1 Jul 2002
By CHRIS HARRIS
Jaguar had been fettling the S recipe since its ’99 release, most notably with 2002’s massively reengineered version, which addressed many of the refinement and dynamic issues the model suffered from in comparison to its BMW 5 Series rival.
The 179kW 3.0-litre V6 remained much the same, but now gained a six-speed automatic gearbox from ZF instead of the old five-speed unit.
But Jaguar replaced the 4.0 V8 with a 224kW/420Nm 4.2-litre DOHC 32-valve V8, bolted on the six-speed automatic and made claims about better fuel economy and lower emissions as well as more power and torque.
BMW’s iconic M5 got a run for its money with the S-Type R, a supercharged 4.2-litre V8 offering a huge 298kW and 408Nm of power and torque respectively, harnessed by the aforementioned six-speed auto and a large array of suspension and steering modifications.
As part of the facelift, a new electronic hand brake, larger brakes, new forged aluminium front suspension, revised rear suspension, a revamped rear subframe for greater body rigidity and a small weight loss program all improved the S-Type’s dynamics.
Spotting the changes takes a keen eye, as the grille was redesigned, the console was heavily revised and the instrumentation was freshened up.