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Jaguar X-Type to bear leaping cat

Cat attack: Jaguar's leaping cat bonnet emblem is set to return to Australia.

Jaguar’s famed leaping cat mascot to headline revised 2005 X-Type range

19 Oct 2004

HAVING released a slimmed down, better value S-Type range this month, Jaguar will apply the same strategy to its compact X-Type sedan for the 2005 model year, when it will also wear Jaguar’s famous leaping cat bonnet emblem for the first time.

Currently outlawed by Canberra due to pedestrian safety concerns, “the leaper” will return to Australia – pending final ADR paperwork - around March next year.

But before then a revised 2005 X-Type range will reduce Jaguar’s compact sedan range to just three models starting at $56,550 from November.

Jaguar Australia, which is currently out of X-Type stocks, will apply the same “Triple S” model massaging to X-Type that it has just applied to S-Type: simplification, specification and a “superior engine strategy”.

Previously, the X-Type line-up comprised a 2.1-litre V6 entry variant for $53,950 (which had also been offered in manual guise for under $50,000), alongside the 2.1 V6 SE ($59,750), 2.5 V6 Sport ($69,800), 2.5 V6 SE ($71,900), 3.0 V6 Sport ($81,300) and 3.0 V6 SE ($86,000).

But from November a more highly specified MY2005 X-Type line-up will, like the 2005 S-Type, cease to include a 2.5-litre V6 option or Sports variants.

That means Jaguar Australia’s X-Type range will shrink from a high of nine variants to just three, including a 2.1 SE ($56,550, with $3850 of improved value), 3.0 SE ($69,990, with $13,665 extra value) and 3.0 Luxury ($79,990, with $15,149 more value), with manual versions of the 2.1 base variant available as a special-order delete option at the same price, which narrowly undercuts the luxury tax threshold.

The first Australia-bound X-Types to feature Jaguar’s leaping cat mascot - which is currently available only in the US - will enter production in January, but eventually all local Jaguars will wear the leaper.

Jaguar will also offer a limited edition sports X-Type in 2005, like that revealed at the Sydney motor show.

Featuring a front lower spoiler, black mesh grille with lower airdam, lower side sills, lower rear valance, more pronounced rear spoiler, new exhaust outlets and 18-inch Proteus alloy wheels, the Sports Collection X-Type bodykit will also be available as an option on all X-Types from early 2005, or as an aftermarket retro-fit package.

Also expected to go on sale here next year following positive public reaction at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney is the X-Type Estate. Jaguar Australia general manager David Blackhall said the prospects of the X wagon being sold here are “growing firmer by the day”, with import depending on a successful business case.

It is believed a single 3.0-litre V6 all-wheel drive specification will be offered by the second quarter of 2005, with a target price of $69,990.

Following it on sale here in the third quarter of next year will be the 153kW/435Nm turbo-diesel S-Type variant, while a facelifted XK coupe/convertible should arrive around the same time, featuring new bumpers, grilles, side sills, exhaust outlets, a larger boot spoiler and new-look 18, 19 and 20-inch wheels, but no major mechanical changes.

The cosmetic update will be the final change to the current XK before its all-alloy X150-codenamed replacement appears at the 2006 Geneva motor show in coupe guise and at the same year’s New York motor show in convertible spec.

As part of a worldwide review of its marketplace infrastructure, Jaguar Australia will begin “right-sizing” its 23-outlet national dealer network in preparation for the new models, but Mr Blackhall said this would involve “nothing radical – just fixing a few blindspots”.

2005 X-Type update – November
Sports Collection X-Type pack – early 2005
X-Type with “leaper” – March 2005
X-Type Estate – second quarter 2005
Limited Edition X-Type sports – mid-2005
2005 XK facelift – mid-2005
S-Type turbo-diesel – third quarter 2005
XK coupe/convertible redesign – mid-2006

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