October 16, 2017

Design bosses at both Land Rover and Jaguar see merit in more models wearing the new SVX badge for extreme off-roaders, following last month’s launch of the Discovery SVX.

The SVX badge is the work of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations unit, which is designed to signify the most off-road-focused variants.

Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern has told Autocar that the new badge would be appropriate for Discovery models and “arguably Defender” when that launches later in the decade , but less so for a Range Rover.

Jaguar design director Ian Callum, who gave the E-Pace SUV a public debut at the September show, has said the badge could be possible on a Jaguar too.

“We don’t talk a lot about the [off-road] ability of our cars because they’re road-biased,” he explained. “But they could have that capability as we have the tech in the group. I see the opportunity – if Land Rover can do SVR, we can do SVX.”

The toughness of the Discovery SVX also helps fill the gap in the Land Rover range before the new Defender is launched, according to McGovern. The “ultimate capability machine will be Defender”, he said, but noted the Discovery is “equally capable”. He added: “This is doing that [job] until it arrives.”

McGovern revealed the plush premium execution of the Discovery SVX – what he described as “premium durability” – was a direction the Defender was likely to follow.

“We have to stop thinking about function in a durable way,” McGovern said. “When you’re buying into the brand, you’re buying a premium product.”

He highlighted that materials can be both premium and durable, such as the satin paint finish, and while the SVX badge had moved the Discovery in a more extreme direction, it had also made it more premium.

“It’s not cheap,” McGovern said. “There are sophisticated surfaces, the premium durability. You think of stripping down to basics [for extreme off-road vehicles] but I don’t think people want that any more.”

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October 14, 2017

Fresh news from the Mossgreen auction in Melbourne.

Star car, D-Type XKD510, was not sold under the hammer.

The bidding reached AUD$5.5m but that didn’t reach the reserve.

More news as it comes to hand.

Full report in edition #189:

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October 13, 2017

Ample legroom for passengers sitting in the back is still a huge deal in China where a multitude of sedans are being offered with an extended wheelbase. Other body styles have received the LWB treatment as BMW is selling a stretched X1 crossover while Volkswagen has an elongated Touran minivan. Not to be outdone by its rivals, Jaguar launched last year the XFL and now it has taken the virtual wraps off the smaller XEL.

Created to bridge the gap between the standard XE compact sedan and the midsize XF, the new XEL carries over the design of regular version. You can tell it has been stretched by checking out the bigger rear doors as a result of a extending the wheelbase by 10 centimeters (3.9 inches), which now measures a generous 2.93 meters (115.3 in.) or slightly shorter than the XF’s 2.96 meters (116.5 in.)

It will have to put up a good fight against segment competitors such as the Audi A4L, BMW 3Li, and the Mercedes C-Class L. Like those three rivals, the new Jaguar XEL will be produced in China to cater the local market. The Chery Jaguar Land Rover joint venture will be in charge of assembly and will fit inside the engine bay a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine offered with 200 and 250 horsepower.

To make the most of the longer body, the XEL tailored to the People’s Republic will feature a large panoramic roof. Additional details are not available at this point, but the roomier sedan might receive a rear-seat entertainment system with a pair of tablets as well as other goodies to further distance itself from the standard XE without stepping on the XF’s toes.

Jaguar could bring the new XEL to the 15th Guangzhou Motor Show scheduled to take place beginning with November 17thuntil the 26th.

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October 13, 2017

The iconic billionaire founder and CEO of electric vehicle powerhouse Tesla, Elon Musk, reveals he owns two cars that run on gasoline.

Musk has a Ford Model T, which a friend gave him, and a Jaguar Series 1 E-Type Roadster, he says, via Twitter.

 Apparently referring to the Jaguar Roadster, Musk calls the car his “first love.”
In an interview with Forbes (conducted while driving in a convertible), Musk says he bought the Jaguar early on in his career because he fancied the car in a book of classic convertibles he got when he was 17.

“I looked through them all and the one I liked the best was the E-Type Jaguar and I said, well, if I can ever afford it, that is the car I am going to get. And so that’s why I bought it.”

The car, he admits, was a headache.

“That was like a bad girlfriend — it kept breaking down on me and caused me all sorts of trouble,” says Musk. “In fact, it broke down on the way back from the dealer.”

But he didn’t give up on it. When he got a $40,000 bonus from a venture capitalist who invested in him early on, he spent $35,000 of it on the car.

The car shown here is not Musk’s though.

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October 11, 2017

If you are looking for the ultimate performance car, and totally road legal – we might have the machine for you in our next one.

Yes, we are late with the one for personal reasons, but are off to the printer on Monday with this former cover car Kougar being offered for sale.

It has a 5.3 litre hand-built V12 engine and six Weber carburettors, Jaguar four speed gear box – with wheels, brakes and suspension to suit the performance!

It was fully hand finished and modified at Mike Roddy Motors in Melbourne, and is superbly detailed with a spun aluminium dash, beautiful carpets and upgraded XJ-S seats.

More information and pics will appear in the ads – plus contact details for the seller.

It could be the car of your dreams too.

Full report in edition #189:

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October 11, 2017

It is with considerable regret that we have to relay the news of the death of Carl Linder in the Barossa Valley outside Adelaide.

Carl was many things to many people – a champion Aussie Rules footballer, builder, developer, winery owner of major importance, a massive promoter of the Barossa – and a deep lover of Jaguar cars.

Carl acquired a very large number of Jaguars, including four significant S.S.1s, while also building beautiful replica C and D-Types.

He and Matthew Wiesner, MD of Jaguar Land Rover Australia, and also born in South Australia, met last Christmas and spoke of working together on projects to utilise Jaguars and Barossa assets into the future.

Carl is on the left in the group image, with Matthew second on the right.

Carl had battled cancer for a number of years, and lived way past what was predicted – but he was a determined man!  He was 73 when he died on Sunday.

He will be deeply missed, and we send his family and friends our very deepest sympathies on their loss.

Full story in edition #189:

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October 9, 2017

Alan Hannah is a keen Jaguar owner and racer in Brisbane.  On hearing about his passion another a friend showed him a trophy he had brought out from England – having bought it at a charity fete.

Thoughtfully, he gave the trophy to Alan, and Alan’s research showed that while it was won at Goodwood by famous Lightweight E-Type period race Peter Lumsden  – it was the last race and trophy won by his Lightweight!

The famous car in question is specially streamlined 49 FXN, and today it is owned and raced by Adam Linderman.  It is the first Low Drag E-Type built, and with Alan Hannah attending the Revival in 2017 he contacted Adam to tell him about the trophy he owned.  It reads:  ‘Goodwood, 3rd April 1965, First Place, PJS Lumsen, Jaguar E, 93.5 mph’.

Well, the good news is that the pair met at the Revival – and the trophy was handed over to owner Adam Linderman.  It has now been reunited with the car for the first time in 52 years!


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October 8, 2017

How can I can’t sit and watch a very wet Bathurst 1000 race today on television without my mind going back to 1985.

Our magazine was just 12 months old, and we worked very close then with John Crawford, PR Manager Jaguar Rover Australia.

Thanks to John I spent the entire four days at Bathurst viewing the TWR JRA XJ-S effort and victory from the pits – you are a star JC.

That allowed us to get more inside Jaguar shots than anyone else and information too.

Ot’s time to share a few of them again – and Jaguar will be showing Mike Roddy’s 1985 Bathurst winning XJ-S on its stand next week at the Motorclassica at the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings.

The TWR team members told me at Bathurst that the win there, and the 24 Hour win at Spa, were the two most important victories in the  factory-XJ-S racing career.

This very same car won BOTH of those races!!!

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October 5, 2017

It was a sad week for all sorts of reasons, but one was the sudden death of US musical superstar Tom Petty at 66 years of age.

Petty was a big car enthusiast too, and his favourite was one of the last XJS models ever made. Introduced in 1975 as a successor to the iconic E-Type,the XJ-S (this was the official name until 1991) was originally offered as a coupe only. Powered by a massive 5.3-liter V-12, the car was gorgeous and on par with Lamborghini and Ferrari products performance-wise. A revised model was launched in 1981, with targa and convertible versions introduced in 1983 and 1988, respectively. An inline-six engine was added. The third-generation model changed the name from XJ-S to XJS and brought more modern styling cues, but the car remained recognizable on the outside. Production of the luxury two-door ended in 1996 when it was replaced by the XK8. That’s when Petty ordered his own.

And his choice had quite the interesting story, as described when he sold the car for charity in 2012.

“I have so many great memories associated with this car,” said Petty. “When I began dating Dana (his wife), I asked her what her favorite car was. So, I phoned the office and said I wanted a champagne convertible Jaguar XJS. The next day, they delivered it to my house and showed me how everything worked, and I took it for a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. I was in heaven, as was Dana. This car has such an incredible design. My favorite car I ever owned. We sure are going to miss it.”

The convertible was auctioned off on eBay, and all proceeds went to Doctors Without Borders, a medical humanitarian organisation.

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October 5, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC today reported September 2017 U.S. sales: Jaguar sales were 3,296 units, a 24 percent increase from 2,662 units in September 2016; Land Rover sales increased 14 percent to 6,407 units from 5,637 in September 2016; Jaguar Land Rover September U.S. sales for both brands hit 9,703 units, a 17 percent increase from 8,299 units in September 2016. Year to date, Jaguar Land Rover is up 13% percent in the United States, building on 2016’s record year sales pace.

“September was a strong month for Jaguar Land Rover in the U.S. with both brands powered by demand for our newest SUV models, the Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar,” said Joe Eberhardt, President and CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. “We look forward to a strong final two months of the year with our strongest lineups ever.”

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