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Jaguar considers new look for X-Type... shooting brake design

Old 03-20-06, 07:49 AM
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Default Jaguar considers new look for X-Type... shooting brake design

Jaguar considers new look for X-Type
British carmaker mulls ‘shooting brake’ sporting design

Wim Oude Weernink | | Automotive News / March 20, 2006 - 6:00 am

Jaguar could replace its X-Type lower-premium car with a “shooting brake”-style station wagon.

The term shooting brake often is used to describe a stylish wagon used for sporting purposes such as hunting. In the past, the Queen of England always had a shooting brake at her disposal.

The X-Type, which comes as a sedan and station wagon, is Jaguar’s best-selling model. Its sales have not matched the British sports car maker’s hopes since its 2001 launch.

Development work on the X-Type’s successor has been delayed as Jaguar debates what kind of vehicle should replace it.

“Work has been held back for some time now,” a European distributor executive said. “They are studying what sort of model the next X-Type should be. But it won’t be a sedan again.”

Jaguar Managing Director Bibiana Boerio hinted at the Detroit auto show in January that the British sports car maker was considering radical options for the X-Type.

Denying rumors that the next X-Type will be a crossover, she told Automotive News Europe: “Someday we may create our own segment, with an alternative [concept] option.”

The X-Type’s successor likely will be equipped with all-wheel drive.

Last year Jaguar built 44,965 X-Types, down from 59,992 in 2004.

Jaguar had problems with the X-Type from the beginning. The vehicle was derived from the Ford Mondeo, and some customers didn’t feel it was a proper Jaguar.

The carmaker was slow to bring diesel and station wagon versions to market. The X-Type also performed very poorly in North America, where dealers had to offer big incentives to sell the cars.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:34 AM
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Aston-Martin produced the quintessential shooting-brake based on the Bondian DB5 series. The shooting-brake is usually based on a luxury sports coupe, and its origin is a legend in the British car industry. David Brown himself had the car built to his specifications, and I believe it actually enjoyed some limited production for some of his compatriots.

It seems Brown, the designer for Aston at the time, wanted a car to take him and his Labrador hunting on his estate. In December of ’65, he brought the Lab to work, hoisted the big animal up onto the boardroom table and instructed his staff to “build something HE can sit in.” They did, extending the roofline of the current DB5, raising the rear spring rates, and improvising a rear hatch. Thus the shooting-brake was born – around the dimensions of a Labrador Retriever.

Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake, Courtesy www.shooting-brake.com

If not the first SUV, this tall wagon based on a “gentleman’s sports car” was at least the first crossover. Once in a while they turn up at auto shows, although most today would be better adapted to the dimensions of a Welsh Corgi.

Aston Martin Jet II by Bertone, 2004 - Photo courtesy www.shooting-brake.com

From time to time "shooting-brakes", have been produced in limited editions as wagon variants of existing sports-luxury cars. Rolls and Bentley have produced such custom models, while Jaguar, Jensen-Healey, Porsche, and even Ferrari have produced these specialized sport-wagons for the uber-rich who require special accommodations for their hunting dog.

Me? A rusty old pickup works just fine, I don’t worry about scratches from mesquite thorns, and mud just adds to the patina of age. The dogs don’t know the difference, preferring to travel in the bed with the wind up their noses as they crane their necks around the cab . . . and I’m not about to tell them what they're missing!.
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