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Old 08-09-2004, 15:48   #1 (permalink)
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US:Super 8? Jaguar considers building $100,000 flagship sedan

Super 8? Jaguar considers building $100,000 flagship sedan

MARK RECHTIN | Automotive News



SAN FRANCISCO -- Jaguar may build its Concept Eight show car as a limited-edition flagship vehicle priced at more than $100,000.

Jaguar would place the car above its all-aluminum XJ8 sedan lineup.

The Concept Eight wowed viewers at this year's New York auto show. Jaguar officials say they are considering its production to elevate the image of the XJ8.

The car would compete with the Mercedes-Benz S600 and BMW 760Li, said Mick Mohan, XJ chief program engineer.

Jaguar executives are watching reaction to the car on the show circuit. The automaker likely would sell only a few hundred of the cars annually, but believes the effort would be worthwhile to strengthen the high-end image of the brand, Mohan said at a press event here.

The Concept Eight uses the platform and component sets of the XJ8L Super 8 supercharged long-wheelbase sedan. Its production would not require significant assembly line retooling, Mohan said.

The car mostly would use the original sheet metal. In the concept car, a single sheet of darkened glass replaces the roof panel.

The only major mechanical change would be an increase in height, to make room for the car's 21-inch wheels.

Jaguar likely would keep the supercharged V-8 engine rather than try to redesign the car's engine bay to fit a V-12.

The $100,000-plus segment has gained several new vehicles in the past year, including the Volkswagen Phaeton W12 and Maserati Quattroporte. Aston Martin will join the segment next year. Cadillac, Lexus and Audi are considering entries.

Industry analysts warn that there may not be enough customers to support all the new entries.
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