Complex curves, Simplistic style
Filed by: Mark ’Stretch’ Batchelor, Tue, 8 Feb 2005 08:00:00 PDT
Driving the new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon under an overcast, cool, (40 degrees Fahrenheit) storm-cloud desert morning sky in Palm Springs California was as unique a meteorological experience as automotive. Palm Springs has been experiencing years of drought and I was driving a Jaguar wagon. Yes, Jaguar's first and only wagon based on the redesigned X-TYPE model. The new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon, released with Jaguar's updated X-TYPE sedan models is a visual beauty and automotive pleasure to drive.
Exterior lines and shapes contribute to both an aesthetic and aerodynamic successful design. Approaching the parked 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon, one is instantly drawn to the hoods complex curves sculpturing the bullet-like understated but brightly capable headlights. Jeff Key, X-TYPE program manager explained, "We press the bonnet three times to make those shapes."
What is inside counts but the exterior of a vehicle speaks volumes of the designer's intent, manufacturing execution, and final delivery of concept. Jaguar's 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon is their first wagon. Perhaps this may seem an oddity from a historical lineage of Jaguar but after driving the new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon I felt that this is an interesting and successful delivery of a useful vehicle and drivable, stylistically unique wagon.
The new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon, a CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) designed vehicle delivers an aggressive, strong, and refined manufactured and drivable machine.
Like all the new redesigned X-TYPE models, the new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon is an AWD (All Wheel Drive,) Torque Split 40% front / 60% rear drive vehicle. Five speed manual or automatic V6 producing 227 @ 6,800 rpm hp and Torque of 206 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm.
Tuned front suspension twin-tube MacPherson strut that connects to steel components while the rear multi-link suspension incorporates a torsion control linkage separating each wheel's surface interaction resulting in a firm, secure connection to the road.
The new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon has different suspension, control systems, springs, dampers, ABS (Advanced Brake Systems,) TCS (Traction Control System,) and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control,) software unique from the other X-TYPE models.Resulting in improved flex of the inherent weakened wagon design without the B-pillar rigidity of a sedan. Aggressively pushing the posted speed limit up to the desert mountain town idyllwild, Ca. was fun and I quickly forgot I was in a wagon and not the X-TYPE sport model.
The interior of Jaguar's 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon is a juxtaposition of timeless Jaguar refine style and modern wagon functionality.
The important and defining line of a wagon's use is the tailgate. Seems odd to think of a tailgate on a Jaguar vehicle, like a bumper on a Formula 1 racer. Just makes me shake my head, but the new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon tailgate is both a functional and visually pleasing design.
The new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon's back end seals securely, and the glass separates from the gate for wagon bed access without opening the gate. But what stands out is the beautiful and practical steel skid lip, "brushed stainless steel scuff plate," at the end of the wagon bed. Jeff Key, X-TYPE program manager smiled, "Its a wagon, people are going to slide things into it. Plastic would scratch." Agreed. Any other manufacturer would use plastic and it would look tacky. This is a Jag, not a Chevy wagon.
The new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon claims "class-leading" maximum storage compared to Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3-Series wagons. The wagon end has removable side compartments for additional storage, 12 Volt power supply under the rear floor for laptop charging without visual exposure and the ubiquitous removable luggage cover with optional cargo netting.
I have fond memories of my Dad's '74 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser I used to haul my String upright bass around Philly metro to shows and concerts. Large, spacious, and did I say cavernous? The new 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon would of been more fun to drive to my gigs and maybe I would of been able to drive the first chair Cellist home after a concert and even played better arriving and departing in a Jaguar.
Base prices start at $36,995 for the 2005 Jaguar X-TYPE Sportwagon while the Sportwagon I drove was $37,590 with the Cold Weather Package.