In its final model year before the arrival next March of the all-new 2009 XF, Jaguar’s S-TYPE premium mid-size sports sedan goes out on a ‘high’ with the best-equipped, highest-quality line-up yet.
‘This will be the best S-TYPE yet. We know a lot of our customers who love the car’s classic, elegant styling will be keen to get hold of one of the very last models,’ says Marti Eulberg, executive vice president of Marketing and Sales, Jaguar North America.
Luxury, quality and craftsmanship have always been hallmarks of Jaguar’s premium mid-sized S-TYPE sports sedan since its introduction in 1999. But for 2008, Jaguar takes luxury to the next level with the addition of several new standard features.
To give the 3.0 and 4.2 models an even more athletic look, the deep, sculpted front bumper previously confined to the supercharged S-TYPE R, has been added along with standard 18-inch alloy wheels. To distinguish them from the ‘R’, they retain their bright bumper blades, grille surround and mesh grille insert.
And for owners of S-TYPE 3.0 and 4.2 models looking to give their cars an even more dynamic look, 19-inch alloys become an option for the first time. For the 2008 S-TYPE R, 19-inch ‘Barcelona’ wheels become standard, up from 18-inch.
To celebrate the last of the S-TYPEs, the final run of 750 3.0 and 4.2 models will be ‘Satin Editions’. Their unique content will include rich matt Satin Mahogany veneers in the dash and doors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and chrome/leather shift knob. A choice of five colors will be offered – Ebony, Liquid Silver, Lunar Grey, Radiance and Porcelain – with a choice of Champagne/Mocha or Charcoal/Charcoal interior trim.
For S-TYPE R buyers looking to add even more luxury to the supercharged performance of the 400bhp ‘R’, Jaguar continues to offer a ‘Luxury’ package. In place of the R’s new Satin Mahogany wood trim, it comes with warm Burl Walnut veneers. It also adds Jaguar’s highest-quality soft-grain leather-trimmed seating with contrast piping, bright exterior accents, an electric rear sunblind and Adaptive Cruise Control. It’s distinguished by a bright grille surround and bumper blades and chrome mirror caps.
When the original S-TYPE was introduced in 1999, it launched Jaguar into a wider market, and a new era of modern design and technology. As Jaguar’s first, all-new mid-sized, luxury sports sedan in three decades, it helped make Jaguar more accessible and appealing to a younger generation of buyers.
Since its introduction, the S-TYPE has continued to evolve. For the 2002 model year, the all-new supercharged S-TYPE R was unveiled, while a new six-speed ZF automatic transmission – an industry first in the segment at that time – became available across the entire S-TYPE range. Inside, the car featured a re-designed dashboard, center console and door panels.
For the 2005 model year, the car’s sleek, distinctive lines were toned-up to become more contemporary and athletic, giving the luxury sedan more obvious muscle definition. The addition of new chrome mesh grille inserts in 2006 continued to build on the S-TYPE’s sporting appearance.
And for 2007, Jaguar focusing again on the S-TYPE’s interior, upgrading the materials, raising the luxury benchmark, and further increasing the car’s appeal to astute, confident, image-conscious buyers.
EXTERIOR DESIGN – A STYLE ICON
The key design changes introduced for the 2005 S-TYPE, succeeded in giving the car a more contemporary, more athletic look.
Design Director, Ian , and his team took the original S-TYPE’s iconic lines and focused on giving the whole front of the car a crisper, more powerful look and stance. In addition, the way the S-TYPE’s curvaceous hood meets the complex curves of the headlamp apertures changed too, giving much tighter panel fits and emphasizing Jaguar’s fine build quality.
At the base of the doors, the prominent sills of the original were reshaped to blend seamlessly into the body side contours. This made the new S-TYPE visually longer and leaner between the wheels, while balancing the stronger proportions of the nose.
At the rear, distinctive round jewel-like tail lamps blended smoothly into the new curves of the tail and were balanced with a new trunk ‘plinth’. Even the shape of the license plate recess changed subtly by toning down the oval theme, reducing the number of conflicting lines and, again, adding new muscle tone.
The new sleek lines improved aerodynamics and enhanced performance, as well as helping to reduce rear lift. For the S-TYPE R, a spoiler along the trunk lip added aerodynamic stability at maximum speeds.
For the final 2008 models, the S-TYPE 3.0 and 4.2 receive some of the R’s visual muscle by incorporating its deeper, more sculpted front bumper and 18-inch wheels.
‘Even after seven years on the market, the S-TYPE’s combination of bold, distinctive styling, sporting dynamics, and outstanding comfort and refinement, continues to enhance the S-TYPE’s appeal to the buyer demanding strong value from a luxury car,’ explains Eulberg.
INTERIOR – SATIN SMOOTH
The S-TYPE’s cabin is still a special place to be. It combines Jaguar quality and craftsmanship with leading-edge technology and the latest innovations in safety engineering.
Those front seats may look and feel the height of luxury with their soft-grain leather-trimmed seating accented with contrast piping, but beneath the leather surface are seat frames constructed of strong, but exceptionally lightweight magnesium.
The S-TYPE’s stunning dashboard which, for the final 750 examples, will be crafted from stunning Satin Mahogany veneers and given a soft, matt finish, is also mounted on a magnesium base frame structure that reduces the weight of the vehicle without compromising strength.
And that elegant, tactile chrome flap on the center console may look like a piece of automotive jewelry, but it controls the S-TYPE’s electronic parking brake. It replaces the traditional, space-consuming handbrake, or awkward pedal in the footwell.
For rear seat passengers, the S-TYPE’s contoured bench seat is a place of real luxury and comfort, providing an excellent 37 inches of legroom. But the backrest is split 60/40 and folds to increase dramatically the car’s luggage space – along with the S-TYPE’s versatility and practicality.
V6 OR V8 – REFINED JAGUAR POWER
The 2008 Jaguar S-TYPE continues to leap way ahead of the pack when it comes to a refined, but sporting character in a luxury package. Outfitted with an impressive range of power options, from the 235bhp 3.0-liter V6 engine to the spectacular supercharged 400bhp V8, and paired with a ZF six-speed automatic, the S-TYPE delivers on its performance promise.
The standard lightweight, all-aluminum V6 engine offers outstanding specific power outputs resulting from four overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable cam phasing and four-mode variable geometry air intakes.
The 3.0-liter AJ-V6 produces 235bhp at 6,800 rpm and a muscular 216 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. That gives standstill-to-60mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 121mph.
The S-TYPE’s 4.2-liter four-cam 32-valve V8, with Variable Camshaft Phasing, is available in two versions: naturally aspirated or mechanically supercharged in the range-topping S-TYPE R. Both versions are extremely light and strong due to the extensive use of aluminum. The exceptional stiffness minimizes engine noise and increases reliability, while direct-acting aluminum bucket tappets need no adjustment for the life of the engine.
The S-TYPE 4.2′s naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 develops 300bhp at 6,000 rpm and 310 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm, while the supercharged S-TYPE R version delivers 400bhp at 6,100 rpm and 413 lb.-ft. of torque at only 3,500 rpm. At least 86 percent of the peak torque figure is available all the way from 2,000 rpm to maximum engine speed – and that massive flexibility remains a defining characteristic of S-TYPE R performance.
Each 2008 S-TYPE V8 model offers athletic performance. The naturally-aspirated 4.2 V8 offers 0-to-60mph acceleration in just 6.2 seconds and an electronically limited maximum speed of 121mph. The thrilling supercharged S-TYPE R dispenses with the 0-to-60mph sprint in a mere 5.3 seconds – and keeps accelerating till it reaches its electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.
Back in 2002, the S-TYPE R adopted a six-speed automatic transmission, a perfect match for the V8′s power and torque. It now comes standard with all of the S-TYPE engines.
Built by ZF, the light, compact unit is a traditional automatic with six ratios and an adaptive Mechatronic shift, which responds to both road conditions and handling of the car. Paired with Jaguar’s trademark J-gate gear selector, recently upgraded with electronic ‘shift-by-wire’ control for improved feel and lever action, the winning combination boasts smooth gearshifts and optimum performance.
DRIVING DYNAMICS – PERFORMANCE WITH POISE
Alongside style, the S-TYPE’s key characteristic and the Jaguar buyer’s key expectation is exceptional driving dynamics – combining the comfort and refinement of a luxury car with the handling, stability, response and driver involvement of a sports car. And, just like the styling, the S-TYPE’s dynamics raise it above the premium sedan crowd.
The latest S-TYPE bodyshell, initially introduced in 2003, is 10 percent stiffer than that of the original car, creating a perfect platform for the drastically revised suspension, with aluminum control arms, which was also introduced in 2003.
At the front, the S-TYPE’s suspension uses unequal length wishbones to minimize track and camber changes. The two forged aluminum arms of the lower wishbone are linked by a ball joint and are connected by rubber and hydraulic bushes to the non-isolated front subframe.
The forged aluminum upper A-frame incorporates two fluid-block bushes and an integral ball joint for added refinement. It connects to the body and controls the geometry for improved straight-line stability. The upper control arm axis is also inclined, providing improved anti-dive characteristics under heavy braking.
The coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bars and steering are all tuned to provide the subtly different characters of the different models from the 3.0-liter V6 to the very high performance, supercharged 4.2-liter V8 R.
Recent revisions include a new subframe with stiffer mountings and larger diameter bushes for enhanced, and more refined ride and handling. A revised toe-link, introduced in the 2003 model year, improves rear wheel alignment, while a lowered roll center maintains overall balance with the completely new front suspension.
Impressive stopping performance is provided by Conti-Teves braking systems that are designed to provide greater stopping power, shorter braking distances and improved brake pedal feel.
The S-TYPE’s exceptional body stiffness and carefully revised reduced-friction suspension mountings, not only optimize ride and handling balance and give the car a solidly engineered quality, but also have a significant effect on refinement and minimizing road noise and vibration, not to mention the elimination of potential squeaks and rattles.
Servotronic variable-ratio power-assisted steering is standard across the range, for minimum parking effort at low speeds and maximum precision and feedback at higher speeds.
For the ultimate in sports sedan handling, look no further than the S-TYPE R, which comes standard with enhanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS), a two-stage sport suspension. On a twisty, bumpy road, eCATS maximizes comfort, handling and driver control by switching the system’s dampers from the normal ‘soft’ setting to ‘firm’ in milliseconds, which improves vehicle stability, particularly during cornering or braking.
Depending on the situation, eCATS automatically switches the rear dampers slightly ahead of the front pair at a low speed to reduce transient understeer for improved agility and turn-in performance. At high speed, the system automatically switches the front dampers ahead of the rear pair to increase understeer for improved stability.
For maximum performance, the S-TYPE R pairs eCATS with R Performance brakes and new-for-2008 19-inch alloys fitted with high-performance, P245/35 ZR19 tires.
S-TYPE SAFETY – BENCHMARK PROTECTION
Another area where Jaguar continues to exceed expectations is safety. In addition to front, side-impact, and front and rear side-curtain airbags, the 2008 S-TYPE offers Jaguar’s industry-leading Adaptive Restraint Technology System (A.R.T.S.) with ultrasonic front passenger sensing coupled with dual-stage front airbags.
Introduced as the world’s first ultrasonic occupant sensing system, A.R.T.S. continues to be a major advance in passive safety and comes standard on all S-TYPE derivatives. A.R.T.S. combines ultrasonic occupant sensing with a series of other sensors that collects data on passenger weight, position of the driver in relation to the steering wheel and whether or not safety belts are being worn.
Then, communicating through a central processor, A.R.T.S. can tailor airbag response to the needs of each front seat occupant and the severity of a frontal impact, controlling whether the two-stage airbags need to be inflated fully, partially, or at all.
Also working with A.R.T.S. is an effective energy-absorbing seating system which incorporates an anti-whiplash mechanism in the front seat back rests and pyrotechnic pre-tensioners for all safety belts, further minimizing risk of injury in the event of an accident. The S-TYPE also features a decoupling brake pedal mechanism and a deformable plastic fuel tank.
While occupants are protected by A.R.T.S. inside, the stiff and strong S-TYPE body maximizes protection on the outside.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is a standard active safety system for the new S-TYPE, enhancing safety at the limits of grip and road holding to improve control in potentially dangerous driving conditions.
DSC recognizes the onset of instability and takes measures to help counteract it by engaging the S-TYPE systems to act appropriately. Depending on the situation, DSC might respond by reducing engine torque, or selectively applying gentle braking to one or more wheels or a combination of both. The system also intervenes to prevent wheelspin in low grip conditions, automatically reducing power and, if necessary, braking individual wheels.
The S-TYPE’s ability to go fast is equally matched by its ability to stop. The Conti-Teves four-channel Anti-lock Braking System ( ABS) provides the S-TYPE driver with greater stopping power, shorter braking distances and improved brake pedal feel.
For more severe situations, Jaguar’s standard Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) provides the extra power needed. By detecting rapid, hard applications of the brake pedal (often known as an emergency-braking situation), EBA automatically applies the additional pressure that the driver has not provided in order to enter the ABS zone and achieve maximum braking. Faster acting than any driver, it can dramatically cut braking distances, with obvious safety benefits.
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Source: Jaguar Press Release