A Jaguar S-TYPE R fire tender, the latest in a long line of vehicles built by the Special Vehicle Operations department at Jaguar Cars, has been delivered to Silverstone circuit.
Designed as a ‘rapid response’ emergency vehicle, the Silverstone Jaguar S-TYPE R is based on a standard production car but with key modifications to suit its new role at the Northamptonshire race track. Externally, Phoenix Red paintwork with a broad yellow stripe and an impressive array of strobe and spotlights distinguish the vehicle. But it is inside where the major changes have taken place. In place of the rear seat sits a 90 litre fire extinguisher cylinder with eight metre hose, a Safety Devices roll cage provides increased occupant safety and body stiffness, and two figure-hugging Recaro racing seats with four-point harness belts have been fitted for the driver and front seat passenger. Additional safety equipment includes four further fire extinguishers, short wave radio and siren.
With a 400 bhp (DIN) supercharged 4.2-litre V8 engine driving the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox, the Jaguar S-TYPE R can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
The fire tender shares the handling attributes of the standard S-TYPE R, ensuring agility and optimum driver control in all conditions. Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) is standard, together with Dynamic Stability Control and traction control. Brembo disc brakes with four-piston callipers are fitted front and rear, complemented by an electronic anti-lock braking system.
Jaguar has supplied cars to Silverstone since the early 1970s when Managing Director and former Le Mans Team Manager F.R.W. ‘Lofty’ England donated an early XJ12 saloon. The driver of the Jaguars for much of this time has been Syd Herbert, affectionately known at the track as ‘Silverstone Syd’.
"This is a superb car with amazing power delivery. Jaguars have always performed very well on the track here, and this new S-TYPE R is no exception," enthused Syd after driving the car for the first time. "The V8 engine and new six-speed automatic gearbox are a great package; acceleration is outstanding. The handling is equally impressive, especially when you consider the equipment we are carrying."
"We are pleased with the support Silverstone Circuit has received from Jaguar Cars over the years," Gary Dearn, Silverstone Circuit Safety Officer, commented. "The loan of this car is a magnificent gesture and continues Jaguar’s valuable contribution to track safety at Silverstone. Every Jaguar we have used has been dependable, but this latest one looks the most fun to drive!"Published 30 September 2002