Big Cat’s diesel prowl
Jaguar is giving itself a green education, writes NEIL McDONALD
VOLATILE fuel prices are continuing to push sales of ultra-frugal diesel vehicles. Sales among private buyers were up 60 per cent in the first two months of the year, admittedly off a low base, setting a trend expected to be sustained through the year.
Now Jaguar is increasing its diesel options, introducing a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel in its revised mid-size X-type sedan, which joins the larger 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel available in the XJ sedan.
The 2.2-litre TD is the third model in the X-type lineup, joining the 2.1-litre V6 and 3.0-litre V6 petrol models.
Jaguar spokesman Tim Krieger says the diesel could be a sleeper in the range.
‘‘There’s a bit of an education process as far as diesel and Jaguar are concerned,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s a little bit new for us in that segment.’’
However, Krieger says the increasing interest in diesel cars, particularly in the premium European brands, will help Jaguar.
The petrol engine X-type is on sale next month and the TD arrives in June.
The 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel will be available in LE and Sport models.
The engine develops 107kW at 3500 revs and 366Nm from 1800 revs, giving the car a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 9.9sec and a top of 208km/h.
Fuel economy is a strong point, the car delivering a combined fuel figure of 6.9l/100km. On the highway this improves to 5.4l/100km.
The engine is fitted with a diesel particulate filter to help lower emissions.
Like all X-types, the 2.2D is mated to a six-speed sequential automatic.
Apart from a visual tweaks, the newest X-type gains 500 new components while retaining the original’s overall profile.
The design changes bring the car into line with the larger XJ and the new XF.
On the outside the car gets new rear view mirrors with in-built indicators, mesh grille with deeper air intakes, new front and rear bumpers, smaller parking sensors and 17-inch Barbados alloys or 18-inch Abaco alloys, depending on the model.
Inside are new trim combinations and redesigned, more supportive seats, new door trims, metallic trim highlights and Bluetooth compatibility.
Prices start at $53,990 for the entry 2.1-litre LE model, rising to $76,990 for the 3.0-litre Luxury.
The 2.2D LE is $55,490 and 2.2D Sport $59,690.
Last year Jaguar sold just 501 X-types but it remained the volume seller for the leaper brand after a pricing and specification realignment.
In total, Jaguar sold just 820 cars last year, 19 per cent down on the total in 2006.
Krieger says he expect X-type sales volumes for 2008 to be similar to last year’s.
‘‘And the diesel should make up about 15 per cent of total X-type sales,’’ he says.
X factor: the Jaguar X-type has a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel or a 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel.