12 January 2004

Jaguar has revised the S-type for the second time in two years with a package of cosmetic and suspension changes combined with equipment upgrades aimed at heading off competition from the new BMW 5-series.

New metalwork for the bonnet and boot are matched to a new grille, rear lights and rear bumper. Under the skin, retuned dampers and low-friction ball joints are claimed to improve ride and handling.

Although subtle, the facelift is designed to give the S-type a more modern look. Most prominent is the new aluminium bonnet, which saves 11kg in weight and features a more pronounced central ridge that tapers towards the new grille.

The more upright grille is based on the design previewed on the R-D6 concept. Inspired by the D-type’s grille, its shape is wider and shorter than the old one. ‘The whole front of the car has a crisper, more powerful look and stance,’ said design director Ian Callum.

He has also reduced the pronounced droop in the original S-type’s boot by raising the lid by 25mm, a small adjustment that Jaguar says gives the car ‘a more athletic shape’.

The boot features a sweeping new plinth for the Jaguar badge, stretching the full width of the lid. The tail-lights have also been redesigned, and inside, a metallic trim option is available for the first time, plus a new instrument display.

However, there are still no details of the vital 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel that will be launched in June revamped. Petrol-engined models hit dealers in April and prices are said to be very close to today’s cars’.

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