ft for a 3.6-second 0-60 time, or to the Audi RS6 Avant whose 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 churns out 552 hp and 516 lb-ft for a 3.9-second 0-62 sprint. Though the Jaguar is only a little behind in output, it's a good second slower where it's measured. Granted that the Benz and the Audi are both all-wheel-drive where the Jaguar powers the rear only, but if four-wheel traction is how you get the power to the road, we wonder why Jaguar wouldn't fall in line. Particularly when the Jag's starting price in the UK (don't expect to see it imported here) is quoted at £82,495 - several grand more than the £76,985 RS6 but just shy of the £85,880 Mercedes gets for the E63 S-Model wagon in the UK (where the less potent 'base' version is also available as the cheapest in the bunch at £75,885).