2002 Jaguar S-TYPE Photo
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The Los Angeles Auto Show will be the first public showing of the most powerful Jaguar sedan ever, the 400 hp S-Type R. With a supercharged 4.2-liter V-8 under the hood, the new model has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph and will accelerate from zero to sixty mph in just 5.3 seconds. The R model is part of an updated S-Type range that is also being previewed at the Detroit International Auto Show, which opens on January 12.

The S-Type, Jaguar’s competitor for the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class, was introduced in 1999 as the first step in Ford’s plan to widen Jaguar’s market and increase sales. Over 135,000 S-Types have been sold so far, making a healthy contribution to an expansion program that aims to see Jaguar sales quadruple between 1998 and 2003. The growth will come as a result of adding the S-Type and the recently introduced X-Type to the traditional Jaguar range of large XJ8 luxury sedans and XK8 sports cars.

When it was introduced, the S-Type was seen as a natural successor to the Mark 2 compact sedans of the 1960s, and its styling carries a number of links to those cars, particularly in the shape of the grille and the way the waistline droops at the rear. The lines have not changed for the updated version. A mesh grille for the ‘R’ type and chrome window surrounds are the only external changes, but under the skin there’s plenty that’s new.

The S-Type was originally launched with 3.0-liter V-6 and a 4.0-liter V-8 engines. Now a 2.5-liter version of the V-6 has been added, while the 3.0-liter V-6 has been modified to improve fuel consumption and the 4.0-liter V-8 has been enlarged to 4.2 liters. The bigger V-8 gives a seven-percent power increase over the previous version, producing 300 hp, while torque has grown by eight percent to 308 lb-ft.

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