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Available S-Type Models
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From the ground up, this is a completely new sport sedan based on the new Ford midsize platform. Lincoln worked with Jaguar to develop this platform, which is also used for Lincoln's LS sedan.
It makes sense that Lincoln and Jaguar worked together on the new Ford platform because the midsize models that ride on this platform represent the same final goals for both companies. While Lincoln is hoping to add some spice to its stodgy image, Jaguar wants to give buyers an affordable luxury/performance model sporting a big cat on the hood. In the end, however, both automakers are hoping for the same result: increased sales from markets not normally associated with either car company.
The S-Type's exterior is the first clue that this is no XJ/XK knock-off. The quad headlights and small front grille give the sedan a classic look not seen on Jaguars for 30 years. Small character lines run down the otherwise smooth body, ending at a taillight section that somewhat resembles a Chevy Lumina/Monte Carlo. Inside, the S-Type is pure Jaguar in appearance with acres of wood and leather covering every surface. However, much of the interior's componentry and switchgear is identical to that found in the less expensive Lincoln LS. Despite its smaller exterior size, the S-Type boasts a longer wheelbase than Jaguar's XJ models and interior dimensions on par with its larger sedans. A standard split-folding rear seat and optional roof rack further add to this Jag's utility.
Power for the S-Type comes from either Jaguar's 4.0-liter V8 or Ford's 3.0-liter Duratec V6. While the V8 is a slightly less-powerful version of the V8 found in Jaguar's XK8, it still makes 281 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque. The V6 uses a Ford block while Jaguar's variable-valve-timing heads, intake system and drive-by-wire throttle body top the Blue Oval low-end. These changes add 55 horsepower to the Duratec V6, giving it 240 horsepower and 212 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission available in the S-Type.
As with the LS, suspension components in the S-Type are primarily forged aluminum. Unlike the Lincoln, however, the Jaguar offers a sport package featuring a Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) system that constantly adjusts the car's Bilstein shocks. A yaw-control system is also on tap to keep the S-Type from misbehaving even when the driver does.
Additional high-tech toys include an optional reverse-park control system, a GPS navigation system and a voice-operated climate-control system.
Looks notwithstanding, the S-Type is anything but a classic Jaguar, which, for the purposes of mass-market appeal, is not a bad thing.
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