The New Jaguar X-TYPE 2.0D | Part Nine

Jaguar X-TYPE

 

Installed For Refinement

As well as investing a large amount of development effort in the engine itself, Jaguar engineers paid great attention to the way the engine is installed in the car, in order to achieve Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels in keeping with those expected of a Jaguar, and ahead of the competition.

To make the engine as smooth and quiet as possible, sophisticated sound- vibration- and heat-absorbing materials feature throughout the car. The space around the fuel injectors (above the engine) is filled with a new open-cell foam moulding, sealed in polythene foil. Under the bonnet, the hood liner covers a greater area than that on petrol-engined X-TYPEs, and a one-piece bulkhead liner covers the engine side of the dash panel. The inner dash liner (which reduces transmitted noise levels from the engine compartment) is made from a considerably denser material than its petrol-model equivalent, at 6.0kg/m2 compared with 4.5kg/m2. Three foam pads are fitted under the instrument panel, and another on the rear of the glovebox assembly.

A thicker-walled cross-car beam reduces vibration felt through the steering wheel at idle speeds, and greater coverage from the transmission tunnel liner provides both additional acoustic and thermal insulation. A new polypropylene undertray adds yet more thermal insulation and improves underbody aerodynamics, but its main function is again for acoustic insulation. Plastic moulded side shields are new for this car as are ‘fender baffles’. Constructed from open-cell foam in sealed polythene foil shells, these are located in each wheel arch, next to the A pillars. Finally, perforated polythene foil bags filled with open-cell cut foam are used to fill the main cavities of the bare shell – especially in the A pillars and the dashboard cross member. The overall result is a thoroughly modern diesel car that leaves old prejudices about diesel far behind.

The X-TYPE’s V6 Petrol Engines

The revised X-TYPE range leaves one area unchanged and that is the three highly regarded V6 petrol engines that already offer a wide degree of choice to the X-TYPE buyer. All three lightweight all-aluminium engines - 2 litre, 2.5 litre and 3.0 litre - offer class-leading specific power outputs. The two larger engines deliver more than 80 per cent of their peak torque from below 1,500rev/min right through to maximum engine speed at 6,800rev/min.

Other than having different ratios for different engines, the five-speed manual transmission is the same across the range, including the diesel version. The five-speed automatic option (not available with the 2.0D) is electronically controlled, and transversely mounted for compact packaging. It uses a low-inertia, slip-controlled torque converter lock-up for enhanced fuel economy and mechanical refinement. The wide spread of ratios – from a low first gear for optimum standing start acceleration to an overdrive fifth gear - help deliver excellent fuel economy and refined high-speed cruising. The electronic control also adapts its shift pattern to suit driving style and conditions.

Like the new diesel alternative, the petrol-engined X-TYPEs are designed to deliver low fuel consumption and low emissions. The manual and automatic versions of the 2 litre V6 have official combined consumptions of 30.7mpg (9.2l/100km) and 28.4mpg (10.0l/100km) respectively, with CO2 emissions of 219 or 239g/km. The equivalent official figures for the manual and automatic versions of the 2.5 V6 are 29.5mpg (9.6l/100km) or 27.5mpg (10.3l/100km), and 234 or 244g/km. For the 3.0 litre V6 they are 27.5mpg (10.3l/100km) or 27.0mpg (10.5l/100km), with 244 or 249g/km CO2 emissions.

Steering, Suspension And Braking

On all X-TYPE models (including the new X-TYPE 2.0D), the front suspension is a twin-tube MacPherson strut design with a fabricated steel front cross-member and lower control arm. A unique double-bearing top strut mount reduces damper rod friction and enhances the smoothness of the steering. The multi-link rear suspension uses a torsion control link that allows each wheel to react independently, improving handling and reducing harshness. Steering is by a variable-ratio ZF power-assisted rack and pinion system, that provides high-speed stability plus agile and responsive handling, setting segment benchmarks for feel and precision. Braking is all-disc, ventilated on the front, solid on the rear, with ABS anti-lock standard across the range.

2004 Model Year Revisions

As well as acquiring a new engine and potentially a whole new audience, the X-TYPE has undergone a subtle detail makeover for the 2004 model year. In addition to freshening its looks, the updates see improvements in practicality, trim quality, and the already impressive equipment levels.

Each X-TYPE, including the new X-TYPE 2.0D, continues to be available in Classic, SE and Sport versions, but now the three are easier to distinguish at a glance. The Classic has a 'younger' look, using body coloured bumper blades instead of the original chrome ones, while retaining the existing grille. A new matt black finish around the window surrounds and the B and C pillars further distinguishes the Classic from the more luxury-focused SE, which keeps its original side treatment with chrome highlights around the tops of the windows. The SE also keeps its chrome bumper blades and adds full chrome vanes in the chrome-framed grille. The Sport model is distinguished by a body-coloured grille and bumper-blade treatment, while adopting a matt black finish similar to the Classic’s for its window surrounds and pillars.

The front bumper of all models can now incorporate front parking aid sensors – a new option for the X-TYPE when rear park-distance control is fitted. This is a handy defence against minor parking– and low speed knocks with hidden, 'bumper un-friendly' obstacles such as low bollards or high kerbs.

The bumper also covers a totally new Bolt-On Front End (BOFE) structure. This replaces the original welded-on steel cross beam behind the foam filled bumper with a bolted-on aluminium beam. This not only saves around 3.5kg over the original design weight, it also reduces repair time by 3.9 hours in the event of a front-end impact at less than 15km/h, equating to a significant reduction in repair costs.

Other exterior visual changes include a longer finisher above the rear number-plate - making the 'tail' of the car visually wider and lower - and a new position for the boot release button that makes it easier and more intuitive to operate. New crystal side indicator lenses also have a ‘fresher’ look.

Perhaps most obvious visually though, are three new, more vibrant exterior colours and a choice of distinctly different new wheel styles in sizes 16, 17 and new 18 inch diameter.

A package of interior revisions has also been implemented. Aimed at moving the X-TYPE's trim quality, levels of equipment and sporty character on to the next level, the changes include many trim and material upgrades where the driver and passengers actually touch the car, reinforcing Jaguar’s commitment to luxury and craftsmanship. There are new trims and contrast colours; new, even more luxurious fabrics for the interior door pillars, and a new, high quality soft-touch material for the parcel shelf. Alcantara (suede effect) and leather sports upholstery is now available as an option, while new veneers give a contemporary spin on the traditionally luxurious look. These include the option of carbon fibre on Sport models, or subtle Piano Black veneer across the range.

New and upgraded equipment makes the X-TYPE even more luxurious and practical. The driver’s seat, as well as the option of ten-way power adjustment, gains the option of a three-position memory function that includes the exterior mirror settings. Front-seat headrests now include fore and aft tilting as well as height adjust, and reshaped front seat cushions optimise the space between the seats and the centre console, which now includes new twin cup-holders as standard.

There are significant changes to the X-TYPE’s range of already impressive In-Car-Entertainment packages. The speaker count for the standard Alpine system goes up from four to six. The upgraded ten-speaker premium system, also by Alpine, includes two sub-woofers with their own dedicated amplifiers to push the power from 190W to a car-filling 320W. The quality of the sound as well as the quantity is upgraded, with the facility to optimise sound balance for specific seating positions and four zones inside the car – front-left, front-right, rear, and all.

Steering wheel-mounted ICE controls are now standard on all SE and Sport models and optional on others. These feature on the steering wheel which also carries the cruise control buttons (when this system is fitted). Behind the steering wheel is a new-look instrument cluster, with a black background instead of green on the dial faces. On all models a new warning light function will alert the driver to outside temperatures that are low enough to pose a risk of ice on the road (below 4ºC)

The revised X-TYPE, including the new 2.0D model, will be on sale from September 2003.

Published 15 June 2003 Melanie Carter
 
 

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