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2004 Geneva Motor Show, Part III


 

2004 Geneva Motor Show Index by TCC Team (2/22/2004)

 

2004 Jaguar XK8

2004 Jaguar XK8

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Jaguar used the show to announce an update for its XK8 sports convertibles and coupes. The XK8 has been around since 1996, and continues to be steady seller in the luxury boulevard cruiser segment. The supercharged XKR was a mid-life introduction to the range and gave the car some extra performance credibility with sub 6-second acceleration from zero to 60 mph. The range has matured now, into open and closed versions of the XK8, for those that seek the cachet of a Jaguar in two-seat form, and the XKR, which provides the same upmarket street appeal with the exciting performance fans of older Jaguars remember so fondly.

The new versions, which will go on sale immediately, have undergone a modest restyling operation to the nose, with a sleeker headlamp treatment and a new low-level air-intake below the grille. The lamps look smooth and the air-intake looks aggressive, and the overall impression is that the car is more powerful. It isn’t, however, for under the hood nothing has changed. It has to be said that nothing needed to be changed, for following engineering improvements made three years ago, which included the expansion of the engine’s capacity to 4.2 liters, the Jaguar V8, in normal or supercharged form, provides all the performance the average XK8 customer requires. There’s 300 hp from the normally-aspirated unit and 400 from the blown version.

The restyle also includes lower side sills and a reshaped tail with a wing for the XK8 and a slightly larger wing for the XKR. There are three new wheel styles, one a full 20 inches in diameter, but no changes to the car’s already advanced electronics or already luxurious interior. In short, this is no new model, but a face-lift on a car whose replacement is already being worked on.

2004 Jaguar S-Type

2004 Jaguar S-Type

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Jaguar also released details of the diesel-powered S-Type, a car that is of marginal interest to Americans, but of great interest to Europeans and the people charged with selling Jags in Europe. Diesel is of growing interest there, and even the Brits are being won over to oil-burners. U.S. drivers aren’t interested at the moment, but with combined fuel economy figures of 33 mpg (US) for an S-Type Jag, you will be, you will.

 


MG Rover
introduced a version of its Rover 75 sedan fitted with the 4.6-liter Ford V-8 it already uses in an MG version of the company’s top of the range sedan. The new model, which replaces a 2.5-liter V-6-powered car as Rover’s flagship, has the traditional interior accoutrements of a British limousine, coupled with a 150-mph top speed. The car is more than just an engine-graft job, for while the 75 is a front-drive design, the 75 V-8 is driven through the rear wheels. That’s a quality that MG Rover’s engineering staff, a bunch of true car enthusiasts, insisted on for a car that has 260 horses under the hood.

2004 Rover 75

2004 Rover 75

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The nose has been modestly restyled, with a deep air-intake below the main grille. This harks back to earlier Rover V-8s, which always had a deeper air intake to feed the more powerful engine and to emphasise the car’s upmarket status. It has to be said that the nose is very reminiscent of Audi’s new corporate grille, unveiled on their stand on the new A6. Audi’s entire design staff should be marched over to the MG Rover display to show them how their grille should look. The 75 V-8 will start production in May. Whether bit will add much to the company’s bottom line is a matter for conjecture, but there will be plenty of Brits wishing it well.

 
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