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Jaguar to Make Public Newest Model, X-Type

November 01, 2000|TERRIL YUE JONES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DETROIT — Jaguar will pull the wraps off its latest new car today, a more affordable luxury model that will be called the X-Type and would double sales of the elite brand once it hits full production in a couple of years.

The compact four-door, until now code-named the X400 but also known as the "Baby Jag," will go on sale next summer and be priced below the current S-Type, which starts at $43,655.

Jaguar--a Ford Motor Co. subsidiary and part of the company's Irvine-based Premier Auto Group--will position the X-Type to compete with BMW's 3-Series, DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the A4 from Audi, the luxury unit of Volkswagen.

The X-Type will have all-wheel drive as standard equipment--a first for Jaguar--and a choice of 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter V-6 engines. Jaguar executives say the design aims to reflect the English marque's long heritage, as also embodied in the S-Type, with aerodynamic grooves sloping back along the hood from each of its four headlights.

"The X-Type will attract a new generation of customers to the Jaguar marque," said Mike O'Driscoll, president of Jaguar Cars North America. "The X-Type has an attitude and spirit that will appeal to a broad spectrum of customers--a younger, broader and more diverse group than ever before."

Jaguar expects to sell 85,000 vehicles worldwide this year, but the X-Type would double that once it hits full production, the company said.

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