Vehicle Overview
Jaguar leans heavily on its heritage in its styling and marketing, and the S-Type sedan is the most overt attempt to capitalize on the passion generated by its previous models. Its name comes from the 3.8 S-Type, one of Jaguar's performance models during the 1960s.

Though Ford has owned Jaguar since 1990, the parent company gives the British luxury manufacturer considerable autonomy. That is apparent in the S-Type, which is built from the same basic architecture as the Lincoln LS but wears classic Jaguar styling that masks their kinship.

The rear-drive S-Type, which went on sale in May 1999 as an early 2000 model, serves as the entry-level Jaguar. The S-Type sedan is expected to be joined by a station wagon during 2001.

A heavily sculptured hood (topped by a "leaping cat" ornament) that slopes to an elliptical vertical bar grille and four round headlamps gives the four-door S-Type a classic Jaguar face. The profile and rear styling also capture traditional Jaguar cues with a dose of contemporary lines.

The S-Type shares its 114.5-inch wheelbase with the Lincoln LS but is a few inches shorter overall at 191 inches (and 6 inches shorter than Jaguar's XJ8 sedan).

The five-passenger S-Type is trimmed with the same rich leather upholstery and warm wood accents as other Jaguars, traditional touches for this company.

It also comes with some high-tech hardware, including optional voice-activated controls to tune the radio, set the temperature or dial a telephone number — an auto industry first. Simple voice commands such as "temperature 68 degrees" activate unseen digital servants that cater to your desires. An in-dash, satellite-based navigation system also is available.

Under the Hood
The base engine in the S-Type is the 3.0-liter V-6 engine found in the Lincoln LS, but Jaguar supplies its own cylinder head, intake manifold and other hardware to boost horsepower from 210 to 240. An optional 4.0-liter Jaguar V-8 (also used in the XJ sedans and XK8 sports car) offers 281 horsepower. (A version of this V-8 with 3.9 liters of displacement and lesser output is the uplevel engine on the Lincoln LS.) Both engines team with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Side-impact airbags for the front seats, an anti-skid system, traction control and anti-lock brakes are standard. An optional Sport Package includes the Computer Active Technology Suspension, which adjusts the suspension to firm or soft settings based on how the car is driven.

Reported by Rick Popely  for
From the 2000 Buying Guide