Jaguar's new S-TYPE sports saloon, the company's most eagerly awaited new
model for decades, makes its world debut today at the Birmingham International Motor Show.
The new S-TYPE, designed and developed at Jaguar's Engineering Centre at Whitley,
Coventry, will be built at the company's Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham and goes on
sale in March 1999.
The Jaguar S-TYPE is an all-new, more affordable, compact, luxury sports saloon
to complement and extend Jaguar's existing range of XJ Series saloons and XK sports cars.
S-TYPE is the company's first compact saloon since jaguar pioneered the market in the
nineteen fifties and sixties with the legendary Mark 2 and original S-Type. The new S-TYPE
is positioned below Jaguar's XJ Series saloon range in both size and price and will
compete in one of the fastest growing segments of today's passenger car market.
The recently launched V8 XJ Series saloons and XK sports cars are today achieving
customer satisfaction levels which rival the world's best competitive standards. As a
result, Jaguar is on course to achieve record sales in 1998, with annual sales exceeding
50,000 cars for the first time in the company's history. The introduction of S-TYPE will
build on this success. With a three-model line up, Jaguar expects to sell around 85,000
cars in 1999, effectively double the level achieved in 1997, rising to over 90,000 cars in
the year 2000, the first full year of S-TYPE sales.
Jaguar forecasts worldwide sales of 40,000 S-TYPES in 1999, rising to over 55,000 cars
in 2000. The largest markets for S-TYPE will be Europe and the USA, each taking around 40
per cent of world sales. The UK alone will take around 20 per cent, Germany 8 per cent and
Japan 5 per cent of total sales.
Commenting on Jaguar's new model, Nick Scheele, Chairman and Chief Executive, said:
"The new S-TYPE is a true Jaguar thoroughbred, ably representing the company's
core marque values of distinctive style, refined power, agile handling, supple ride and
luxurious comfort. While S-TYPE's instantly recognisable styling signature evokes the
spirit of its acclaimed antecedents, the Mark 2 and original S-type saloons, advanced
technologies set new standards in terms of durability, quality, reliability, customer
convenience and driving pleasure."
Leading-edge design technologies ensure that S-TYPE
bodies are built to a consistently high standard of quality, incorporating all the
associates values of strength, refinement, durability and craftsmanship. The modern,
spacious interior achieves a harmonious blend of ergonomic excellence, safety engineering
and high quality, hand crafted natural materials.
The new all-aluminium, 240 bhp (DIN), 3.0 litre AJ-V6 and proven, 280 bhp (DIN), 4.0
litre AJ-V8 engines employ innovation in design and manufacture to deliver outstanding
performance, refinement and driveability, combined with excellent fuel economy and low
emissions. Designed especially for S-TYPE, the high output 3.0 litre AJ-V6 is the
company's first ever production V6 engine and shares many design features with the larger
AJ-V8, including combustion system, cooling system, cylinder head and valve gear.
The 4.0 litre AJ-V8 engine is similar to that fitted to the Jaguar XJ saloon and XK8
sports models, further refined for its S-TYPE application. S-TYPE also features new
five-speed manual (3.0 litre) and five-speed automatic (3.0/4.0 litre) transmissions,
while a bespoke powertrain electronic controller provides significant advances in
refinement, driveability and reliability.
S-TYPE, in both three and four litre forms, is an impressive performer. The 3.0 V6
manual sprints from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds (8.0 seconds for the automatic) onto a
top speed, where conditions allow, of 146 mph (auto, 141 mph). The 4.0 V8 automatic
accelerates effortlessly to 60 mph in a mere 6.6 seconds with a top speed, where
conditions allow, of 150 mph.
Refined, powerful engines are allied to a chassis which combines outstanding ride
comfort with poised agile handling. The new double wishbone suspensions provide
traditional jaguar refinement but with a distinctly dynamic character. The ideal 50/50
front/rear weight distribution, combined with the new electronic traction control,
anti-lock braking and variable ratio, speed proportional steering systems provide optimal
vehicle control. Electronic brake distribution provides enhanced stability in adverse
conditions, while the optional Dynamic Stability Control system links with the anti-lock
braking, traction and steering systems to prevent oversteer. The latest generation of
Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension, employing electronic adaptive dampers, is
also available as an option.
Multiplexed electrical architecture supports the comprehensive feature specification
and advanced technologies including automatic, dual-zone climate control and the optional
rain sensing wiper and reverse park control systems. An integrated satellite navigation
system is also available as an option and links with the UK's Trafficmaster system to
provide real time data on traffic delays.
For the first time on a production car, S-TYPE features voice activated control of all
primary audio, phone and climate control functions, providing safe, hands-free operation.
Voice activation is available as an option in the UK and USA.
S-TYPE features a strong crash structure, innovative collapsible steering column and
protected under-floor plastic fuel tank. The driver and front passenger are protected by
dual front and side airbags which protect both chest and head. A state-of-the-art crash
sensing system controls the deployment of all airbags and pyrotechnic seat belt
pre-tensioners. Comprehensive, state-of-the-art security systems, fully integrated into
the vehicle electronics, exceed the stringent British Insurance Industry Criteria for
customer peace-of-mind and include perimeter alarm, immobiliser, deadlocking, intrusion
sensing and automatic locking on drive-away. 'Smart' locking helps prevent keys being
locked in the car.
Throughout S-TYPE's design and development, Jaguar employed a cross-functional team of
highly qualified engineers with international design and manufacturing experience which
took maximum advantage of the global knowledge and expertise within the selected component
suppliers. The flair and ingenuity of Jaguar engineers, so effectively executed on the XK8
sports car and recently launched V8 XJ Series saloon were applied to S-TYPE, particularly
in the areas of powertrain, ride and handling, refinement, styling and interior ambience.
Applying the lessons learnt from one programme to the next ensures a process of continuous
improvement. In addition, Jaguar engineers employed innovative design methodologies and
simulation techniques to ensure the achievement of all functional and quality targets.
Designed, developed and built by Jaguar in the UK, S-TYPE enters a new segment of the
market with world class standards of quality and technology, benefiting from access to the
knowledge, resources and best practices of Ford Motor Company.
S-TYPE represents the beginning of a new era of joint product development with Ford,
sharing its platform architecture with the new Lincoln LS. The concept of joint
development ensured that Jaguar's core marque values in terms of style, performance,
refinement, ride, handling, luxury, comfort and craftsmanship were engineered into the
concept design at the very beginning of the engineering programme, encapsulating the
essential Jaguar character and identity. This form of design collaboration also enabled
jaguar to realise all new, class-leading systems and components "under the skin', the
source of which is unimportant to potential customers.
Jaguar top powertrain engineers also worked closely with their Ford counterparts
throughout the new AJ-V6 engine programme. The concept design of the AJ-V6, which uses a
cylinder block derived from that of the Ford V6 modular engine, was undertaken by the same
team of engineers who created jaguar's highly successful AJ-V8. Detailed design of the
AJ-V6 was completed by a colocated team of Jaguar and Ford engineers, resulting in a
valuable interchange of expertise and technology. The development and testing of the AJ-V6
took place at Jaguar's Engineering Centre at Whitley in Coventry.
S-TYPE is produced at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham, the site of the
company's existing body assembly and modern paint shop facility for the current XJ Series
saloons and XK sports car ranges. The development of Castle Bromwich to accommodate S-TYPE
production represents one of the largest inner city investments in the UK of the last 50
years. The total investment for the S-TYPE programme amounted to £400 million, of which
around £200 million was associated with the development of the Castle Bromwich site.
Commenting on the significance to Jaguar of the launch of S-TYPE, Nick Scheele,
Jaguar's Chairman and Chief executive, said :