That's how a new ad campaign for the completely redesigned Jaguar XK describes the car.
But it's also the catchword of an overall brand-image makeover effort that Ford Motor Co. hopes will breathe new life into its sagging British luxury car line.
And if the stunning new XK coupe and convertible are an indication of where Ford is taking the Jaguar brand, then chances are good that the brand's revival will succeed.
Jaguar's quality issues have already been solved. That was Ford's first order of business after acquiring the British automaker in 1994.
It took a while to do it, but Ford's efforts have paid off: Jaguar leads the industry in J.D. Power's sales satisfaction rankings, and is in second place, just behind Lexus, in initial quality rankings, which measure a vehicle's problems within the first 90 days of ownership.
Jaguar's quality is ranked above that of its European rivals, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
Now, with the introduction of the redesigned flagship XK line in the U.S. market, Jaguar is poised to regain its once-lofty position among the luxury nameplates.
"The XK is a product that delivers on the Jaguar vision of beautiful, fast cars," said Heather Harkovich, Jaguar's marketing manager for North America.
The car marks the "new design direction" for Jaguar, and improves on the car it replaces by offering better acceleration -- yet with improved fuel economy -- along with spaciousness and comfort."
"This car is shattering misconceptions about the Jaguar brand," she said, specifically that Jaguar is "an older man's car," has "poor quality," and is "behind in technology."
"Our new brand vision," Harkovich said, "is to move from being a traditional British car to a global luxury brand that is contemporary and modern."
Customers of Jaguar are seen as "connoisseurs of fine living," she said. Those who buy the new XK are expected to be predominately men 40 to 50, with a median income of $250,000.
"These are people who appreciate art, fashion, travel and fine wine," Harkovich said.
The high income will help when it comes time to write the check for a new XK. The coupe model begins at $75,500, including freight, while the convertible sells for $81,500, plus options.
Major competitors of the XK are the Lexus SC 430 at $66,000; Cadillac XLR at $77,300; BMW 650i at $81,200; and Mercedes-Benz SL500 at $93,700.
But the Jaguar already has one thing in its favor: 55 percent of XK buyers have said they didn't even consider another vehicle.
The major attributes of the XK that appeal to buyers are "beautiful styling, sporting credentials, versatility (the car's two-plus-two seating and ample luggage space), a contemporary interior with superior craftsmanship, and Jaguar's prestige and heritage," Harkovich said.
The new XK, which went on sale in the North America in April as a 2007 model after being introduced last year in Europe, actually is "two cars in one," said Russ Varney, the XK's chief program engineer.
"It's both a sports car and a GT," he said.
GT is short for "grand touring," which means that the car is designed for long highway trips -- something that the traditional sports car often is not suited for because of lack of cargo space, a less-than-comfortable interior and a harsher ride.
The XK has "subtle, refrained British elegance," and continues Jaguar's mission of delivering "beautiful, fast cars," he said.
As cushy as the XK is for those long drives, Jaguar still put heavy emphasis on "driving dynamics and sports car performance," Varney said.
The car has an all-aluminum body, which Jaguar developed based on its experience with the current XJ lineup, which also is made of aluminum.
The aluminum in the XK -- pronounced "al-u-min-e-um" by the British -- makes the XK significantly lighter than its BMW and Mercedes competitors, Varney said.
The weight savings over the previous XK with a steel body is equivalent to two adults and their luggage, which helps increase fuel economy, he said.
The new XK also is a showcase for Jaguar technology. The car comes with a computerized active suspension and dynamic stability control, among other things.
Under the hood is a normally aspirated Jaguar 4.2-liter V-8 engine cranking out 300 horsepower and 310 foot-pounds of torque.
It's connected to a six-speed Jaguar sequential-shift automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddles that let the driver shift manually. The transmission has a sport mode for more aggressive automatic shifting.
With this drivetrain, the coupe can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and the convertible in 6.0 seconds, Varney said. Top speed is governed to 155 mph.
The car's surprising EPA fuel economy ratings of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway make the car exempt from the U.S. gas-guzzler tax.
The combined city/highway rating is 24 mpg, which is amazing for a car with this kind of performance. Of course, to get that kind of mileage, the car will have to be driven somewhat gingerly.
In a break from the way automakers normally create convertibles, the XK ragtop was created first, then the coupe was designed from the convertible's layout.
This way, the engineers could focus on body rigidity to make sure that the convertible offered the smoothest, most comfortable ride not plagued by the traditional shakes and shimmies of convertibles that have been created by chopping the tops off of coupes, Jaguar said.
"Our goal was to make the convertible very stiff," Varney said.
The result is a convertible that feels like a coupe, even with the top down. Raising or lowering the top is as easy as pushing a button on an overhead console. There are no latches to fool with; it's all automatic. Even the windows open or close along with the top.
The car is quite comfortable for front passengers, and, of course, leather upholstery is standard. The rear seat is best left to small children or the dog. There is a choice of wood or metal dash and door trim, something that was the subject of intense debate among designers when the new XK was being created, the company said. Some felt wood was unnecessary, while others cringed at the idea of a Jaguar without at least the option of wood trim.
Among standard amenities of the new XK are keyless entry with pushbutton start; a seven-inch color touch screen in the center console for various functions including climate control, audio and navigation; bi-xenon headlights; six-disc, in-dash CD player; and a built-in Bluetooth telephone system.
Fast facts - 2007 Jaguar XK
What's new: The entire car has been redesigned.
Models offered: Coupe and convertible, both with two-plus-two seating.
Under the hood: A 4.2-liter V-8 engine with 300 horsepower, connected to a sequential-shift, six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift paddles.
Performance: Zero to 60 mpg in 5.9 seconds for the coupe, 6.0 seconds for the convertible.
Notable features: All-aluminum body; myriad high-tech gadgetry, including navigation and keyless start.
EPA fuel economy: 18 mpg city/26 highway; 24 mpg combined.
List prices: $75,500 for the coupe; $81,500 for the convertible, including freight.
Availability: On sale now.
G. Chambers Williams III is staff automotive columnist for the San Antonio Express-News and former transportation writer for the Star-Telegram. His automotive columns have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1995. Contact him at 210-250-3236; email@example.com.
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