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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Four
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
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Issue Four
Jan. 6, 2003
LA Auto Show
LA Auto Show Photo Gallery
Mission MINI

Porsche Cayenne Introduction
Maybach Introduction
2003 Jaguar S-Type Road Test
Coming Next Issue
Detroit Auto Show
Nav-TV Interview
Bose Headphones

2003 Jaguar S-Type Review
The "S" stands for Stunning, Sporty and Superb
By Steve Litscher

(January 5, 2003 6:00 PM PST)

2003 Jaguar S-Type 3.0L

Front Grill on Jaguar S-Type

Jaguar S-Type rides and drives great

Jaguar 3.0L V6 makes plenty of power

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Jaguar S-Type
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Put those claws away, Tiger - the redesigned 2003 Jaguar S-Type addresses many of the concerns and problems of previous models, and may now be one of the finest mid-range luxury vehicles in the jungle. Don't let the buck-toothed grille fool you - this cat is ready to roll, and it purrs like none other.

The Jaguar S-Type may not have the distinguished pedigree of the XJ or XK, but ever since its debut in 1999 as a 2000 model, the S-Type has made subtle improvements and refinements and is now poised near the top of its perch. For 2003, Jaguar continues to improve the S-Type, most noticeably in the performance, safety and ergonomic departments. Jaguar (wisely) chose not to focus on any styling changes, so upon first glance the S-Type may seem relatively unchanged. We like the current body style - we think it lends to a sleek, sexy and crouched appearance that definitely stands out in the ever growing crowd of "me too" look-a-likes.

We took delivery of a 2003 Jaguar S-Type 3.0L that was outfitted with Jaguar's new 6-speed automatic transmission. A 5-speed manual is available in the base package. Other engine choices include a 4.2L V8 and the recently announced 4.2L R-model, complete with a supercharger that helps produce 400 horsepower. For those with insecurity issues, the 4.2L may seem like the only logical choice, but in reality, the 3.0L V6 is more than adequate for daily driving duties.

The S-Type 3.0L derives its power from a 24-valve, DOHC, 3.0L Ford-built V6 that produces 235 horsepower and 216 lb-ft of torque. Despite the rather low torque figure, the engine feels powerful and linear, thanks in part to the six-speed automatic and a relatively flat torque curve. Despite some very spirited driving, we averaged nearly 21 miles per gallon - we'd expect around 16 mpg with the V8 powered S-Type. With its zesty 3.0L, the S-Type was able to propel itself from 0 to 60 in 7.7 seconds, and the 1/4 mile came in 16.1 seconds with speeds in the high 80's. Top speed is limited to 127 mph.

Throttle response is spot on, thanks to variable valve timing and a multi-staged intake manifold. While the torque was linear, horsepower definitely came on strong above 4,000 rpm, and the raspy growl that accompanied it made spirited driving fun.

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