News

Jaguar Land Rover plans to invest $17.8 billion on new products, next-gen tech in three years

June 26, 2018

JLR told the UK investor fraternity last week that it will invest a minimum of $5.95 billion annually over the next three years.

In the last financial year, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) had invested $5.5 billion, over half of which was in new vehicles and technologies and the rest in new and upgraded manufacturing and R&D facilities.

In a statement after declaring the results for the year ended March 31, JLR’s CEO Ralf Speth, had said “As we mark the first 10 years of Tata ownership, our focus is on shaping our future and we will continue with over-proportional investment in new vehicles, manufacturing capabilities and next-generation automotive technologies.” But nobody could have guessed that “over-proportional” meant a whopping $17.8 billion over the next three years.

According to The Economic Times, JLR told the UK investor fraternity last week that it will invest a minimum of $5.95 billion annually over the next three years. This is reportedly the biggest investment in its history, a strategy the company hopes will help it to stay ahead of rivals like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi in the electric vehicles (EVs) race. And also help it to catch up on the numbers game in the traditional luxury car market.

The funds, the daily added, will go into an unprecedented, 99-product programme that will include annual updates, new-generation cars, vehicles on the electric power-train, and four new brands that include the I-Pace and the new Defender. Two more EVs could also be on the cards. In fact, 51 per cent of the total capex will be on products. With trade war and Brexit challenges looming large, JLR is increasing its focus on products than on capacity addition.

But it’s not a new strategy for the company. Between FY11 and FY18, JLR has spent $26.47 billion at the current exchange rate, on capex. During that period, sales increased 15 per cent annually.

To fund its ambitious three-year plan, JLR is banking on internal accruals and debt. In its Q4 results the company had said that in the last fiscal it had $6.15 billion of cash and $2.51 billion undrawn RCF. The daily added that JLR’s capital expenditure to sales ratio stood at 16.2 per cent in FY18, which, as per analysts’ estimates of JLR investments in the next three years, will likely move from 16.2 per cent to 14.8 per cent and 13.6 per cent during the period in question.

The lower guidance on capex to sales ratio in the long-term is likely to be viewed positively by the Street as it would help support sustainable free cash flow. JLR’s rivals already fare better on this score. For instance, in 2017, BMW’s capital expenditure to sales ratio stood at 11 per cent and Daimler’s at 12.1 per cent.

In the medium term, JLR expects the share of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in total sales to rise to 20 per cent, while that of diesel and petrol vehicles will drop to 30 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively. So it is reportedly consolidating vehicle architectures from six to three, and transitioning to a modular vehicle platform with electrification as a critical element. This will bring in economies of scale and reduced costs. Also on the cards is a new premium transverse architecture for small SUVs, modular longitudinal architecture for EVs, and even modular engine architecture that will prepare the company for future regulatory challenges.

Worryingly, JLR’s ambitious investment plan comes at a time when it is taking a hit on the sales side from cyclically weaker markets in the UK, exacerbated by Brexit, and in the US. The markets also remain challenging because of diesel uncertainty in the UK and Europe, as the company pointed out in its Q4 results presentation.

The daily, therefore, sees its free cash flow – or the money available for distribution from profit after deducting capital expenditure -remaining negative in the near term with the stated investment plan of $5.95 billion in this year. JLR already had negative cash flow of $1.37 billion in FY18.

The company, however, expects higher sales growth with improved profitability in FY19. JLR reportedly told investors that IHS Markit predicts the global luxury car market to grow from 6.6 million to 7.7 million units in the coming six years. The three-year investment game plan focussing on new products might help it ride ahead of its rivals.

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SAUDI FEMALE RACER CELEBRATES THE END OF THE BAN IN A JAGUAR

June 26, 2018

Female racing driver Aseel Al Hamad celebrated the end of the ban on women drivers with a lap of honour in a Jaguar F-TYPE.

Aseel, the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, had never driven on a track in her home country before.

Aseel joined Jaguar in a call for June 24th to be known as World Driving Day – a day when finally, the whole world can enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel of a car. On World Driving Day Jaguar invites people to share a memory of their best driving moment (image or anecdote) using the #WorldDrivingDay.

Aseel said: “Having loved cars since I was a child, today is highly emotional for me. This is the best driving moment of my life. What better way to kick off World Driving Day than a lap of honour in my home country in a Jaguar F-TYPE – the ultimate car to roar around the track. I hope people around the world will share in our joy today by sharing their most memorable driving story using #WorldDrivingDay.”

By creating World Driving Day, Jaguar urges people to remember this historic day and what it means to women, to Saudi Arabia and to world progress in general. As part of its ongoing work with over 40 Universities and Academic institutions globally on future mobility solutions, the company will also be partnering with University in Saudi Arabia to join this global network. The partnership, to be announced later this year, will be a unique exchange to tap into the brightest young minds in Saudi Arabia to shape the company’s future innovations as it moves to ACES (an Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Shared future).

Jaguar Land Rover spokesperson, Fiona Pargeter, Customer Experience Director comments:

“It’s easy to forget and take for granted the enjoyment of driving and just what a privilege it is to get behind the wheel of a car. World Driving Day is a commitment from Jaguar to celebrate this key moment annually for both men and women. This year, we’re really excited to collaborate with the brilliant students from Saudi Arabia to shape the future of mobility for people around the world.”

XE PROJECT 8 HAND-BUILDING BEGINS

June 22, 2018

Hand-assembly of the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever, begins in June 2018.

The first examples of Project 8, a limited-edition sports sedan with genuine supercar performance, will be delivered to performance driving enthusiasts this summer.

The All-Wheel Drive 441kW (600PS) 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol Project 8, which has a top speed of 200mph and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds*, set a new four-door production car record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany last year – the ‘gold’ standard for all-round high performance.

Its best lap of 7 min 21.23 sec was quicker than many supercars. It is available either as a four-seater or in lightweight two-seat Track Pack configuration, which also boosts torsional rigidity by 27 percent over the four-seat version (Track Pack is a market-dependent option at extra cost).

John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, says: “The SV team’s aim is to produce halo vehicles that push the boundaries in terms of luxury, performance and all-terrain capability.

Project 8 is a great example of what happens when enthusiastic designers, engineers and manufacturing specialists are given the opportunity to create an extreme performance sports car without compromise.”

Fundamental to the performance of the most track-focused SV vehicle ever produced, Project 8 features a number of modifications to the award-winning XE’s lightweight aluminium bodywork, including: carbon fibre bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared wheelarches covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, rear carbon fibre bumper with integrated diffuser, and an adjustable rear aerodynamic wing.

These developments ensure that Project 8 is the lightest and most purposeful V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.

To ensure optimum performance on road or track, Project 8 enhances the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with redesigned front uprights, two-piece upper wishbones, plus motorsport-derived ball joints and twin springs (height-adjustable for a 15mm lower ride on track).

It also debuts a new Carbon Ceramic Braking system, an industry-first use of F1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car and incorporates a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD) with oil cooler – a first for XE.

To maximise traction, Project 8 utilises a re-calibrated version of Jaguar’s eight-speed Quickshift All-Wheel Drive system.

Capable of changing gear in just 200 milliseconds, and shifting non-sequentially, such as from 8 to 2 in extreme situations, it helps deliver outstanding precision and confidence with a strong torque-rich shift quality unique to this car.

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, says:“With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance. The power delivery and gear shifts of Project 8 are the most visceral we have ever delivered on a Jaguar. Rest assured, no stone has been left unturned in our mission to make this the most rewarding Jaguar driver’s car ever.”

Project 8’s all-new Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) system features 400mm two-piece front discs with six-piston aluminium calipers, 396mm two-piece rear discs and uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF). Incorporating the latest braking technology they deliver consistent pedal feel, fade resistance and longevity under the most demanding conditions.

The Electronic Active Differential (EAD) system works with the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system to precisely manage torque delivery to each of the rear wheels.

In conjunction with enhanced large diameter front and rear driveshafts, the EAD ensures optimum ability to put power and traction to the road in all situations and contributes to the exceptional lap times achievable by Project 8.

The wheel and tyre package of the Project 8 is the largest ever fitted to a production Jaguar sports sedan. Measuring 9.5 x 20-inch at the front and 11 x 20-inch at the rear, the forged aluminium alloy wheels are engineered for light weight and stiffness and are fitted with track-perfect Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres fitted as standard (the only option).

This is also the first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode as standard. In its most extreme settings, and in ‘Track’ mode, Project 8 delivers 122kg of downforce at 186mph – 25% more than its closest rival.

Track mode tailors the driveline and stability control systems for circuit use by sharpening throttle, gearbox and steering responses and tuning the dampers to their most aggressive setting. 

David Pook, Project 8’s Vehicle Dynamics Manager, says:“We’ve continued to develop and hone the whole car right up to the start of production, to make it even more responsive and to handle even better.

The springs are stiffer and so are the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want.

But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement.

We keep challenging ourselves to keep improving the car, and push boundaries. It’s certainly even faster, better handling and more responsive than it was six months ago. All that effort has been worth it.”

For serious circuit use, specifying the optional Track Pack saves 12.2kg by replacing the magnesium-framed front Performance seats with lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats.

Additional Four-Point Harnesses offer ultimate security, and a fire extinguisher system is fitted. The rear seats and seatbelts are removed for Track Pack specification, replaced by a Project 8-branded carpeted panel and a Harness Retention Hoop.

Project 8 is available in eight body colour choices – three eye-catching standard colours: Fuji White, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, plus five enhanced SV Design options incorporating colours and finishes from the SV Premium Palette: Valencia Orange, Velocity Blue, Meribel White, Verbier Silver and Corris Grey (satin matte).

Track Pack-equipped Project 8s are distinguished by a Gloss Black painted roof and Project 8 twin-stripe exterior decals.

Owners will also be able to personalise their car by specifying further optional colours and finishes from the SV Premium Palette range, which includes 19 colours in tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte finishes. Race-inspired decal packs, accentuating Project 8’s high-performance attributes, are also available.

The high-performance theme continues inside, with subtle applications of Gloss Carbon Fibre trim as well as Alcantara, on the rim of the Project 8 Sports Steering Wheel, instrument binnacle and door cards.

The eight-speed Quickshift transmission can either be operated by aluminium shifters behind the steering wheel or by a central shift lever – another first on XE.

Project 8 costs from £149,995 in the UK and is the second Collector’s Edition Jaguar from Special Vehicles, after the 2014 F-TYPE Project 7.

Deliveries begin this summer and all Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only, therefore XE Project 8 will not be sold in Australia.

*All figures are manufacturer’s estimates and subject to final confirmation ahead of production.

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XE PROJECT 8 HAND-BUILDING BEGINS

June 22, 2018

Hand-assembly of the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever, begins in June 2018.

The first examples of Project 8, a limited-edition sports sedan with genuine supercar performance, will be delivered to performance driving enthusiasts this summer.

The All-Wheel Drive 441kW (600PS) 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol Project 8, which has a top speed of 200mph and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds*, set a new four-door production car record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany last year – the ‘gold’ standard for all-round high performance.

Its best lap of 7 min 21.23 sec was quicker than many supercars. It is available either as a four-seater or in lightweight two-seat Track Pack configuration, which also boosts torsional rigidity by 27 percent over the four-seat version (Track Pack is a market-dependent option at extra cost).

John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, says: “The SV team’s aim is to produce halo vehicles that push the boundaries in terms of luxury, performance and all-terrain capability.

Project 8 is a great example of what happens when enthusiastic designers, engineers and manufacturing specialists are given the opportunity to create an extreme performance sports car without compromise.”

Fundamental to the performance of the most track-focused SV vehicle ever produced, Project 8 features a number of modifications to the award-winning XE’s lightweight aluminium bodywork, including: carbon fibre bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared wheelarches covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, rear carbon fibre bumper with integrated diffuser, and an adjustable rear aerodynamic wing.

These developments ensure that Project 8 is the lightest and most purposeful V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.

To ensure optimum performance on road or track, Project 8 enhances the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with redesigned front uprights, two-piece upper wishbones, plus motorsport-derived ball joints and twin springs (height-adjustable for a 15mm lower ride on track).

It also debuts a new Carbon Ceramic Braking system, an industry-first use of F1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car and incorporates a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD) with oil cooler – a first for XE.

To maximise traction, Project 8 utilises a re-calibrated version of Jaguar’s eight-speed Quickshift All-Wheel Drive system.

Capable of changing gear in just 200 milliseconds, and shifting non-sequentially, such as from 8 to 2 in extreme situations, it helps deliver outstanding precision and confidence with a strong torque-rich shift quality unique to this car.

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, says:“With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance. The power delivery and gear shifts of Project 8 are the most visceral we have ever delivered on a Jaguar. Rest assured, no stone has been left unturned in our mission to make this the most rewarding Jaguar driver’s car ever.”

Project 8’s all-new Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) system features 400mm two-piece front discs with six-piston aluminium calipers, 396mm two-piece rear discs and uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF). Incorporating the latest braking technology they deliver consistent pedal feel, fade resistance and longevity under the most demanding conditions.

The Electronic Active Differential (EAD) system works with the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system to precisely manage torque delivery to each of the rear wheels.

In conjunction with enhanced large diameter front and rear driveshafts, the EAD ensures optimum ability to put power and traction to the road in all situations and contributes to the exceptional lap times achievable by Project 8.

The wheel and tyre package of the Project 8 is the largest ever fitted to a production Jaguar sports sedan. Measuring 9.5 x 20-inch at the front and 11 x 20-inch at the rear, the forged aluminium alloy wheels are engineered for light weight and stiffness and are fitted with track-perfect Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres fitted as standard (the only option).

This is also the first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode as standard. In its most extreme settings, and in ‘Track’ mode, Project 8 delivers 122kg of downforce at 186mph – 25% more than its closest rival.

Track mode tailors the driveline and stability control systems for circuit use by sharpening throttle, gearbox and steering responses and tuning the dampers to their most aggressive setting. 

David Pook, Project 8’s Vehicle Dynamics Manager, says:“We’ve continued to develop and hone the whole car right up to the start of production, to make it even more responsive and to handle even better.

The springs are stiffer and so are the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want.

But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement.

We keep challenging ourselves to keep improving the car, and push boundaries. It’s certainly even faster, better handling and more responsive than it was six months ago. All that effort has been worth it.”

For serious circuit use, specifying the optional Track Pack saves 12.2kg by replacing the magnesium-framed front Performance seats with lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats.

Additional Four-Point Harnesses offer ultimate security, and a fire extinguisher system is fitted. The rear seats and seatbelts are removed for Track Pack specification, replaced by a Project 8-branded carpeted panel and a Harness Retention Hoop.

Project 8 is available in eight body colour choices – three eye-catching standard colours: Fuji White, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, plus five enhanced SV Design options incorporating colours and finishes from the SV Premium Palette: Valencia Orange, Velocity Blue, Meribel White, Verbier Silver and Corris Grey (satin matte).

Track Pack-equipped Project 8s are distinguished by a Gloss Black painted roof and Project 8 twin-stripe exterior decals.

Owners will also be able to personalise their car by specifying further optional colours and finishes from the SV Premium Palette range, which includes 19 colours in tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte finishes. Race-inspired decal packs, accentuating Project 8’s high-performance attributes, are also available.

The high-performance theme continues inside, with subtle applications of Gloss Carbon Fibre trim as well as Alcantara, on the rim of the Project 8 Sports Steering Wheel, instrument binnacle and door cards.

The eight-speed Quickshift transmission can either be operated by aluminium shifters behind the steering wheel or by a central shift lever – another first on XE.

Project 8 costs from £149,995 in the UK and is the second Collector’s Edition Jaguar from Special Vehicles, after the 2014 F-TYPE Project 7.

Deliveries begin this summer and all Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only, therefore XE Project 8 will not be sold in Australia.

*All figures are manufacturer’s estimates and subject to final confirmation ahead of production.

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PANASONIC JAGUAR SET TO RACE ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

June 21, 2018

Panasonic Jaguar Racing geared up for final rounds of the 17/18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season taking place in Brooklyn, New York this July, by making a visit to the Big Apple this week.

Team Director James Barclay visited the city to host a lunch for 60 members of the International Motor Press Association (IMPA); sharing the latest on the team’s performance this season and how learnings from the race series help Jaguar develop road car technology for an electrified future.

When the Jaguar I-PACE goes on sale later this year, the brand will be the first to have both a Formula E race team and a road going production EV available to consumers.

Throughout its development the Jaguar I-PACE has benefitted from learnings born from the Formula E race team. The technology exchange between the Panasonic Jaguar Racing and Jaguar Land Rover engineers helped accelerate the development of the I-PACE and of future electric Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, particularly in the areas of powertrain performance and efficiency; software and controls; battery management – both efficiency, thermal management and regeneration; transmission design and durability; and development of lightweight materials.

Unique to each vehicle, both the Jaguar I-PACE and the I-TYPE 2 Formula E race car use shared technologies for their bespoke parts; similarities include the use of high-efficiency permanent magnet electric motors and pouch battery cell technology for maximum powertrain performance.

“We are developing the next generation of EV technology on the race track. This is why we race,” said James Barclay, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director. “Formula E racing provides an ideal performance test bed for EV technology in a punishing, high-performance environment. It is incredibly exciting for the team to be a part of this revolutionary engineering exchange. We’re looking forward to finishing off our second season in New York City next month, a year which has seen us go from strength to strength.”

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the world’s first fully-electric racing series. The final rounds of the 17/18 season will take place July 14-15, 2018 on a unique purpose-built 1.21 mile street course in Red Hook, Brooklyn around Pier 11 and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal with the iconic New York City backdrop.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing will go into the New York race in fifth place, with drivers Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jr. behind the wheel of the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 race car looking to finish the year on a high.

For tickets and information about the Qualcomm New York City ePrix, as well as other Formula E races, visit www.fiaformulae.com.

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LATEST EDITION IS NOW PUBLISHED

June 20, 2018

The latest edition (#193) of Jaguar Magazine is now published in digital form on the Magzter platform (link is below), and the hard copy magazine will be printed by the end of this week for subscribers, club members and those who buy it in shops.

It is another huge edition with a widespread range of features from the present day, going back into Jaguar’s deep history.

Features include:

CUBA

The surprising story of how three D-Types and two XK-SSs raced in Cuba and were owned there – even after the Revolution in 1959.  It is filled with surprises.

E-PACE AND EVOQUE

We test both the brand new Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque in their highest specifications, and conduct a back-to-back comparison.  Which will we, or you, prefer?

30 YEARS SINCE THE FIRST JAGUAR V12 LE MANS WIN

Hard to believe, but right now it is exactly 30 years since Tom Walkinshaw Racing took Jaguar to its first Le Mans victory since 1957.  We examine that legendary win and not from the angle of a race report.  We were there for the win, and in the pits.  There is much more to tell from the inside because TWR had three cars run by their European team and two by their new US stable.  The politics and untold stories were intriguing.

CLIFF RUDDELL – THE JAGUAR DESIGNER WHO MADE THE SECRETS

Cliff Ruddell was apprenticed to Jaguar as an engineer but became one of its head designers.  He worked under Sir William Lyons and Sir John Egan, and for the first time tells all the stories about abandoned plans, lost models and how the successes were achieved.  His self-penned story is intriguing and historic.

JAGUAR NATIONAL RALLY

The most important enthusiast Jaguar event of the year it is reported by the highly qualified Wandy McIntyre-Leake with superb images by Terry McGrath.

GALA CONCOURS IN FLORIDA

Sharon and Allen Spurlin are our life-lines in the US, and they took themselves to the spectacular JCNA eventstaged by the Jaguar Club of Florida.  Their report includes very personal stories of ownership and great images.

That is just the start – there much more in edition #193.  It comes with the highest quality in editorial and printing terms.

DO NOT MISS GETTING A COPY

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JAGUAR SETS NEW ELECTRIC WATER SPEED RECORD

June 15, 2018

Jaguar is serious about electricity. It’s beaten all the premium German brands to market with an all-electric car, the I-Pace, and beaten most of them into acquiring that other must-have for car firms eager to highlight their environmental commitments, a Formula E team.

Now it can chalk up another success. It’s just captured the electric water speed record. In partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the Jaguar Vector crew has taken the electric record to 88.61mph.

Based around a Formula 1 inshore powerboat, Jaguar Vector stripped it back and inserted 320kg of batteries in the frame and a pair of Yasa electric motors into the rear housing. With learning and technology taken direct from the Formula E project, the V20E boat develops 295bhp.

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WHEN HISTORIC RACING CARS WERE’NT OVERLY SPECIAL …

June 13, 2018

Okay, it was Sudley Castle in 1976 and the event was th JDC’s XK Day.

That’s 42 years ago and Duncan Hamilton was the guest who presented awards.  Ian Cummins from Sydney was there finding suppliers from whom to purchase parts in order to restore his D-Type XKD510 which had been broken in half by a tree in a fatal racing accident.  It wasn’t the first one for that car either.

It fact that was the day ‘experts’ in England told him he couldn’t possibly restore a D-Type correctly in far off Australia.  Well, that ‘colonial’ showed ’em, and aside from restoring a number of D-Types (his C-Type XKC037 previously) he built perfect replicas which today are sometimes today being passed as genuine factory-built machines in the UK.

As for historic racing sports cars on display then, they were still pretty exciting, but not to everyone.

That day when there was a row of brand new XJ-Ss, a model most had never seen before, there was two rows of ex-racers – which 90% of the crowd only paid a passing glance to.

The first is a well known Rally XK120 from the early 1950s, the next is the ex-Ecurie Ecosse XK120 of Sir James Scott-Douglas, next to it is the former Ecurie Ecosse C-Type XKC042 (which was living in Australia in the early 1990s), and the D-Type is XKD527 which was owned then by Nigel Dawes having been sold new in the US.

There is also a C-Type and D-Type behind – but the majority of spectators continued viewing XK120s, 140s and ‘150s …

Today you are looking a many millions for any genuine C or D-Type, and probably also the Ecurie Ecosse XK120.

If only we had the hindsight, and money, back then …  but that’s the story of my life and many others too!

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SPECTACULAR VIDOES ADDED TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

June 10, 2018

The I-Pace is out and about.  For the first time it is being driven by the world’s motoring media in Portugal and we have it on our Youtube channel Jaguar Magazine.

Then there is also the sensational XE based Project 8 road-racer at the legendary Nurburgring in Germany.

It’s there too so just go to YouTube and enter Jaguar Magazine.

Enjoy.

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I-PACE FIRST DRIVES – GIVES JAGUAR A MASSIVE LOVE FACTOR

June 9, 2018

Electric SUV takes Jaguar into a new era, writes TONY DAVIS of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The first few hours of the global media launch for the Jaguar I-Pace included a highway, a winding B-road, an urban traffic jam, a mountainous dirt track, a deep creek fording, and a high-speed race circuit.

The intent was clear: to prove that the first fully electric SUV from a European luxury maker has few limitations, and drives like a Jaguar.

With the I-Pace, the British company has beaten the big-spending Germans to the punch. The good news is that it has done so not with an adaptation of one of its internalcombustion SUVs. It’s a cleansheet design that has made it from the spectacular 2016 concept to the street largely intact. It is based on a “skateboard” chassis with the batteries sandwiched between a double-skinned floor to keep the centre of gravity low.

This is the template first seen in the General Motors’ Autonomy concept in 2002 and put into production by Tesla when the Model S debuted as a prototype in 2009. That company’s Model X SUV is the I-Pace’s only real competitor today, though within a couple of years there will be plenty more.

The I-Pace has an electric motor at each end and a 90kWh battery pack. The total power output is 294kW (or 400ps, hence the badge saying EV400), while the mighty torque figure of 696Nm is delivered immediately, negating the need to ever change gears.

The I-Pace doesn’t have the Tesla’s ludicrous mode, but it can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds. Nor does it have the Tesla’s ludicrous lift-up rear doors (slow, gimmicky, impractical). More importantly, the I-Pace handles more precisely and feels more solid, as you’d expect for a car a few years further down the development cycle.

The battery range is 480 kilometres according to a lab-derived European standard, with the usual caveat that it depends on driving style and conditions. We drove pretty enthusiastically and were on target for about 400 kilometres on the public road section.

One of many clever features is the central screen will show the route you have chosen on your sat-nav along with the percentage of remaining charge expected at stages along the way. It takes into account topography, and Jaguar says over time it will learn your driving style and further refine its accuracy.

The exterior is almost unclassifiable. The curvy lines and smooth sides make it look smaller than it is out in the traffic (at 4682mm, it’s just a shade shorter than the company’s biggest SUV, the F-Pace), and I-Pace’s comparatively low overall height makes it a modern melange of sports hatch, wagon and off-roader.

Jaguars tend to get very expensive very quickly. The base S is $119,000 (about $21K less than the five-seater Tesla Model X), but that lacks a few things almost every buyer will want. The full-house ‘‘First Edition’’ I-Pace takes the price up to $160,000. There are two models in between those extremes (SE and HSE), though all cars share the same drivetrain.

Jaguar claims there is as much room inside as in an XJ limousine, though it doesn’t feel quite that capacious. The snub-nosed “cab forward design”, for example, makes the passenger’s foot well quite short.

There is plenty of headroom all round and, in the First Edition, the full-length glass sunroof makes for a light and cheerful cabin. The interior design is more interesting than most current Jaguars, with a greater range of surfaces and shades, and something closer to the clean smartphone aesthetic found in its Range Rover Velar stablemate.

There is a generous rear boot and laydown rear seats. The nose also has storage, though only enough for the charging cable and a few other small things.

A home powerpoint will charge the car, though exceedingly slowly. An optional 7kW home charger (around $1500 installed) takes 12.9 hours for a complete charge. On a 100kW rapid charger (of the type about to be fitted at Jaguar dealerships and elsewhere), the I-Pace can reach 80 per cent charge in about 40 minutes. The vagaries of electricity are such that software stops you fully charging the batteries, or fully emptying them, to avoid damage. The maximum charge is about 94 per cent.

The central touchscreen allows the sound in the cockpit to be adjusted. You can chose from near silence (via very effective noise-reduction technology), a deep electronic whoosh on acceleration, or something halfway between. You can also engage “creep”, making the car crawl forward like it has a standard auto transmission, and adjust the severity of the regenerative braking when lifting off the throttle.

We drove the First Edition on huge 22 inch wheels, and a heavily specced S model on 20s. On the slightly Volvo-esque floating centre console, mechanical switches control various off-road settings, and give an on-road choice of Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. The Dynamic mode sharpens the throttle response, suspension and steering.

The I-Pace carries about 100kg of extra weight compared with the upcoming F-Pace SVR with its supercharged V8, though the mass is positioned lower, meaning the handling is surprisingly good. Indeed, Jaguar has created the first mainstream electric vehicle that is fun to punt down a challenging piece of road. Sure, the weight (2208 kg) is an issue, but it is well controlled by adaptive air suspension, and the steering is progressive and accurate.

Mashing the throttle gives a headrest-thumping surge, with an instantaneous throttle response that not even a large naturally aspirated V8 can match. Lifting off brings the regenerative braking into play. It is possible to cover most road situations – including high-speed driving – using only the accelerator pedal. Diving into a corner and gently lifting gives a strong and predictable retardation on all four wheels, with turn-in aided by torque vectoring.

One engineer on the launch said he believed that, if mostly driven with one pedal, the brake pads may well last the life of the car. Of course one pedal wasn’t possible on the race circuit – Portimao near Faro, Portugal – but the vehicle proved dazzlingly quick and not just in a straight line.

It was remarkably stable under braking from full speed and during quick changes of direction could belt out of corners with an urgency that delighted every time, and remained balanced and easy to control on the throttle through a very long and challenging right-hander onto the straight. The electronic log said we were pulling just above 1.2 G of lateral acceleration. Top speed at the end of the straight generally crept 6 or 7km/h above the 200 km/h electronically limited top speed.

It’s hard to know exactly which elements were having the biggest effect, but the I-Pace’s electronic driving systems can deliver – in theory at least – greater precision than any conventional all-wheel-drive vehicle because there is completely independent torque at the front and rear axles.

The body is 94 per cent aluminium, yet super stiff. The ride is generally excellent, though some long wave undulations on country roads caught out the suspension, giving a slightly floaty experience.

All cars on the launch were air sprung. Logic suggests a car this heavy will be much less impressive with conventional springs and passive damping. The air suspension is a $2002 upgrade to the lesser models, and Jaguar says almost everyone will take it.

The I-Pace proved to be hugely competent on the rough stuff, but I suspect not one driver in a hundred will do any serious off-roading (particularly on 20s or 22s). Anyway, allterrain motoring is hardly a Jaguar brand value.

The market will decide whether the pricing and options are right when the first customer cars arrive in Australia in October. Either way, it’s one mighty impressive entry into the electric-car game.

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