1975 - 2004
Launched in September 1975 the XJ-S was closely related to the XJ saloons. While some considered the overall appearance of the new car to be somewhat controversial, no one could argue about its impressive specification. The fuel injected V12 engine was used and gave the car superb performance. 0-60 mph was achieved in 6.9 seconds and the maximum speed was 150 mph. Levels of refinement and quietness were raised to saloon car standards with air conditioning as a standard feature. Initially both manual and automatic transmissions were available but later the manual option was dropped. With the advent of the XJ-S, Group 44 built an example to go Trans-Am professional racing. A few exploratory outings in 1976 showed the potential and a full season was planned for '77. Group 44 fought off a multitude of Porsches with their XJ-S, which was now developing 540 bhp, and Tullius ended the season as Category 1 Trans-Am Champion.
The following year, with a new lighter car fitted with a 560 BHP engine, Tullius won the last seven races and again took the Championship. By entering the '77 XJ-S for Brian Fuerstenau, the car's designer, to drive in the last three events, Jaguar took the Manufacturer's Championship as well. In 1979 the XJ saloons were extensively revised. The new Series III range was subtly restyled with a flatter roofline and a larger glass area giving the car crisper lines. This, together with improved ancillary equipment had the effect of modernising the car and increasing rear seat headroom. Indeed it seemed almost to have become a timeless style of enduring popularity.
In 1980 a new era began at Jaguar with the appointment of John Egan as Chairman and Managing Director. Egan's motor industry career had taken in General Motors (AC Delco), Triumph Cars, Unipart (British Leyland) and others. Jaguar's quality had not been all that it might have been in the late seventies and Egan's immediate goal was to restore customers' confidence in the British marque.
This he proceeded to do and Jaguar enjoyed a strong resurgence of demand, particularly in the States. Jaguar's style stood the company in good stead and ensured loyalty amongst owners. However, fuel crises of the seventies had not helped matters and in 1981 Jaguar announced new High Efficiency cylinder heads for the V12 engines. These were based on principles espoused by Swiss engineer Michael May, and Jaguar engineers had spent five years applying them to the V12 engine. The result was a very healthy decrease in fuel consumption which gave the V12 engined saloon and XJ-S a considerable advantage in the more fuel conscious eighties.
The XJ-S HE was now capable of 155 mph and returning 27 mpg at a steady 56 mph. Also Jaguar could claim that the model was the fastest production car in the world, fitted with automatic transmission. At this time Jaguar was seeking a new six cylinder unit to replace the venerable XK unit. It had been intended to build a V8 version of the V12, or even a six cylinder by, as it were, chopping the engine in half. Neither of these courses turned out to be practical and so a completely new design was embarked upon under the guidance of Engineering Director, Jim Randle and Trevor Crisp, Chief Engineer Power Units. After many experiments, it was decided to offer the new straight six engine with two types of head. The higher performance version would use a four valve arrangement and an economy unit would use the V12's head which benefited from the May principles.
The new engine was named the AJ6 and for Jaguar represented an investment of over £21m. It had a capacity of 3580 cc and was inclined at 158 degrees from the vertical. With the 24 valve head the output was 225 BHP which compared favourably with the current 3.4 litre XK engine which was producing 162 bhp. Additionally the new AJ6 was around 30% lighter due to the use of an aluminium block. The AJ6 was intended for a completely new range of saloons but, in true Jaguar tradition, it was first fitted in a lower volume model launched in September 1983. The six cylinder XJ-S had automatic transmission or a Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox. Sixty miles per hour could be reached in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 145 mph was possible. At the same time a new version of the XJ-S also became available. This was the Cabriolet, Jaguar's first open car since the demise of the E-type. Retaining the cantrails, roof pillars and a cross bar, the Cabriolet had two lift off, interlocking roof panels and the option of either a folding rear hood or a fixed rear window. Safety regulations decreed that the XJ-SC was just a two-seater.
Late in 1982 Group 44 had been given the go-ahead to design and build a sports racing car around the Jaguar V12 engine. The car was built for IMSA racing in the States. Named the XJR-5, the car featured an aluminium honey-comb monocoque which employed the mid-mounted engine as a stressed member from which was hung the rear suspension. A striking fibreglass body was finished attractively in white with green stripes. The car finished third on its debut at Road Atlanta and won at the same venue in '83. Two further victories followed at Mosport and Pocono, much to the delight of the British racing fans. The following season brought a late decision to enter the Le Mans French classic, as a learning experience. One car retired after damage sustained from a puncture and the second was running in the top six after 18 hours. It sadly succumbed to gearbox maladies.
Back in Britain a new force had appeared on the competition scene. Racing driver, Tom Walkinshaw had prepared an XJ-S for racing in Australia in '82 and had the idea of building a pair of cars for the European Touring Car Championship. The first season brought first and second in the Tourist Trophy Race at Silverstone. The following year the Jaguars took five wins to BMWs six; weight of numbers telling with around five of the German cars entered for each of the two Jaguars. Sir William Lyons had merged Jaguar with the British Motor Corporation (later to become BL) in 1966, in the belief that he was safeguarding the future of the company. The reality, however, was that the company suffered a severe loss of identity and image. The Conservative government, elected in 1979, planned to privatise a number of state-controlled companies, however, and in the early eighties Jaguar began to prepare for privatisation. In August 1984, Jaguar shares were floated on the London Stock Exchange for the first time. The government was keen to encourage public share ownership - and the share offer was oversubscribed eight times.
The 1984 season was a good one for Tom Walkinshaw Racing, who had added a third XJ-S to the team. The team dominated the European Championship with a string of wins and Walkinshaw ended the season as the European Champion. Following their emphatic success, TWR were given the task of designing a sports racing car to take on the world and win Le Mans for Jaguar for a sixth time. Teams such as Porsche and Lancia were well established but the British Formula One teams were worldleaders in chassis design and Tony Southgate, an ex-Grand Prix designer, was retained to pen the new XJR-6. Current Grand Prix cars used the 'ground effects' phenomenon to 'suck' the car down on to the road at higher speeds and Southgate's design made good use of this. Indeed the car was unusual in that the rear wheels were covered by spats to heighten this effect.
In February 1985, Sir William Lyons passed quietly away at his home, Wappenbury Hall having lived to see his beloved company returned to independence the previous year. The tributes were plentiful and glowing. For fifty years 'he' had been Jaguar and the part he played in the history of the automobile is quite immeasurable. In July the XJ-S Cabriolet became available with the V12 engine and a few months later the new XJR-6's made their debut at Mosport Park. They finished third, an excellent debut. It was decided to bring the TWR XJ-S's out of retirement for the prestigious Bathurst 1000 race in Australia in October. The dominant Jaguars finished first and third. Group 44 debuted a new XJR-7 at the end of '85 and in 1986, in front of the home crowd the team managed two fourths and a string of seconds, this consistency rewarding them with second in the Manufacturers' Championship once again. The TWR team had a fair season taking victory in the Silverstone 1000kms and coming close to achieving the World Championship.
The engineers in Coventry had been working for some time on a saloon replacement. The XJ6 was still selling well which meant that Jaguar could ensure the new car would be really right. Jaguar consulted several distinguished Italian styling houses but eventually it was Bob Knight who created the initial shape of the XJ40, as the project was entitled. A number of styling clinics were held with the new designs alongside Jaguar's main rivals. The new designs had little difficulty in scoring more votes than Jaguar's competitors, but the hardest car to beat was the existing Series III and Jaguar learnt from these clinics how important were the traditional materials used inside Jaguars. The Americans were emphatic; the appeal of the Jaguars lay in handcrafted leather upholstery and walnut veneers - British craftsmanship made a Jaguar!
Bob Knight had retired at the beginning of the decade and Jim Randle took over responsibility for engineering, designing a completely new suspension for the car. Prototypes were built and tested in every extreme of climate over a total of 51/2 million miles. Launched in Europe in late 1986 and in the States in early '87, the new XJ6 met with widespread approval. Offered with the 3.6 litre AJ6 engine and, in Europe, a 2.9 litre version as well, the waiting lists were once more extended. The 3.6 had very lively performance and the new suspension gave superb levels of ride and roadholding.
Either 5-speed manual or automatic transmission could be ordered. The automatic had a novel gear selector, the brainchild of Jim Randle. The 'J' gate allowed the easy and rapid selection of gears for more lively motoring. Three model derivatives were offered - the XJ6, Sovereign and, top of the range, Daimler. The Series III was not to be completely dropped from the range continuing in V12 engined form for certain markets. It was appropriate that in the year that the new XJ6 appeared, John Egan was knighted for his vital contribution to Jaguar. An excellent ambassador, he had admirably filled the gap left by Sir William's retirement. For 1987 the TWR XJR-6 was considerably revised and re-named XJR-8. They were now stiffer, lighter, more powerful and had greater downforce to assist roadholding.
The changes were effective for the Jaguars won the first four rounds of the 1987 Championship. The next round was Le Mans and Southgate produced a body design specifically for the fast French circuit. Three XJR-8LM's, as they were entitled, were entered but luck was not on their side as a puncture and cracked cylinder head eliminated two of the cars and gearbox problems delayed the third. Round seven brought a first and third at Brands Hatch, and victory at the Nurburgring in Germany clinched the World Championship for Jaguar who went on to win eight out of the 10 races that year.
The following year the TWR team would be representing the company in the US IMSA series as well as the World Championships.
In May 1988, the XJ-S Cabriolet was replaced by a stylish full Convertible with a power-operated hood fully lined and insulated, which could be raised or lowered in 12 seconds. This hood was fitted with a solid, heated rear window as opposed to the usual flexible type. As usual with any new Jaguar, there were a great many orders placed immediately and supply struggled to keep pace with demand. The price for the beautiful Convertible was £36,000. For 1988 the sports racing car was further updated and became the XJR-9. The IMSA cars were sponsored by Castrol and finished in a very smart green, red and white livery, achieved victory at the first event, the Daytona 24 Hours; an excellent start to the season.
Meanwhile the World Championship team began with a second to the Sauber Mercedes at round one, followed by victories for team leaders, Martin Brundle and Eddie Cheever, at Jarama in Spain, Monza in Italy and Silverstone in England. The Porsches had been dominating Le Mans for several years. TWR countered in 1988 by entering no less than five new XJR-9LM's. Twenty-five minutes into the race, Dutchman Jan Lammers took the lead in one of the Jaguars. First one Porsche and then another took up the challenge, but to no avail. At half distance, Brundle was lying third in another Jaguar. After 24 hours of hard racing the XJR-9LM driven by Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace crossed the line to add another victory to the five Jaguar have achieved in the fifties. It was a moment to savour. The rest of the season went very well and Martin Brundle and Jaguar finished up, respectively, winners of the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships by an emphatic margin.
In 1989 the TWR Jaguars fared rather better in the IMSA series than the World Series. A pair of the new XJR-12s took the first two places in the classic Daytona event and victories followed at Tampa, Portland and Del Mar. Another new car was used for the last two events. The XJR-10 was not fitted with the familiar V12 engine but a twin-turbocharged V6. For some time the Jaguars had been struggling in the shorter distance events against cars powered by smaller but turbo-charged engines. They had the advantage that they could briefly turn up the turbo boost to increase power. Thus TWR developed the XJR-10 for sprint type events but continued to use the V12 engined XJR-12s for the long distance endurance races like Daytona and Le Mans.
In September 1989, Jaguar announced considerable enhancements to the XJ6 range. The fundamental change was an enlarging of the 3.6 litre AJ6 engine to 4 litres. This new 235 BHP engine would accept either leaded or unleaded petrol and gave a 14% improvement in torque. This was reflected in the 0-60 mph times reducing from 7.4 seconds to 7.1, and a top speed now of 140 mph for the manual model. For the 4.0 litre models, a new electronically controlled, programme switchable, 4-speed automatic transmission was developed to cope with the increased torque of the 3,980 cc, 24 valve power unit. A new Teves Anti-lock braking system was adopted for the 1990 models. Some significant changes were made to the interior. A new instrument pack was designed and featured conventional analogue main dials and minor gauges.
In introducing the new 4.0 litre, Sir John Egan stressed the extent of the changes which resulted in what he liked to describe as a 'world class car'. "I believe our latest 4.0 litre is essentially a new generation XJ6 - the effect of the changes is that fundamental. We have enjoyed great success with the XJ6 range since launch, but our mission is one of constant improvement. I think the 4.0 litre is evidence that we are succeeding in that mission, and it has been achieved by listening to customers and setting ourselves ever stiffer targets." It was as well that Jaguar had not rested on its laurels for the luxury car market was becoming an increasingly competitive one. Though the company had a fine range of products, the management increasingly realised that to meet the challenge of the nineties and beyond, it would be necessary to have the backing of one of the automotive giants behind the scenes. Without Jaguar losing its essential identity and relative autonomy, there were a myriad of minor, but important, ways in which a benevolent parent could assist.
The Jaguar Story now entered a totally new era. Since its flotation in 1984 Jaguar had achieved considerable success in the growth and development of its business. The demand for its cars had increased significantly and output increased accordingly. The profitability of the company funded substantial improvements to manufacturing and engineering facilities, and the establishment of a new £52 million product engineering centre at Whitley in Coventry. Plans to manufacture Jaguar's own body panels by the early 1990s through a joint venture with GKN led to the formation of Venture Pressings, and during 1988 another joint venture, JaguarSport, was formed to produce and market sporting versions of Jaguar's saloons and high performance sports cars, including the breathtaking XJ220 and the racing XJR-15.
Difficult trading conditions and adverse exchange rates latterly, however, led the Jaguar Board to recognise the potential value of collaboration with a world class car manufacturer.
Discussions took place with a number of major car companies, including Ford, to explore ways of broadening Jaguar's product range and achieving access to world class technology and components. Meetings with General Motors were held to explore the possibility of the two companies entering into certain manufacturing, marketing and other commercial joint venture arrangements. As part of these arrangements, General Motors was considering taking a minority interest in Jaguar. On 19 September 1989, however, Ford announced its intention to purchase up to 15 per cent of Jaguar's issued share capital, and on 16 October 1989, Ford advised the Jaguar Board that, with their support, it was prepared to make a full bid for the company. Later the same month on 31 October 1989, Mr Nicholas Ridley, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, announced in the House of Commons that he would consent to an amendment to Jaguar's Articles of Association removing restrictions which prevented anyone holding over 15 per cent of Jaguar's shares, once such an amendment had been approved by the shareholders. In short he was prepared to remove the 'Golden Share' constraint.
On 1 November 1989, Ford approached the Jaguar Board with a proposal which, after long discussion of the terms offered, led to agreement being reached. The agreed plans for Jaguar's future recognised the integrity of the Jaguar marques and stipulated that Jaguar was to remain a separate legal entity with a self-sustaining capital structure and its own Board of Directors. An Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders was held on 1 December 1989, when the Board's recommendation to accept Ford's offer was approved. It became unconditional seven days later, and Ford announced the closure of its offer on February 28, 1990, when application was made to remove Jaguar from the Stock Exchange list.
A Ford Transition Team spent three months preparing a report on Jaguar's operations, and during this period Ford executives were appointed to the main board. Towards the end of March, Sir John Egan announced he was to retire from Jaguar, and although he immediately relinquished the position of Chief Executive, he continued as non-executive Chairman until the end of June 1990. William J Hayden CBE, who had assumed the position of Chief Executive in March, took over as Chairman and Chief Executive with effect from July 1, 1990. Bill Hayden had vast experience in the British motor industry in which he had held a number of very senior positions. Commenting on his appointment, he said: "I believe in Jaguar, its products and its people. The skills, education and abilities of the employees are as good as any I've seen anywhere."
One of the ways in which Ford committed themselves to continue to build on Jaguar's heritage was by continuing the Coventry firm's participation in motor sport. The 1990 racing season could not have started better. Two XJR-12's were entered for the famous 24-hour Florida classic at Daytona. At the finish the leading Jaguar, driven by US star Davy Jones, Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace, was four laps ahead of the second Jaguar, which in turn was five laps up on the third placed Porsche. It was a superb victory and the first time for over 20 years that a team had finished in the top two positions. With an encouraging victory at Silverstone, the Jaguar racing team went to Le Mans in confident mood.
Four of the V12-engined long distance XJR-12's were entered against a strong field including 19 Porsches and 7 Nissans.
Jaguar's Team Management though was quite content to let the turbo-charged cars fight it out at the front in the early stages. The Nissans made the early running but gradually the faster cars destroyed themselves and the Jaguars moved up to take the lead. In the last hour the leading Jaguar held a one lap advantage and it looked as though they were going to finish in first and third positions when drama struck with just 15 minutes to go. The fastest Porsche had the misfortune to blow up its engine and so the Jaguars completed a memorable first and second at the world's most famous long distance race. It was the fortieth anniversary of the first appearance of Jaguar at Le Mans and the company's seventh victory.
The worldwide economic decline during 1990, which resulted in tougher market conditions particularly in the luxury car sector, meant reduced Jaguar sales in many markets. Despite the decline, however, the company did establish record sales in Germany, Italy and Japan during the year. Towards the end of 1990, a new hourly paid working agreement was reached, in which a versatility payment was included in return for new working practices, aimed at eliminating constraints on efficiency. Early in 1991 the workforce were also told, through a series of presentations, of future plans for the company during the final decade of the twentieth century. These plans had to address the immediate problems created by the continuing economic recession as well as providing the foundation for the long term future.
The objectives were centred on three fundamental issues; continual improvement of product quality, increased manufacturing efficiency and the development and implementation of an exciting new model programme. With sales showing no signs of recovery Jaguar was facing a critical situation. It would require a dramatic reduction in headcount to make the company more efficient and guarantee its survival. During 1991 early retirement and voluntary redundancy programmes were introduced which, by the end of the year, had reduced the workforce by a third; the total headcount was down to 8,000 employees. It was a period of great change that was however, not without its bright moments. Jaguar regained the World Sports Car Championship with the revolutionary XJR-14 totally dominating the series, which included the Le Mans 24-hour race in its calendar. Despite narrowly missing out on victory in this race, Jaguar recorded one of its greatest Le Mans results in 1991 with three V12 engined XJR-12's finishing second, third and fourth. Le Mans was also the time for nostalgic celebration. It was the fortieth anniversary of Jaguar's first victory there in 1951 with the legendary XK C-type. To commemorate the occasion a cavalcade of 20 original C-types drove from Browns Lane to Le Mans and completed three spectacular demonstration laps of the famous circuit prior to the start of the race.
Another Jaguar celebrating its anniversary that year was the E-type, which had been launched 30 years before at the Geneva motor show. The Jaguar marque clubs joined forces to hold a massive festival at the Donington Park race circuit, which brought together over 1,000 E-types from around the world. The gathering included 77RW, the first production roadster and HDU 555N, the very last V12 roadster. Having made its public debut as a concept car at the 1988 Motor Show the sensational XJ220 became a production reality during 1991. JaguarSport created a purpose built factory at Bloxham near Oxford for a limited production run of 350 cars. Even with a price tag of £400,000, options to purchase the 200 mph mid engined supercar were heavily over-subscribed. Following an intensive test and development programme final assembly began in early 1992 with the first cars being delivered in July.
Although no new mainstream production models were introduced during this period, there were many exciting new developments to enhance the product range. The most significant came in May 1991 with a substantial face-lift to the XJS range. The new cars incorporated body styling changes, a redesigned interior, improved feature and equipment levels and the adoption of the AJ6 4.0 litre engine in place of the 3.6 litre version in the six cylinder coupe. The styling changes were significant in scope yet subtle in character. Nearly 40% of the car's body panels were changed, including the boot, rear wings, doors, sills and coupe roof. The aim was to give a smoother and more contemporary look to the XJS whilst preserving the essential and enduring qualities of the original design.
The result was a tremendous success with both the motoring press and the public alike providing much needed new interest in the product. The following year the XJS range was further extended with the introduction of the 4.0 litre Convertible. The new model featured a driver's-side airbag, making Jaguar the first UK company to offer this facility, and the fitment of a stainless steel strut assembly under the front end of the car increasing torsional rigidity of the body shell by 25%.
Chairman and Chief Executive, William J Hayden CBE, retired from the company at the end of March 1992. He was succeeded by Nick Scheele, who had come to Jaguar at the beginning of the year as Vice Chairman. Bill's extensive manufacturing experience had enabled Jaguar to make significant quality and efficiency improvements during his two years at the helm and he handed over a much sounder company. When the company celebrated its seventieth birthday in September that year Nick Scheele made it clear that Jaguar would continue to build on its strengths, "Sir William Lyons believed in providing his customers with distinctive, exciting products which offered world class performance, ride and handling at a value for money price. These qualities are still at the heart of the company today. Our aim for the future is to remain true to that tradition and produce new products which are unmistakably Jaguar and are worthy of their heritage."
November 1992 saw the end of the line for two classic models, the Series III and the Daimler Limousine. The completion of the last Series III saloon brought to a close one of the longest chapters in Jaguar history - a production run that spanned 24 years and over 400,000 cars, which began with the XJ6 back in 1968. There were few cars that could compare with the majesty of the Daimler Limousine. Sadly, when the last car left the 'Limo' shop at Browns Lane, it ended a production run of 4,116 finished cars plus an additional 927 drive-away chassis, which had begun in April 1968. Although during 1993 there were no entirely new products launched, the company did put a lot of resource into improving and extending the current range. A new V12 saloon was the first addition to be announced. The new Jaguar XJ12 and Daimler Double Six featured a more powerful, refined and economical 6.0 litre version of the V12 engine providing 318 BHP and a new 4-speed electronic automatic transmission. Jaguar then announced extended wheelbase versions of the Jaguar Sovereign and Daimler saloons called Majestic. The Majestic saloons incorporated a 125 mm 'stretch' behind the centre pillar or 'b' post of the standard car, which provided a significant increase in rear legroom. Rear passenger headroom was also increased with a raised and redesigned roof.
The final additions to the saloon range were the XJ6 3.2S and 4.0S. These new cars were aimed at the younger driving enthusiast seeking a tauter handling car, sportier exterior and interior design, and a high level of equipment at a value for money price. These cars also featured the additional standard fitment of both driver and passenger airbags. Jaguar's developments in the area of occupant protection earned the XJ6 the title of 'The Safest Car In Britain' in a study carried out by the Department of Transport. The XJS range underwent significant changes in specification to strengthen its appeal and competitiveness. The main changes were the installation of the new 6.0 litre V12 engine, which provided startling improvements in performance, the 4-speed automatic transmission was also available on V12 models, the introduction of a 2+2 Convertible model and the fitment of new moulded bumpers and cast alloy wheels to give both coupe and convertible a more contemporary appearance.
During August 1993 Jaguar installed a new, £8.5 million, assembly line at the Browns Lane Plant. The new overhead mounted, doors off, single track assembly line replaced the former twin track saloon car production line which had been installed thirty years previous. The new state-of-the-art facility was installed in just 21 days and provided a further boost to quality control and efficiency at Browns Lane as well as a much better working environment for employees. By the end of the year all of Jaguar's assembly plants had gained registration to BS5750 and early in 1994 both Browns Lane and Castle Bromwich also achieved the coveted Ford Quality Standard - Q1.
In a constantly changing world Jaguar is always looking for opportunities to capitalise on new markets. During 1993 Jaguars went on sale in Russia and many of the new Eastern Block countries. In October, Nick Scheele signed an agreement with Inchcape Pacific as Jaguar's distributor for the whole of China, a country with tremendous opportunity for economic growth. Jaguar also made another appearance at Le Mans in 1993 with a team of three specially prepared XJ220C's, which competed in the new Grand Touring class. A month earlier the XJ220C had a dream debut at Silverstone when Win Percy won the BRDC National Sports GT Challenge race with ease. Things were a little tougher at Le Mans and by the early hours of Sunday morning only one Jaguar was left running. There was further drama when the remaining Jaguar of John Nielsen, David Brabham and David Coulthard lost 73 minutes as a result of a fuel leak. However once fixed the XJ220 steadily overtook Jurgen Barth's Porsche to regain the GT lead and take the chequered flag. The final irony of the race occurred several weeks later when the winning Jaguar was disqualified for an alleged technical infringement.
A new XJ Series made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in October 1994 and the launch of the new car dominated the year for Jaguar. The launch was even more remarkable as for the first time the company launched a new car, built to world class quality standards, simultaneously in every one of its markets around the globe. Code named X300 during its development, the new XJ Series represented an investment of over £200 million and was the first product programme to be delivered by Jaguar since its acquisition by Ford. The new car maintained the long heritage of engineering excellence and styling pedigree but combined this with world class manufacturing process management. The most striking aspect of the new range was the way traditional and modern styling cues were combined to produce an elegant new body design. Every external body panel was changed from the previous XJ models. Whilst the new sculpted bonnet shape and rear end styling evoked memories of the classic Series III saloons, the essential modernity of the design was emphasised by contemporary features such as colour keyed bumpers, a slimmer radiator grille and distinctive head and tail light treatment. Jaguar engineers made the new XJ Series quieter, smoother, more comfortable, faster yet more economical, safer, more secure and more reliable. The new 326 BHP supercharged 4.0 litre engine, a first for volume production luxury saloons, also ensured that the new XJ was more exciting and appealed to a new range of Jaguar customers. The car was a tremendous success and won accolades from Jaguar dealers, the press and customers around the world.
The year was rounded off in fine style when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honoured the company with a visit to the Browns Lane plant in December. It was the Queen's first visit to Jaguar since 1957 and it proved to be a memorable day. The Queen was delighted to meet so many Jaguar employees and displayed a keen interest in every aspect of the assembly process impressing everyone with her knowledge of car production. She also ordered a new 6.0 litre Daimler in British Racing Green.
Jaguar began 1995 with sales of the new XJ Series soaring to a five year high. In May the company announced two Celebration XJS models to commemorate 60 years of the legendary Jaguar marque. Jaguar's product range was further extended in June with the launch of long wheelbase versions of the XJ Series Saloon range. The new models incorporated a 5 inch (125 mm) stretch behind the centre pillar, providing significantly improved rear passenger comfort and space. The cars were designed to extend the appeal of the XJ Series saloon in all major markets worldwide, providing a springboard for further sales success. In July it was confirmed that the X200 programme, Jaguar's smaller, more affordable saloon car, would be built at the Castle Bromwich plant. The programme was approved by the Ford board after the UK government indicated that there would be a substantial grant towards the cost of the new project.
The limited edition model - only 100 were built - bore the Daimler hallmark fluted radiator grille. Based on the Daimler Double Six long wheelbase model, the Century was distinguished by chromed "Turbine" alloy wheels, chrome body side mouldings and discreet gold-on-black 'Century' badging. The interior featured supple Autolux leather; with the famous Daimler crested 'D' woven into each headrest.
A special 'Century' script was inlaid on the passenger side of the burr walnut dashboard, the theme continuing with a Daimler Century logo set into each of the sumptuous lambswool footwell rugs.
The year also saw the last XJS roll off the production line on 4 April, to be superseded by the new XK8 coupe and convertible models, which made their debut at the Geneva and New York Auto shows early in the year to critical acclaim. The powerful, flowing lines of XK8 evoke the great Jaguar sports car legends - the XK120, the C, D and E-types and more recently, the XJ220. XK8 is Jaguar's first new sports car for a generation, representing the latest step in Jaguar's long term product strategy. Building on Jaguar's heritage, XK8 delivers a unique blend of style, luxury, refinement and craftsmanship, while setting new standards in the sports car market for dynamic performance, advanced technology, quality and reliability. Jaguar engineers created a completely new body design and a new interior incorporating major feature and functional improvements. Advances in performance and economy over XJS provide best-in-class levels of performance feel and powertrain refinement. The XK8 also maintains Jaguar's reputation for best-in-class ride and handling balance with new suspension, steering and braking systems.
State-of-the-art multiplexed electronics support the comprehensive feature specification and provide world class reliability. The engineering process for XK8 drew heavily from industry best practice, to deliver the new car in just 30 months from programme approval. At the heart of the XK8 is an all-new, AJ-V8 engine. Designed and developed at Whitley, the 4.0 litre, 290bhp, 32-valve, quad cam V8 sets new standards of refined power for the Jaguar marque - high performance, smooth power delivery and exceptional refinement. The AJ-V8 engine is manufactured in an all-new £125 million, dedicated Jaguar facility, located within the Ford Engine Plant in Bridgend, South Wales. The Jaguar facility comprises a linked flow-line of computer numerically controlled machines with automated loading and assembly.
Final engine dress and assembly into cars is undertaken at Browns Lane. The AJ-V8, only the fourth Jaguar series production engine in the company's history, is coupled with Jaguar's first five-speed automatic transmission, which matches perfectly the engine's power and torque. The vehicle dynamics systems of the new XK8 are designed to enhance the legendary Jaguar driving experience. The model features a new braking system, electronically controlled variable ratio, speed proportional power steering and new twin wishbone front suspension. The rear suspension is a development of that fitted to the high performance Jaguar XJR sports saloon. Anti-roll bars are fitted front and rear.
XK8 incorporates an extensive range of safety features, including twin airbags and pyrotechnic seat-belt pre-tensioners, while the body structure has outstanding impact resistance, exceeding all crash legislation worldwide. From the time of its unveiling at the Geneva Show, when it won a "Best in Show" accolade, the XK8 has attracted awards and plaudits from around the world for its styling, beauty, performance, handling and even its sex appeal! At the same time, the strategies employed in building XK8 have resulted in awards for the Jaguar teams involved in manufacturing the new model.
The company won the Manufacturing Industry Achievement Awards "Manufacturer of the Year" award in 1996, and the "Manufacturing Excellence Awards" in 1997. The company celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding in 1997. The last V12 engined saloon was completed in April and the final in-line six cylinder engined saloon in June. By the mid 1990's the demand for V12 models had dwindled both in the USA and Europe. The increasingly powerful AJ-16 six-cylinder engine range, particularly in supercharged form - was delivering similar levels of refinement, but with far superior Fuel Economy.
The outgoing six cylinder saloon, launched in 1994, had been the first model of Jaguar's new era, signalling the quality renaissance of the company. The XJ Series had achieved unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction, equalling the best competitive standards. It has been replaced by the new V8 XJ Series, which builds on this success and is the latest step in Jaguar's long term product strategy. Subtle refinement of the saloon's lithe, elegant exterior signals extensive changes beneath the skin. The Jaguar AJ-V8 32-valve, alloy engine, first introduced in the XK8 has now been introduced in the XJ Series saloon in three forms - 3.2 and 4.0 litre normally aspirated, and an ultra high performance supercharged 4.0 litre, all mated to five speed automatic transmissions.
Over 30 per cent of the body structure is new or modified for enhanced quality, durability and structural performance. Torsional stiffness, a key determinant of bodyshell refinement is also improved, placing Jaguar among the leaders. The softer shapes of the new bumpers and new front grille complement the sculpted surfaces of the sheet metal. All exterior lamps incorporate the latest complex surface reflector technology, combining a 10 per cent increase in headlamp output with a sparkling "jewel-like" appearance. The interior of the V8 XJ Series is a contemporary evolution of Jaguar's styling 'signature', where traditional materials and expert craftsmanship are thoughtfully blended with high technology. Occupant comfort, ergonomics and legroom are improved, while safety is enhanced through new front seat-mounted side airbags and front seat belt pre-tensioners. The bodyshell has also been strengthened to meet the latest worldwide safety regulations. The vehicle dynamics systems of the new V8 XJ Series are redesigned to enhance the legendary Jaguar driving experience. Where possible, the chassis systems of the XK8 sports car were adapted to the requirements of the new V8 saloons. The extensive changes include a new front suspension, the latest generation Teves Mk XX braking system, stability and Traction Control, variable ratio speed proportional power steering, drive-by-wire throttle management and retuned rear suspension. The new on centreline differential and two-piece propshaft reduce noise and vibration. Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) introduced on XK8, is standard fitment on supercharged saloon models to provide a unique combination of sports handling and limousine comfort.
All models are fitted with Pirelli tyres and alloy wheels. The result is a fully optimised vehicle dynamics package of wheel, tyre and suspension changes tailored for each individual model in the new V8 XJ Series range. The new V8 XJ Series features the same advanced electronics design principles as XK8, to support the comprehensive feature specification, as well as providing world-class reliability. The system incorporates multiplex harnessing, a Controller Area Network for all drivetrain functions and a Standard Corporate Protocol for body systems. Multiplexing enables the vehicle's electronic modules to intercommunicate quickly and share information. It also reduces the number and length of wires for improved reliability and packaging.
The same principles as those used in the XK8 product development process were employed, delivering the new saloon range in just 28 months from programme approval. A minimum of 80 per cent by weight of each new Jaguar is recyclable. Care for the environment is a major priority for Jaguar engineers and the new saloons and sports cars reflect the company's ongoing commitment to an environmentally benevolent strategy. All XK8 and V8 XJ Series bodies are painted at Castle Bromwich, using waterborne paint systems, which cut basecoat solvent emissions by 85 per cent. By the end of 1997, Jaguar's three sites at Browns Lane, Whitley and Castle Bromwich had achieved the stringent QS9000 quality standard. Furthermore, Jaguar had become the first Vehicle Operations company world-wide to achieve the coveted FTPM Checkpoint D - Ford's Total Productive Maintenance Award - in recognition of the company's adherence to the philosophy of zero accidents, zero equipment downtime, zero rejects and zero waste.
Fittingly, in the year when the company celebrated its 75th anniversary, a major expansion of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust was announced during October. The development will form a lasting memorial to Jaguar's founder, Sir William Lyons. At the heart of the development will be a new, £1 million world headquarters and museum for the Trust at Browns Lane. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust has the responsibility for preserving a unique and historic collection of vehicles, which graphically trace the lineage of Jaguar and its associated marques back to the very start of the motor industry in the United Kingdom.
Early in 1998, Jaguar announced that the mid-sized S-Type sports saloon, (codenamed X200), will make its world debut at the Birmingham International Motor Show in October. The S-Type will be in full production by 1999 and will ensure that Jaguar will enter the new millennium with record levels of production and the broadest product range in the company's history. The company also announced plans for a new, smaller saloon. Codenamed X400, the car will compete in the C/D sector of the market and will be built at Halewood on Merseyside - which will become a Jaguar plant by the time of the new car's launch in 2001. Announcing the decision, Nick Scheele commented: "This is excellent news for Jaguar. Over the course of the next four years, we will progress from being a company with just two model lines, selling 45,000 cars a year, to being a full-line, four model premium vehicle manufacturer, producing 200,000 vehicles each year".
1996 - 2000
Having been associated with Daimler since 1960, Jaguar has always been proud that its most luxurious flagship models have been designated 'Daimler.' During 1996 the motor industry celebrated the centenary of motoring and Jaguar was delighted to mark a family birthday by producing a special commemorative 'Daimler Century' model to celebrate the centenary of the Daimler Motor Company of Coventry: the oldest surviving British car marque. The limited edition model (only 100 were built) bore the Daimler hallmark fluted radiator grille. Based on the Daimler Double Six long wheelbase model, the Century was distinguished by chromed Turbine alloy wheels, chrome body side moldings and gold-on-black Century badging. The interior featured supple Autolux leather, with the famous Daimler crested 'D' woven into each headrest. A special Century script was inlaid on the passenger side of the Burl Walnut dashboard, the theme continuing with a Daimler Century logo set into each of the sumptuous lambswool footwell rugs.
The Last XJS Rolls Off the Line
The year also saw the last XJS roll off the production line on April 4, to be superseded by the new XK8 coupe and convertible models, which made their debut at the Geneva and New York Auto Shows early in the year to critical acclaim. The powerful, flowing lines of XK8 evoke the great Jaguar sports car legends - the XK120, the C, D and E-types and more recently, the XJ220. XK8 is Jaguar's first new sports car for a generation, representing the latest step in Jaguar's long term product strategy. Building on Jaguar's heritage, XK8 delivers a unique blend of style, luxury, refinement and craftsmanship, while setting new standards in the sports car market for dynamic performance, advanced technology, quality and reliability.
The New XK8 Coupe and Convertible
Jaguar engineers created a completely new body design and a new interior incorporating major feature and functional improvements. Advances in performance and economy over XJS provide best-in-class levels of performance feel and powertrain refinement. The XK8 also maintains Jaguar's reputation for best-in-class ride and handling balance with new suspension, steering and braking systems. State-of-the-art multiplexed electronics support the comprehensive feature specification and provide world-class reliability. The engineering process for XK8 drew heavily from industry best practice, to deliver the new car in just 30 months from program approval.
At the heart of the XK8 is an all-new, AJ-V8 engine. Designed and developed at Whitley, the 4.0-litre, 290-hp, 32-valve, quad cam V8 sets new standards of refined power for the Jaguar marque: high performance, smooth power delivery and exceptional refinement. The AJ-V8 engine is manufactured in a dedicated Jaguar facility located within the Ford Engine Plant in Bridgend, South Wales. The Jaguar facility comprises a linked flow-line of computer numerically controlled machines with automated loading and assembly. Final engine dress and assembly into cars is undertaken at Browns Lane. The AJ-V8, only the fourth Jaguar series production engine in the company's history, is coupled with Jaguar's first five-speed automatic transmission, which matches perfectly the engine's power and torque.
"Best in Show" at Geneva Auto Show
The vehicle dynamics systems of the new XK8 are designed to enhance the legendary Jaguar driving experience. The model features a new braking system, electronically controlled variable ratio, speed proportional power steering and new twin wishbone front suspension. The rear suspension is a development of that fitted to the high performance Jaguar XJR sports sedan. From the time of its unveiling at the Geneva Show, when it won a "Best in Show" accolade, the XK8 has attracted awards and plaudits from around the world for its styling, beauty, performance, handling and sex appeal. At the same time, the strategies employed in building XK8 have resulted in awards for the Jaguar teams involved in manufacturing the new model. The company won the Manufacturing Industry Achievement Awards "Manufacturer of the Year" award in 1996, and the "Manufacturing Excellence Awards" in 1997. Advanced technology features added since XK launch provide major enhancements in driving comfort and convenience. For 2000 model year Jaguar's new Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) employs radar technology to keep a set distance from the vehicle in front, while Jaguar's DVD-based navigation system delivers highly accurate and virtually instantaneous positional information.
Jaguar Celebrates 75 Years
The company celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding in 1997. The last V12 engined sedan was completed in April and the final in-line six cylinder engined sedan in June. By the mid 1990s the demand for V12 models had dwindled both in the USA and Europe. The increasingly powerful AJ,16 six-cylinder engine range, particularly in supercharged form, was delivering similar levels of refinement, but with far superior Fuel Economy. The outgoing six cylinder sedan, launched in 1994, had been the first model of Jaguar's new era, signalling the quality renaissance of the company.
Jaguar's Quality Renaissance
The XJ Series had achieved unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction, equalling the best competitive standards. It has been replaced by the new V8 XJ Series, which builds on this success and is the latest step in Jaguar's long term product strategy.
Subtle refinement of the sedan's lithe, elegant exterior signals extensive changes beneath the skin. The Jaguar AJ-V8 32-valve, alloy engine, first introduced in the XK8 has now been introduced in the XJ Series sedan in three forms: 3.2- and 4.0-litre normally aspirated, and an ultra high performance supercharged 4.0 -litre, all mated to five speed automatic transmissions. Over 30 percent of the body structure is new or modified for enhanced quality, durability and structural performance. Torsional stiffness, a key determinant of bodyshell refinement is also improved, placing Jaguar among the leaders. The softer shapes of the new bumpers and new front grille complement the sculpted surfaces of the sheet metal. All exterior lamps incorporate the latest complex surface reflector technology, combining a 10 percent increase in headlamp output with a sparkling "jewel-like" appearance.
The interior of the V8 XJ Series is a contemporary evolution of Jaguar's styling signature, where traditional materials and expert craftsmanship are thoughtfully blended with high technology. Occupant comfort, ergonomics and legroom are improved, while safety is enhanced through new front seat-mounted side airbags and front seat belt pre-tensioners. The bodyshell has also been strengthened to meet the latest worldwide safety regulations. The vehicle dynamics systems of the new V8 XJ Series are redesigned to enhance the legendary Jaguar driving experience. Where possible, the chassis systems of the XK8 sports car were adapted to the requirements of the new V8 sedans. The extensive changes include a new front suspension, the latest generation Teves Mk braking system, stability and Traction Control, variable ratio speed proportional power steering, drive-by-wire throttle management and retuned rear suspension. The new on-centreline differential and two-piece propshaft reduce noise and vibration.
Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS, introduced on XK8, is standard fitment on supercharged sedan models to provide a unique combination of sports handling and limousine comfort. All models are fitted with Pirelli tires and alloy wheels. The result is a fully optimized vehicle dynamics package of wheel, tire and suspension changes tailored for each individual model in the new V8 XJ Series range. The new V8 XJ Series features the same advanced electronics design principles as XK8, to support the comprehensive feature specification, as well as providing world-class reliability. The system incorporates multiplex harnessing, a Controller Area Network for all drivetrain functions and a Standard Corporate Protocol for body systems. Multiplexing enables the vehicle's electronic modules to intercommunicate quickly and share information. It also reduces the number and length of wires for improved reliability and packaging. The same principles as those used in the XK8 product development process were employed, delivering the new saloon range in just 28 months from programme approval. A minimum of 80 percent by weight of each new Jaguar is recyclable.
A Commitment to the Environment
Care for the environment is a major priority for Jaguar engineers and the new sedans and sports cars reflect the company's ongoing commitment to an environmentally benevolent strategy. All XK8 and V8 XJ Series bodies are painted at Castle Bromwich, using waterborne paint systems, which cut basecoat solvent emissions by 85 percent. By the end of 1997, Jaguar's three sites at Browns Lane, Whitley and Castle Bromwich had achieved the stringent QS9000 quality standard. Furthermore, Jaguar had become the first Vehicle Operations company world-wide within Ford to achieve the coveted FTPM Checkpoint D, Ford's Total Productive Maintenance Award, in recognition of the company's adherence to the philosophy of zero accidents, zero equipment downtime, zero rejects and zero waste.
New Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Centre
Fittingly, in the year when the company celebrated its 75th anniversary, the development of a new facility for the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust was announced. The new JDHT centre, situated at Browns Lane, was officially opened in September 1998, forming a world headquarters and museum for the Trust as well as a lasting memorial to Jaguar's founder, Sir William Lyons. The Trust has the responsibility for preserving a unique collection of vehicles ranging from the oldest surviving Daimler, built in 1897, to the prototype of the XJ220. The collection in the heritage centre traces the lineage of Jaguar and its associated marques back to the very start of the motor industry in the United Kingdom, with many of the cars on permanent display. The centre has a gallery displaying the world's most comprehensive collection of art devoted to Jaguar and its products. It also houses an archive of historic company records and a photographic collection of over 100,000 negatives and images.
The XK180 Concept at the 1998 Paris Motor Show
At the Paris Motor Show in October 1998 Jaguar unveiled a new vision of the classic roadster. Fifty years after the company launched the XK engine and the XK120 sports car, the XK180 concept car was created to showcase the skills and talents of Jaguar designers, craftsmen and engineers. Inspired by the great Jaguar roadsters of the nineteen fifties and sixties, the Jaguar XK180 was hand-built in the company's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) workshops at Browns Lane. Although not intended for production, the concept car was based on a shortened version of the supercharged XKR convertible. The all-new bodywork, hand-made in aluminium, followed a styling theme combining influences from past Jaguars with completely modern styling. The AJ-V8 power unit was modified to produce 450 horsepower and the brakes, wheels and suspension were upgraded to match the engine's performance.
The XK180 was styled by Keith Helfet under the eye of Jaguar's late director of styling, Geoff Lawson. Helfet's brief was to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the XK series and he drew influences from a range of XK-powered machines, most notably the D-Type. The result combines echoes of past racing Jaguars, in the shape of its rounded nose and the headrests behind the seats, and such unique forms as the 'double-bubble' windscreen. The detailed attention paid to the car's mechanical specification underscored Jaguar's philosophy that concept cars should not be just static showpieces but fully engineered vehicles. Many of the engineering features incorporated into XK180 were road and track tested on a fully instrumented engineering prototype.
The S-TYPE Debuts at the Birmingham International Motor Show
Also in October 1998, Jaguar's most eagerly awaited new model for decades, the S-TYPE sports sedan, made its world debut at the Birmingham International Motor Show. The S-TYPE, designed and developed at Jaguar's Engineering Centre at Whitley and built at the company's Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham went on sale in March 1999. The S-TYPE was conceived as an all-new, more affordable, compact, luxury sports saloon to complement and extend Jaguar's existing range. Positioned below the XJ Series sedan range in both size and price, the S-TYPE ably represents the company's core marque values of distinctive style, refined power, agile handling, supple ride and luxurious comfort. While S-TYPE's instantly recognizable styling signature evokes the spirit of its acclaimed antecedents, the Mark 2 and original S-TYPE sedans, advanced technologies set new standards in terms of durability, quality, reliability, customer convenience and driving pleasure.
The S-TYPE comes with either a 30-litre V6 or a 4.0-litre V8 engine. The high output 3.0-litre V6 engine, the company's first-ever production V6 engine, shares many design features with the larger V8, including combustion system, cooling system, cylinder head and valve gear was designed especially for S-TYPE. The 4.0-litre V8 engine is similar to that fitted to the Jaguar XJ sedan and XK8 sports models, further refined for its S-TYPE application. These refined powerful engines are allied to a chassis which combines outstanding ride comfort with poised agile handling. S-TYPE also features new five-speed manual (3.0 litre) and five-speed automatic (3.0 litre and 4.0 litre) transmissions along with a new double wishbone suspension providing traditional Jaguar refinement but with a distinctly dynamic character. A number of innovative technologies are also employed in the S-TYPE including, for the first time on a production car, voice activated controls of all primary audio, phone and climate control functions, providing safe, hands-free operation.
Throughout S-TYPE's design and development, Jaguar employed a cross-functional team of highly qualified engineers with international design and manufacturing experience. The flair and ingenuity of Jaguar engineers, so effectively executed on the XK8 sports car and V8 XJ Series sedan were applied to S-TYPE, particularly in the areas of powertrain, ride and handling, refinement, styling and interior ambience. In addition, Jaguar engineers employed innovative design methodologies and simulation techniques to ensure the achievement of all functional and quality targets. The development of Castle Bromwich to accommodate S-TYPE production represented one of the largest inner city investments in the UK in 50 years, and the largest brown-field site development in Europe. The S-TYPE represents the first stage of a dramatic product-led expansion for Jaguar attracting a new generation of customers to the Jaguar marque.
Jaguar Achieves ISO 14001 Certification
At the same time that S-TYPE made its debut; Jaguar celebrated achieving certification to ISO 14001, the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems, across all its operations. The drive for ISO 14001 helped to establish a programme of progressive environmental performance improvements throughout the company. The program encompassed existing initiatives such as energy and waste management, recycling and product design, while environmental awareness training programs were designed to emphasize individual employee responsibility for environmental aspects of their everyday work. A new long term strategy began to emerge, which gave environmental issues equal standing to quality and safety in influencing market competitiveness and purchasing behaviour. Jaguar wanted to enhance its reputation for quality products through an energetic approach to environmental management, involving all of its people.
Jaguar Begins to Sponsor Conservation Efforts
As part of the company's environmental strategy, in March 1999 Jaguar announced that it was to sponsor a unique conservation project at Chester Zoo in the North West of England. A contribution of $3 million over a three year period would enable the zoo to build a state-of-the-art rainforest exhibit and breeding environment for the rare and endangered Jaguar cat - which for over 60 years has been the company's corporate symbol. Chester Zoo, which attracts over 1 million visitors and over 70,000 students each year, plans to have the new conservation centre completed by 2001.
Throughout 1999, Jaguar continued to work hard to reduce its environmental impacts, in the belief that continued participation in world luxury car markets is consistent with its responsibility to the environment and future generations. Jaguar's efforts were acknowledged in August 1999, when it was awarded with the National Crystal trophy in the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice. The company was praised for having made enormous strides which embrace most areas of its operations, from the paint shop, through transportation and logistics, to packaging and energy conservation.
Jaguar Chairman and CEO Nick Scheele Appointed Chairman, Ford of Europe
In April 1999 Nick Scheele, Chairman and Chief Executive, was appointed Chairman, Ford of Europe. In his seven years with Jaguar he had helped transform the company's performance. Under his leadership, Jaguar regained its rightful place as one of the top marques worldwide in terms of brand image, product quality and customer satisfaction. At the same time as Nick Scheele's departure was announced, it was confirmed that Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, would become Group Vice President of Ford's newly formed Premier Automotive Group and Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd. Dr. Reitzle brought his worldwide automotive experience in the premium segment and an appreciation of classic marques to this newly formed group of companies. The Premier Automotive Group, consisting of the powerful brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lincoln and Volvo, was formed to bring specialist focus to each company in the group. The main objectives of the group are to develop strategies to leverage and grow these premium brands whilst preserving the diversity of each company's vehicles in terms of customer appeal and cultural heritage. Shortly after his own appointment Dr. Reitzle confirmed Jonathan Browning as the new Managing Director of Jaguar Cars. At the same time Dr. Reitzle confirmed Mike Beasley as Executive Director responsible for Manufacturing and Engineering.
Jaguar Enters the FIA Formula One World Championship
In October 1999 Jaguar announced its intention to enter the FIA Formula One World Championship. The announcement was made at the Frankfurt Motor Show by Dr. Reitzle. The decision to enter Formula One came after Ford purchased the Stewart-Ford Formula One team in June of 1999 and the team was renamed Jaguar Racing.
Jaguar's long and distinguished record in motor sport clearly pinpointed the company as a natural and logical challenger in Formula One. Over a fifty year period Jaguar has won Le Mans seven times, the world sports car championship twice, as well as winning the Monte Carlo Rally and countless other events. Trevor Crisp, Jaguar's Group Chief Engineer for power train engineering was appointed Managing Director of Cosworth Racing, heading up the Formula One engine development programme at the company, where Jaguar's racing engines will be designed, developed and built.
On the day Jaguar announced its arrival in Formula One, it also confirmed that Eddie Irvine would join the team for the 2000 season. Irvine joined from Ferrari where he enjoyed his most successful Formula One season in 1999 with victories in the Australian, Austrian and German Grand Prix and second places in Monaco and Great Britain. Jaguar Racing also confirmed that Johnny Herbert, who drove for the Stewart-Ford team in 1999, would partner Irvine for the 2000 season. Jaguar Racing held a launch for the new racing car, the Jaguar R1, at a ceremony in London, in January 2000.
The F-TYPE Concept Roadster
Also in January 2000, Jaguar's F-TYPE concept roadster was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Inspired by the XK180, Jaguar designers set out to create the ideal, compact Jaguar roadster, evoking the spirit of the legendary E-type. The F-TYPE concept is the most compact Jaguar sports car in more than forty years. Design work commenced under the direction of the late Geoff Lawson, Jaguar's Director of Styling, who sadly died in June 1999. The project was completed under the aegis of the new Director of Design, Ian Callum, who sees the F-TYPE concept as a tribute to Geoff Lawson.
Jaguar Announces Plans for a Smaller Sedan
In February 1998 Jaguar had announced plans for a new, smaller sedan, which will compete in the Premier C/D sector of the market. Codenamed X400, this new model would be built at Halewood on Merseyside, which became a fully operational Jaguar plant and launched as the X-TYPE in 2001. By the time of the car's launch, Jaguar had progressed from a company with just two model lines, selling 50,000 cars a year in 1998, to a full-line, four model, premium vehicle manufacturer.
Ford's Halewood Plant Transforms to Support X-TYPE Production
The Halewood plant was built in 1962 and built its last Ford Escort in June 2000. The plant underwent a massive transformation with the installation of new manufacturing facilities to support X-TYPE production. Jaguar assumed management responsibility for the plant in October 1999. In order to prepare for the new model a Jaguar transition team moved to the plant to begin the process of re-engineering the existing culture and processes in line with Jaguar's quality expectations. Centres of Excellence were set up in key areas right across the organisation to drive the quality operating principles and lean manufacturing techniques required to produce the new car. Shopfloor workers were organised in smaller, leaner autonomous workgroups and encouraged to contribute their own ideas in order to improve the way they work. Employees also underwent intensive training programmes learning the new "Halewood Values" in order to help create a productive working environment capable of producing one of the world's best luxury cars.
Looking Forward to the New Millennium
Jaguar entered the new millennium with record levels of sales and production, and with the broadest range of products in its history. The entire organization underwent a massive transformation during the 1990s. With an internationally strong brand image and exciting plans for the future, Jaguar is now one of the world's pre-eminent premium vehicle manufacturers.
2000 - 2004
The new millennium dawned with Jaguar entering Formula 1, an event that was celebrated by the creation of the 'Silverstone' special edition of the XK8. Based on the supercharged XKR version of the XK8, the Silverstone was strictly oriented toward performance, with 20-inch alloy wheels shod with Pirelli's P-Zero tyres and Brembo 4-piston brakes with aluminium calipers. The car was equipped with Jaguar's CATS (Computer Advanced Technology Suspension) system and a special handling pack developed by the company's SVO (Special Vehicles Operation) department. Originally, just 100 cars were planned, 50 coupes and 50 convertibles, which would be sold in Europe.
The cars proved so successful, however, that a further production run of 500 cars was set up to provide for the demand from the United States and the rest of the world. Naturally, in view of the model's name, all 600 cars were painted in Platinum Silver.
The Silverstone model foreshadowed a new range of performance options, the R range, which became available as options on production cars later in the year. The options included wheels, uprated brakes and handling packs specifically tailored to the XJR and XKR. The R options were developed by the Special Vehicle Operations department, which had built the XK 180.
New Lawson Design Studio at Whitley Engineering Centre
In mid-2000 the company inaugurated a new advanced styling studio, named in honour of Geoff Lawson, the director of design who had died suddenly in June 1999. The purpose of the Lawson studio, located at the Whitley engineering centre and under the direction of Design Director Ian Callum, is to look beyond the immediate future and to explore new design concepts and market niches that could be realities for Jaguar's future. The head of the studio, Julian Thomson, summed up its purpose by saying: "Our job is to say 'What if?'"
Introducing the X-TYPE
As 2000 came towards its end, first details were made public of the car that had so far only been known under its codename of 'X400.' The X-TYPE, as it would be known, would go on sale in 2001 and was planned to double Jaguar's sales in its first year. The eagerly-awaited 'small Jaguar' would be a four-door sedan, powered by 2.5 and 3.0-litre V6 engines driving all four wheels. The minimal information that was released created enormous interest world-wide and much anticipation of the car's unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in 2001.
New Web Site Launched
Late in 2000, Jaguar introduced a new web site that enabled customers to see the complete range and to specify a car on-line. With access to all the available colours and options, the customer could view a 'virtual' car specified exactly to their personal taste. Research had shown that more and more potential customers for luxury cars were using the internet to research car purchases and the new site, www.jaguar.com, was a powerful selling tool.
2001 Geneva International Motor Show
February of 2001 saw the unveiling of the X-TYPE at the Geneva International Motor Show. The car was the highlight of the show, for although basic details had been released ahead of the launch, so that testing of undisguised cars could be carried out without the fear of spy photographers, this was the first public showing. The appearance at the show and subsequent press road tests confirmed the fact that despite its size, this was a true Jaguar. The elegant and restrained styling carried over sufficient 'Jaguarness' to make the car instantly recognizable, and the interior trim maintained all the quality and comfort that had made the marque's reputation.
Jaguar's First All-Wheel Drive System: Traction 4
Technically, the X-TYPE was notable for its all-wheel drive system, which split the drive 40/60 per cent between the front and rear wheels through a viscous coupling. It was the first all-wheel drive system fitted to a production Jaguar, and as such it reflected Jaguar's engineering knowledge and experience. Among the unique features of the Traction 4 system, as it was known, was a unique two-bearing top strut mount for the front suspension. Combined with ZF speed-sensitive power steering, the new design set new standards for all-wheel drive cars.
2.5-Litre and 3.0-Litre V6 Engines
The engines for the X-TYPE
were lightweight 4-cam V6 power units of 2.5 and 3.0 litre capacity that offered best-in-class specific power. Specially developed by Jaguar engineers to measure up to the high standards expected of the company that had created their legendary XK and V12 precursors, the new engines had continuously-variable cam-phasing, a variable-geometry air intake and a patented precision low-volume, high-velocity, cooling system.
Designed to appeal to a wider, younger client base, the X-TYPE range started with the 2.5-litre V6, producing 194 horsepower, and was topped by the 3.0-litre Sport, with 227 horsepower. After an excellent reception in Geneva and by the press, the X-TYPE went on sale in May in Britain with other markets following soon after. The on-sale date followed closely upon the official inauguration of the Halewood plant, which had successfully been converted not only to Jaguar standards of quality and reliability, but also to the special mindset of pride in the product that identifies all Jaguar production facilities.
1,500,000th XJ8 Rolls Off Production Line
That pride was clearly evident in July, when the 1.5 millionth Jaguar, an XJ8 sedan, came off the production line at Jaguar's oldest-established factory, Brown's Lane in Coventry. It had taken almost sixty years since the company was established for the production total to reach this landmark figure, but production was expanding at such a rate that 1.5 million should be doubled within less than ten years.
The R Coupe Concept at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show
The Frankfurt Motor Show in September saw the first example of the work of the Geoff Lawson advanced design studio, a muscular coupe designed to show possible future design trends and to gauge the public's response to these trends. Called the R-Coupe, the two-door four-seater featured paddle-type gear-changing, headlights that follow the steering, electronic door releases and a voice-control system for a range of accessories. This last feature continued to develop a system introduced in production Jaguars in the S-TYPE. The R-Coupe was not intended for production, enabling it to showcase less than practical but superbly stylish features including silver-plated interior detail and leather floor-covering.
Mike Beasley Named Managing Director
At the end of October, 2001, Jonathan Browning resigned as managing director and was succeeded by Mike Beasley, the man who had guided Jaguar manufacturing since the days of privatization. In a move designed to maximize the synergies of the three British luxury marques within the Premier Automotive Group, an operating committee was set up to oversee the activities of Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover. The CEO of Land Rover, Bob Dover, who during his days at Jaguar had been responsible for the XK8 project, was made its chairman.
The S-TYPE Range Expands
December 2001 marked the announcement of an important development in the S-TYPE range, which underwent major modifications to its chassis, including all new front and modified rear suspension. The body was lightened and stiffened, and for the first time there was an R performance version of the car. The S-TYPE was now available with an enlarged version of the XK8 engine, with a capacity of 4.2 litres. The R version was equipped with a supercharger, and in this form the engine delivered no less than 390 horsepower, making the S-TYPE R the fastest Jaguar sedan at the time. A new introduction on the 4.2-litre models was an electronic parking brake, operated by a button on the dash rather than a floor-mounted lever. Total production for 2001 exceeded 100,000 cars, a landmark for the company. The extended X-TYPE range and the improved S-TYPE made an improvement on that figure for 2002 a target that could be attacked with confidence.
The Jaguar Heritage Collection
2002 opened with the announcement that Jaguar was to establish a collection of important historic cars, on the same lines to that held by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, in the United States. To be called the Jaguar Heritage Collection, it would have the purpose of building a collection of cars relevant to Jaguar's development in its largest export market. The cars would act as a reminder of Jaguar's heritage and would be available to Jaguar dealers in North America for exhibition purposes.
Mark Fields Named New CEO of Premiere Automotive Group
In April, Dr Wolfgang Reitzle resigned his post as CEO of Premier Automotive Group to take up a leading post in German industry. The new CEO of the group was Mark Fields, previously head of Mazda Motors Corporation.
The All-New XJ Unveiled at the 2002 Paris Motor Show
The Paris Motor Show, held in September, marked the unveiling of a completely new and technically advanced saloon range that replaced the existing XJ8. Developed under the project name of X350, the new XJ is a major step forward not only for Jaguar but also for the automobile industry, the first series-production car to use aluminium for the majority of its body components.
The XJ's Use of Aluminium
Aluminium is a material that poses unique problems to the engineers, but offers unique advantages to the driver and owner. Jaguar's engineers were determined to overcome the problems they faced in order to create a car that would fully utilise twenty-first century technology. The body structure features the first use in the industry of rivet-bonded joining technology, with self-pierce rivets and aerospace-sourced epoxy adhesive joining together the aluminium pressings, castings and extrusions. The extensive use of aluminium made the new XJ up to 200 kg lighter than the model it replaced, despite the fact that the new car was longer, taller and wider than its predecessor, offering improved headroom, legroom and shoulder-room for all the occupants. In addition to being 40% lighter than that of the previous XJ, the bodyshell of the new car is 10-15% stiffer, offering valuable improvements in body strength and driveability.
The All-New XJ: Stronger, Faster, Safer, Smarter
The new car is powered by the existing 4.2-litre V8 engine, in both supercharged and normally-aspirated forms. In addition there are versions powered by a new 3.5-litre V8 and a 3.0-litre V6. All engines drive through a six-speed automatic transmission. Self-leveling air suspension is another innovation, and is standard on all models in combination with the CATS system. The car features a wide range of electronic technologies, including Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert, and Jaguar's Adaptive Restraint System, previously introduced on the XK8, which adapts the deployment of the passenger airbags in relation to the size and position of the passenger.
The new car's styling clearly shows its Jaguar DNA. Designed to be a luxury car, with the gravitas that implies, its proportions and stance, together with its obvious dynamic quality, give it real presence on the road. The 'aluminium XJ' is the seventh generation of Jaguar to carry the XJ badge. The first was in 1968. By the time the new car went on sale, in the spring of 2003, some 800,000 XJ's had been produced.
X-TYPE Celebrates 100,000 Sales
It is interesting to note that as the new big sedan was being released into showrooms, the X-TYPE was celebrating its first 100,000 sales.
New Rail Terminal at Castle Bromwich
In March of 2003, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, inaugurated a new rail terminal at the Castle Bromwich factory. The new railhead would serve as a loading-point for cars for export and would take a large amount of traffic off Britain's overloaded road system.
Mike Wright Named Managing Director of Jaguar
In Mid-2003 Mike Beasley retired from his position as managing director and was replaced by Mike Wright. Mike Beasley joined Jaguar in 1974 as director of product and plant engineering. He was successively promoted to become plant director, director of Manufacturing, and in 1999 executive director Manufacturing and Engineering. He was appointed managing director in October 2001.
Jaguar's First-Ever Diesel-Powered Cars
In June 2003 a joint announcement between Jaguar's parent, Ford, and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen released details of two new diesel engines that would provide Jaguar with its first-ever diesel-powered cars. Designed by teams from the American and French companies working together, the two new engines were a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, to be offered as an alternative to the 2.0-litre gas engine in the X-TYPE, and a 2.7-litre turbocharged V6 that would be introduced into the S-TYPE range in 2004.
Both engines utilise the latest common-rail diesel technology and were specially developed to satisfy the needs of luxury car buyers, with low noise levels and smooth performance. The smoothness, high torque and modest fuel consumption of modern diesels have made them big sellers in Europe, and Jaguar's expansion into a wider market made a diesel option an important element in the company's range.
Introducing the JP1 Sport Racing Car
The summer of 2003 saw a new performance car with a Jaguar engine at its heart. Former racing driver turned motor sport entrepreneur Jonathan Palmer introduced the JP1, a sports racing car designed to give normal drivers the feel of driving a real competition car on a closed track. Designed in the style of a Le Mans-type sports racing car, the JP1 is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 similar to that used in the X-TYPE. The engine has been modified by Cosworth, the company that provides Jaguar's Formula 1 engines, to give more power and increased torque. The JP1 is a mid-engine rear-drive car with a racing-style six-speed sequential gearbox. It has fully-adjustable racing suspension mounted on a chassis built of steel tubing and covered with fibreglass body panels. Weighing just 650 kg, the JP1 can accelerate from zero to sixty miles an hour in just 3.6 seconds. A pure racing car, the JP1 was designed strictly for track use at Jonathan Palmer's Autodrome facility near the town of Bedford, where enthusiasts are able to sample high performance cars under controlled conditions.
New Testing Facility Opens at the Nürburgring in Germany
While the JP1's were being deployed on the private track, Jaguar was opening its own facility at one of the most famous racing circuits in the world, the Nürburgring in Germany. Although the 14.2-mile track is no longer used for major international races, the 'Ring' has become a world-class test track for major motor manufacturers. Testing prototypes over the hundreds of corners and climbs and descents of the legendary road course enables engineers to push the cars to extremes that could never be duplicated on normal roads with normal traffic and traffic laws. By setting up its own workshop and test facility in Germany, Jaguar can draw the full benefit from the testing opportunities that the Nürburgring provides.
2003 Frankfurst Motor Show
The Frankfurt Motor Show, in September 2003, was an important showcase for Jaguar. It was the first public appearance of a major extension of the X-TYPE range, the X-TYPE Estate, and it marked the surprise unveiling of another concept car from the Advanced Styling Studio, the RD-6. The X-TYPE Estate, Jaguar's first-ever station wagon, was introduced, like the diesel-engined version, in response to changing trends in the X-TYPE's market segment. More than a quarter of the sales in this segment are of station wagons, and Jaguar customers have a right to expect that the company should provide a vehicle combining the spaciousness and adaptability of this body style with the qualities that had made the X-TYPE such a success. The new Estate was based on the X-TYPE sedan, with unique new body styling and structure from the B-pillars back - including the rear doors and roof. With the rear seats folded down, the X-TYPE Estate offers more loading volume than all its main German rivals. The all-wheel drive system is standard throughout the range, and all engine options are available, from the 2-litre gas and diesel-powered units to the 3.0-litre V6 gas engine. The format of the Estate, with its capability to carry all the requirements of a family, together with its competitive price mean that the pleasure of owning a Jaguar is now open to an even greater range of customers.
The R-D6 Concept
The R-D6 concept car showed Jaguar's "new design direction". It took the form of a close-coupled four-seater coupe, which differed from the conventional ideas of coupe styling by having four doors. Apart from the grille, which is similar to that of the S-TYPE of the present and the C and D-TYPE racers of the past, the R-D6 broke away from accepted ideas of "Jaguarness." Shorter than an XK8, despite being a full four-seater, it uses very large wheels, no less than 21 inches in diameter, and short front and rear overhangs to emphasise muscularity and power.
The interior follows the established Jaguar style of using rich materials - fine leather and highly-polished wood - to create an environment that is welcoming and comfortable. However, the materials and styles are strictly 21st century, styled in a manner that is described by design director Ian Callum as "beyond contemporary." Using machined aluminium fixtures and trim together with black leather and black-finished American walnut veneers on the doors, instrument console and even the floor. The rear doors are hinged at their rear edges, like some cars of the nineteen-thirties, and the rear luggage-hatch is hinged at the side, in a fashion originally used in the E-TYPE.
Underlining the forward-looking ethos behind the R-D6, the power-unit is the 2.7-litre V6 turbocharged diesel announced in mid-2003 and due for use in the S-TYPE in the 2004 model year. The torque of the diesel is greater than that of the 4.2-litre V8 gas engine, so it is no surprise that the R-D6 should be capable of zero to sixty miles an hour in under six seconds. A maximum power of 239 hp gives the car a top speed that is electronically limited at 155 mph.
Joe Greenwell Named Chairman and CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover
Later in September there were further management changes when Bob Dover retired. His successor as chairman and CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover was Joe Greenwell, who had joined Jaguar twenty years earlier. Having held executive positions in sales and marketing and communications and public affairs in Jaguar and Ford, he returned to Coventry, where he had started his career with Jaguar, from the position of Vice President of Global Marketing at Ford in Detroit.
2004 North American International Auto Show
The first new model of 2004 was the third generation of the S-TYPE, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Building on the chassis improvements introduced at the end of 2001, the new styling modifications incorporated in the latest iteration of Jaguar's mid-range car gave it a cleaner, leaner, more muscular look. A new hood, made of aluminium rather than steel, lightened the car both in overall terms and in terms of front/rear weight distribution, with less weight on the front wheels improving the handling balance. In addition to the new bonnet, revised exterior body panels gave the car tighter panel fits and improved quality. There were changes inside the car too, one of the most noticeable being the introduction of aluminium as an alternative to wood for the facia panels of the more sporting models. The soft gleam of the lightweight metal brought back memories of classic sporting Jaguars of the past.
The suspension had been subtly modified, but the influence of the changes was significant, making the car even more refined and comfortable. The engine range remained wide, from the all-aluminium 2.5 and 3.0-litre V6 units to the supercharged 4.2-litre V8 of the S-TYPE R, but one of the most important introductions was the availability from June of the 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V6 diesel announced the previous year. It was confidently expected that this would make the S-TYPE even more popular in European markets.
2003 Geneva Motor Show
In Geneva, two months later, Jaguar once again introduced major updates, this time to the XK range. The XK8 coupe and convertible had been continuously improved throughout their lives, particularly since 2001, but the 2004 model year saw noticeable external changes, designed to give the car a more contemporary feel. These took the form of a revised nose and rear section that were complemented by new side sills, wheels and trim. Combined with major improvements in the cars' electronics, introduced in 2001, and the more powerful 4.2-litre engine, producing 390 hp in supercharged form in the XKR models, the new styling features gave the XK8 a new lease of life in the luxury sports car segment of the market.
2003 New York Auto Show
As spring came to New York, that city's motor show brought another Jaguar introduction and another stylish concept car. The introduction was that of the long wheelbase version of the aluminium-bodied XJ sedan. With a wheelbase five inches longer than that of the standard XJ, the long wheelbase version, which will go on sale in the autumn of 2004, provides even more legroom for rear seat passengers. Weighing just 24 kg more than the standard wheelbase model, the longer version is still 200 kg lighter than the previous generation XJ. It is also considerably lighter than all its competitors in the long-wheelbase luxury saloon car segment, despite having the longest wheelbase and overall length in its class.
Jaguar's Concept Eight
To show the potential of the new extended XJ, the designers in Jaguar's Advanced Design Studio created the Concept Eight, a car designed, in the words of Design Director Ian Callum, not for work, but "for luxurious entertaining on those long, late nights out." The car is a vehicle for sybarites, equipped not with plugs for laptop computers, but with craftily-stowed Waterford crystal champagne flutes. There are no reading lamps suitable for the fine print of the financial press, but a unique diffused glow of red light that adds atmosphere to the interior and escapes into the night air through a full-length glass roof. And of course, since champagne flutes are useless without champagne, there is a bottle cooler integrated into the centre console.
It's obvious that this is a car designed around the passengers, mainly the two that occupy the pair of luxurious rear seats. But since it is a Jaguar, it is still a driver's car, with a 4.2-litre supercharged engine that will take it to a maximum speed of 155 mph, when the electronics cut in to remind the driver that even in a Jaguar there are limits.
Introduced eighty-two years after young William Lyons started his first business, the Concept Eight is a perfect example of how his standards have been maintained. Elegant, luxurious, powerful, exciting to drive and just a little naughty, it couldn't be anything other than a Jaguar. Sir William would have approved.
Bibiana Boerio Named Managing Director of Jaguar
Bibiana 'Bibie' Boerio rejoined Jaguar as managing director for Jaguar Cars in July 2004 after serving a year as director of Strategy and Finance for Ford Motor Co. International Operations. Prior to that, she served as Ford Credit's executive vice president and chief financial officer from October 2000 to April 2003, where she helped develop, launch and implement Ford Credit's Revitalization Plan. From August 1995 to October 2000, she was the director of Finance for Jaguar Cars and was responsible for providing financial support and business strategy for the design, development, manufacturing and sale of Jaguar's premium luxury vehicles around the world.