February 27, 2017


Meet a Jaguar powered Austin Healey ‘Bug Eye’ Sprite which was built at an unlimited cost, and still exists in Australia where it has been for many decades – unseen.

The car has most been forgotten, but apparently was built in England with major engineering input from Cosworth.

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The coachwork, trim and all other items were beautifully finished, but the idea of shoehorning an XK Jaguar engine into a tiny Sprite certainly was an adventurous one.

How many more outrageous specials like this one are out there undiscovered I wonder?

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Does anyone know where this car lives now?






February 27, 2017


Six Australians have already paid deposits for the Jaguar I-PACE electric SUV, even though the production version has yet to be unveiled and won’t go on sale in Australia until the middle of 2018.  Three of those orders belong to readers of Jaguar Magazine and have been placed on the Gold Coast in Queensland!

They also don’t know the full price they will be paying for Jaguar Land Rover’s first battery-electric vehicle, although they can expect no change from $120,000 before on-road costs.

That’s the figure JLRA managing director Matthew Wiesner nominated to as a “there or thereabouts” guide to the starting point for I-PACE pricing. That makes sense considering it will compete directly against the Tesla Model X, which starts at $122,810 but climbs beyond $200K for the top-spec P100D.

The I-PACE concept broke cover at the Los Angeles motor show last November and has since been spotted undergoing on-road testing.

While having interest so far out in the five-seat crossover with a claimed singe-charge range up to 500km is a positive, Wiesner made it clear JLRA was still very much in the planning stages for its arrival.

The company has hired a staffer from Tesla Motors Australia and established an internal six-member working committee in mid-2016 to work through the myriad issues related to launching an electric vehicle in Australia. The I-PACE will also be the first of a series of EVs from JLRA, as well as plug-in hybrids.

That committee has extensively researched the Tesla experience and one conclusion JLRA has already drawn is it is unlikely to offer free fast-charging to I-PACE buyers.

Tesla had offered free use of its fast-chargers to customers for life, but changed that to around 1600km for new buyers of Model S and Model X from last January. Free recharging was never part of the package for the forthcoming smaller and cheaper Model 3.

“They (Tesla) had issues with people just driving up to dealerships around the place and plugging in and doing all sorts of things which caused all sorts of challenges,” Wiesner explained.

“They ended up paying for everyone’s fuel and it might have been a nice introduction to launch the product but they can’t keep doing that otherwise they will have cars coming in and sitting around the place for way too long.”

Wiesner also confirmed I-PACE will be available through much of the JLRA dealer network because it is the first model in a sustained roll-out of alternate energy vehicles rather than an isolated one-off.

“There will be instances where dealers have to make an investment and it’s important for them to understand the longer term and make sure they understand it’s not just a short-term idea.

“It is very much about the first steps into what is going to be. In my view, it is another drivetrain we are introducing into the network; it’s not just the full-EV — eventually there will be plug-in hybrid and whatever else it might be.

“So you have to give it the uniqueness that it is due in regard to the technology, but you also have to be mindful that you don’t try and over dial it from that point because at the end of the day it’s another drivetrain amongst diesel, petrol and what have you.”

The natural competitiveness between rival dealers is also a factor Wiesner admitted.

“What do you do if you have a dealer in Brisbane and not on the Gold Coast yet there might be more activity on the Gold Coast? Quite frankly, trying to get dealers to co-operate and pass on their prospects who also buy other cars is not necessarily an easy thing to do.”

Issues JLRA’s EV committee is currently dealing with include the infrastructure and training the dealer network will require to handle the I-PACE; state and federal government policy on alternative energy vehicles; the development of charging networks around the country and the type of recharging kits that will be required at buyers’ homes.

“As we head into the next phase of this development [we need to make sure] that people actually have the confidence to go from here to there and stay overnight … and have the ability to be able to plug these things in and have the confidence to use these things in their normal everyday life.”

Wiesner also confirmed that JLRA was in discussion with its fellow luxury brands to reach an agreement on common plugs and other aspects of charging.

“We don’t want the crazy situation where BMW, us, Benz and Audi all have different charging plugs, or whatever it might be,” he said. “It’s good that everyone is talking.”





February 26, 2017


InMotion Ventures, the venture capital business powered by Jaguar Land Rover, has completed a seed investment in enterprise-focused ride-sharing platform SPLT.

SPLT is a car pool service that enables employees at large organisations to connect and share the drive to and from work, using their own vehicles. The platform’s ride-matching algorithm allows lifts to be dynamically arranged in seconds within a trusted community of commuters, saving time and money for both employees and employers as well as combatting traffic and parking issues.

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SPLT (Splitting Fares, Inc), a 2015 Techstars Mobility graduate, was founded by Anya Babbitt and Yale Zhang. The Detroit-based startup currently operates in five major US cities, serving over 100,000 users, and recently established a partnership with Lyft to provide non-emergency medical transport. SPLT has just opened an office in Mexico City, and is preparing for European and Latin American expansion next month.

SPLT is a perfect fit for our portfolio, and a hugely exciting business that tackles a universal problem. Making the commute more efficient greatly benefits businesses and their employees. SPLT’s move into medical transport demonstrates the significant growth potential of the business, and its innovative model will inform and complement some of our other projects.



February 24, 2017


Tata Motors and Volkswagen are looking at jointly developing vehicles for the Indian market and are already in advanced stages of talks. The talks may be firmed up at the Geneva Motor Show in the month of March, claims a report by Bloomberg. The report also claims that there is no certainty for the deal to go through and the talks are right now open-ended. While it is a regular practice in today’s age for carmakers to explore synergies in order to lower the rapidly increasing vehicles development costs, this deal is very interesting and possibly has a lot at stake.

An example of such an agreement that helped cut costs for two brands is the Renault and Nissan alliance. To put things in perspective, the Kwid was very well kitted but still, Renault managed to keep the pricing competitive. In fact, the Kwid was responsible for placing the French car maker on the mass-market map in the Indian passenger car market. Similarly, the deal proved immensely beneficial for Nissan in keeping its pricing low and hence Datsun redi-Go too went on to become a best-seller for Nissan.

Why not JLR but Volkswagen?

The first thing to question about this deal is the rationale behind this deal between a global giant and a domestic giant. The answer lies in the problem area for both that turns out to be their passenger car sales in India. While both companies are struggling in the local market for completely different reasons, there’s a lot more to this deal than it seems on the surface. Synergies in this deal point specifically to technology related issues and Tata Motors already owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which is at par with the global competition in the luxury segment. So what is this technology that even JLR doesn’t have access to but Volkswagen does?

The answer lies in the rapidly shortening product lifecycles of vehicles today, primarily due to the influx of smart devices and growing importance of connectivity, which requires constant updates. With Tata Motors struggling with its passenger car division since years, the company now finally seems to get some firm footing to rise. However, a few successful models cannot propel the company’s journey into the horizon. Knowing that, Tata Motors recently announced to cut down its platforms from the present six to just two, one of which will be the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP). JLR operates in the premium space only and hence it’s expertise on modular platforms is restricted to that space only. Plus, the company has never tried making a low-cost car so it has no know-how on the subject at all, which is precisely what Tata Motors needs.

In simple words, modular platforms are flexible platforms, which allow vehicles of various body styles and sizes to made on the same platform, resulting in the critical parts being common. This not only saves a huge amount of money since there are lesser parts to develop, it also allows the company to develop vehicles faster, which is crucial for success today. However, the thing about modular platforms is that they’re complex to design and expensive too. Tata Motors, being one of the youngest companies in the global car scene doesn’t have the required technical know-how for the same.

This is where Volkswagen, one of the masters of making modular platforms comes into the picture. With platforms such as the MQB, Volkswagen is today selling cars with same underpinnings through different brands. So you could end up buying a Skoda, Volkswagen or even an Audi, based on the same platform and with the same engines too. It’s a win-win situation for the consumer and the company as the consumer gets more features and newer models quickly at a lesser price and the company is happy meeting consumer demands on time.

What’s in it for Volkswagen?

So what is in it for a global giant resting on a mountain of technology that filed more than 6,000 patents in 2015 alone? The answer once again lies in the problem area of Volkswagen, which is the absence of a small car. With its cheapest model starting at a price of more than Rs 5.5 lakh, Volkswagen loses out on the largest volume segment in the country. Moreover, there’s not much the company can do since they do not have a platform, which can spawn cars cheap enough to cater to the segment under rs 4 lakh or so. This is where Tata Motors comes in with its experience of making small cars, the jewel in its crown being the Nano, which the world was surprised with. That the Nano never really took off is a different story but from a technical perspective the car was a massive statement from an Indian company and made popular the term ‘frugal manufacturing’.

With Tata and Volkswagen joining hands, the duo may be able to develop a modular platform for low-cost cars and crossovers, that will go a long way in helping both companies improve their sales. Developing such a platform is critical for both companies as both have been struggling for long to achieve their desired goals. The deal is a bit more important for Volkswagen since the world’s largest carmaker commands only about 2 percent of market share in India, a figure the board rooms in Wolfsburg, Germany, won’t be too amused with. Moreover, it doesn’t have a platform for the kind of low-cost cars India demands. The company earlier considered the Up platform for India but later shelved the plan due to it turning out to be too expensive. Developing an entirely new platform will entail massive investments, increasing the risk for a company already grappling with the diesel emission scandal and hefty penalties.

While this tie-up is being discussed, it’s imperative for both companies to go ahead with the larger plan discussed in this story. In present circumstances, though, both companies seem fit to fulfil each other’s requirements. With the market getting more competitive by the day, Tata and Volkswagen need to act quickly in order to make it big in the future. Even if this deal doesn’t go through, both companies will need to ensure they find a similar partner soon enough because the competition is quickly coming to terms with a modular platform-based product roadmap and as history suggests, catching up isn’t always an easy task in the Indian automotive market.





February 24, 2017

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It’s with a very heavy heart that we pass on the news that one of Jaguar’s greatest racers and devotees, Bill Pitt, died on February 23 at the grand age of 90 years.

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Bill was co-winner of the first 24 Hours race held in Australia (1954) driving one of the first XK120 FHCs built, defeating Peter Whitehead and Tony Gaze in an ex-works C-Type.

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He co-purchased new D-Type XKD526, raced it with great success, and even flipped it onto its back at Albert Park in its second outing.  He was incredibly fortunate to survive that – and without any injury.

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In 1957 he co-drive the Queensland Jaguar distributor’s MkVIII auto saloon in the Mobilgas Around Australia Trial – coming home the first non-VW car and in 7th placing outright.  They also claimed a host of other awards for what he said was his finest competition event.

In 1959 he co-owned and drove one of the potent and rare works prepared 3.4 Litre (Mk1) cars to finish second in the first Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960 (behind another works ‘Mk1’).

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In 1961 he captured the second Australian Touring Car Championship in the ‘Mk1’ beating Bob Jane and a host of other Jaguar entrants.

Bill was the Service Manager for Westco Motors, the Queensland and Northern Territory Jaguar distributors, and carried out a host of other vital roles in the business before going into his own non-motoring enterprise.

Last year we were delighted to take Bill, the Patron of the Jaguar Drivers Club of Queensland, to meet David Bowden who showed him around his incredible collection of historic racing cars.

That includes the first works-built ‘Mk1’ in Australia, the ex-David McKay ‘Grey Pussy’ – when Bill sat in a ‘Mk1’ racing Jaguar for the final time.

He lost his delightful wife Cherry some years ago, but was strongly supported by his daughter and two sons to whom we pass on our deepest sympathies on their loss of a talented but too modest man who loved Jaguars to his core.

RIP, Bill Pitt.  It was an honour to know you.





February 23, 2017
We followed the mammoth restoration of Jordan Roddy’s XJR-15, a car he found heavily modified for university testing, in Japan. Twelve months ago we gave it the only road test when our road test editor took it out on closed roads within days of its sale to the Gosford Classic Car Museum.
It became our cover car,
Now the same car is being offered by the museum for a cool A$1,050,000.
Only four XJR-15s reside in the southern hemisphere, two each in Sydney and Melbourne. Chassis 018 was fully restored by Jordan Roddy’s Bespoke Motors in Moorabbin.
This XJR-15 has travelled a mere 710km with only a handful of those completed since the restoration.
In concept the XJR-15 was a road-going version of the Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJR-9. It was the first road car to be built completely out of carbon fibre, though its competition focus meant it definitely put the racer in road-racer.
Power came from a 6.0-litre V12 producing 336kW/570Nm. That might not seem much by today’s standards, but the XJR-15 weighed just 1050kg, of which almost a third was engine.
Jaguar XJR-15 performance was vivid, with 0-60mph (0-97km/h) claimed to take just 3.9 sec and a top speed of 307km/h. Unfortunately, raising the ride height to make it suitable for the road limited the effectiveness of the aerodynamics and led to very lively handling at the limit.


February 23, 2017
Jaguar is now on its way to introduce its first super-SUV, which will come in the form of the F-Pace SVR. The high-riding velocity tool is no in the final phases of its development and you are now looking at the latest spyshots of the vehicle.
2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR SpiedThe regular F-Pace, is we may call it so, has become the quickest-selling Jaguar in the history of the brand, so it was only natural for the British automaker to bring us a range-topper for the crossover.
The most power F-Pace to date is the S model, which is animated by a supercharged V6 mill churning out 380 ponies. The SVR badge should receive Jaguar Land Rover’s blown 5.0-liter V8, but the ground clearance-friendly Jag might not get the engine in its most potent form.
As such, we could expect the F-Pace SVR to pack under 550 hp. Saying it like that makes it sound like the newcomer will be less than a maniacal machine, but that’s far from the truth.
A reasonable expectation would be a 500 hp output, one that will allow the vehicle’s 0 to 60 mph sprint to sit at around four seconds.
With the German competition being as sharp as ever, Jaguar needs to make full use of its feline assets. As such, expect to receive an addictive mix involving an aggressive tune that will make the driving experience similar to a wildcat playtime session and a serenity-delivering mood that will surface once the driver decides to step off the gas.
Jaguar should gift us with the F-Pace SVR by the end of the year, with the blown SUV set to land as a 2018 model.
This is also an excellent opportunity to remind you that, last fall, we saw the sprint-friendly crossover doing its thing on the Nurburgring – check out the clip below for a vivid reminder. Oh, and by the way, we wouldn’t trust that partially-muffled aural experience delivered by the prototype.


February 23, 2017
The Jaguar F-PACE, the fastest-selling Jaguar ever, has been crowned Fleet World’s ‘Best SUV’ at the annual Fleet World Honours. With an aluminium-intensive construction and ultra-efficient Ingenium engines, the F-PACE was not only praised for being great to drive, but also for its low cost of ownership figures and modern technology.
The Jaguar F-PACE has won yet another major award in 2017, having been crowned ‘Best SUV’ at the Fleet World Honours
Fleet World judges praised the F-PACE for its impressive all-round abilities as an engaging drivers’ car, a genuinely practical SUV and a very accomplished fleet proposition.
The F-PACE has already picked up more than 30 global awards and is the fastest-selling Jaguar ever, with more than 50,000 sold globally since its April 2016 launch.
Recently updated F-PACE boasts an even wider range of engines, including a new 20d 163PS variant boasting CO2 emissions as slow as 126g/km.
“The long-awaited F-PACE offers an impressive all-round package, somehow managing to be both an engaging drivers’ car and a genuinely practical SUV. Plentiful use of aluminium to save weight helps both agility and fuel consumption, there’s plenty of room and useful tech inside, and two and four-wheel-drive versions to suit drivers’ needs.”
“The honour is the fourth major global award won by the F-PACE this year, and the 31st since it was introduced in 2016. Already in the F-PACE’s trophy cabinet is Auto Express’ Car of the Year title and Women’s World Car of the Year for 2016.
“We have been working extremely hard to introduce a range of Jaguar and Land Rover models that are not only very desirable but also make good financial case for the fleet market. Our lightweight, low-emissions models, including the F-PACE, have been hugely successful among fleet and business buyers, and we’re constantly updating the range to ensure we stay ahead of our rivals.”


February 22, 2017

Jaguar Formula E Filming Day Thursday 1st September 2016 Mallory Park, England World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/LAT/Jaguar _FER3739.jpg

Jaguar was surprised to be in contention for its first Formula E points in last weekend’s Buenos Aires ePrix.

Mitch Evans’s seventh-place start was the best qualifying performance by the British manufacturer in its debut Formula E season, and he ran well inside the top 10 in the opening stint.

Poor efficiency in the second stint dropped him out of the points-paying positions and a five-second time penalty for speeding under an early full-course yellow, caused by his team-mate Adam Carroll, meant Evans was eventually classified 13th.

It still marked a big improvement in performance from Jaguar, which was off the pace in Hong Kong and Marrakech and remains the only team yet to score a point in Formula E.

“We thought we had a great chance [of points] after the car swap,” Jaguar team director James Barclay told Autosport.

“What did slightly surprise us is this is our hardest challenge to date, this was the first track everyone’s been to.

“So if anything, doing it here, making that step here, was really impressive to see.

“There’s a little bit of a positive surprise there, but it’s really good to see what we thought we were going to see materialise – and on a track everyone’s been to twice before.”

Prior to Evans’s qualifying effort, in which he set a time 0.75 seconds slower than Jean-Eric Vergne’s benchmark, Jaguar’s best qualifying result was 14th and it had been 1.3s off the pace at previous events.

Evans said missing out on points should not detract from the team “making great strides” after “an absolute mess” in the first two races.

“I was hanging with the guys in front pretty comfortably and was pretty happy, and had a great pitstop,” he added.

“The whole second stint was really tough, I couldn’t match the energy targets as I could in the first stint and gradually got eaten up.”

Though the New Zealander conceded that Jaguar still has “a long way to go on ultimate pace”, he praised the improvements made on the car’s set-up.

“It was the best I’ve felt in a Formula E car,” he said of his qualifying lap. “I felt great as soon as I left the pits.

“You need that confidence in this car, especially one lap at 200kW and on the brakes, or you’ll either be in the wall or just slow.”

Carroll had a tougher event, struggling with the set-up throughout and then sparking the early caution when his car failed to launch, though he got going just in time to avoid falling a lap down.

Barclay was not sure if Carroll’s problem was a driver or system error, but admitted the team needed to deal with full-course yellows better in the future as both drivers were penalised for speeding.


February 21, 2017
Jaguar is reportedly in the process of developing the XE SVR (not the model pictured here!), a high-performance variant of the compact luxury sports sedan.
While the British automobile manufacturer has yet to confirm this speculation, AutoExpress has found out that Special Vehicles Operations, in charge of developing high-performance versions of Jaguar’s vehicles, is currently benchmarking the sports sedan.
If proven to be accurate, the XE will join two other vehicles who have received the SVR treatment — the F-Type sports car and the Range Rover Sport midsize sports utility vehicle (SUV). As such, the XE SVR will most likely be powered by the same 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission featured in these vehicles. On the F-Type SVR, this powertrain delivers 567 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
According to the publication, the XE SVR could receive up to 500 horsepower and will be able to go from 0 to 62 miles per hour (mph) in under four seconds.
To compare, the current range-topping model, XE S, is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 powertrain that yields 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet or torque. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
All the 2017 Jaguar XE models come with a rear-wheel drive system. However, to compensate for the SVR variant’s additional power, it could be launched as a four-wheel drive. This, in turn, will lead to a 110-pound weight gain.
In terms of design, AutoExpress noted that the XE SVR will look similar to the F-Type SVR and Range Rover SVR with aggressive bumpers and side skirts, blistered arches and larger brakes. There will also be enhancements made to the chassis, springs and dampers. Furthermore, the high-performance sports sedan may also receive an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
There’s no exact release date for the Jaguar XE SVR but it is said to arrive “almost halfway through the saloon’s lifecycle.”
Once released, it is expected to rival the BMW M3, powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder twin-turbo engine with 426 horsepower; the Mercedes-AMG C63 with a 503-horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine; and the upcoming Audi RS 4 equipped with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine estimated to deliver around 500 horsepower.