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2008 Jaguar S-Type - can this car save Ford's feline?

Who knows how many of its nine lives Jaguar has left to spare, but the next generation S-Type could help the down and out member of Ford's Premier Auto Group land back on its feet. AutoExpress has published new renderings based on inside info (i.e. a guy who actually saw the car at a dealer sneak preview) that give us the best look yet at what the S-Type will look when the current car is replaced. Codenamed X250, the new S-Type is a bold sedan with a shape that eschews the retro look of the current model. The center grille is inspired by recent Jaguar concepts like the RD6 and R-Coupe, while the current car's quad headlamps have been dropped in favor of multi-element single units. The S-Type's tail, meanwhile, seems to have been lifted straight from the XK coupe.

As has been reported ad nauseum, the new S-Type will not use aluminum in its construction to the extent that it's used on the XJ sedan and XK, but rather feature steel body panels predominantly with some aluminum ones like the hood thrown in to save weight. This also means Jaguar has chosen to underpin the car with an upgraded version of the current car's chassis. AutoExpress reports the interior, also, draws heavily on the design of the XK's cockpit.

The new S-Type will continue to use the current car's engine lineup and the range-topping S-Type R will get the XKR's 420-bhp supercharged V8. A six-speed automatic will be standard across the entire model range, and we're also hoping it's the one we experienced in the XK.

Will the new S-Type be able to mark a larger territory for itself than the current model? We won't know for some time, but as we said after our brief drive in Jaguar's new XK, if the brand can produce more cars like its svelte new coupe, then there's hope after all.

[Source: AutoExpress]

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