Big Cat’s diesel prowl

Jaguar is giv­ing it­self a green ed­u­ca­tion, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News -

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.

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