Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Brad's new car
Published on April 22, 2005 By Draginol In Car Reviews

After a long search, I finally bought a new car.  I will be the first to admit I'm not much of a car enthusiast.  Ten or so years ago I was driving a 1984 Chevette.  5 years ago I was driving a Grand Prix.  And my last car was a Pontiac Bonneville.  I've always bought American made cars -- until now anyway.

What I was looking for was a mix between a pure sports car such as a Corvette and a pure luxury car like the Cadillac STS.  I wanted to have a bit of both.  Since I often take 4 people in my car, a two-seater wasn't an option.  So the Cadillac XLR, which was an early favorite, was out of the picture.  The Cadillac CTS was also an early favorite but lacked just a couple too many "gotta have" features that I wanted.

A good friend of mine turned me onto the Jaguars.  He took me to a dealership and because he works at Ford, he could get me a pretty good deal on one (Jaguar is now owned by Ford Motor).  As soon as I drove one I knew I wanted this. It was a totally different experience than anything I'd driven before. And I was driving a lower end one for the test drive. The handling was precise, the interior was snug, and the acceleration was far peppier than anything I could recently recall driving.

But I was still not sure. The Jag lacked some of the features I wanted.  No head's up display. No keyless operation.  And none of the models I could get in the time I needed had adaptive cruise control.  The Cadillac STS, on the other hand, had all of those.  But as soon as I took a drive in one -- no as soon as I sat down in one, I knew I wasn't going to get one.  I finally truly understood the vast gulf between a true luxury car and a sports car.  The Cadillac's wide seats, incredibly smooth, gentle ride, and graduated steering were very comfortable in a convalescent sort of way.  So it was back to the Jag dealership.

I eventually decided on a black one.  I originally wanted to get a dark green one but perhaps it's my imagination (I don't think it is though) but the paint on these cars seem to reflect far more than any car I've previously owned. In the sun, the black shines.  The dark interior is not an issue because all the windows seem to be coated with a fully translucent material that blocks out UV rays to keep the interior from heating up excessively.

The model in particular I chose is the 2005 Jaguar S-type Racer.  The specs are below:

Engine type V-8 Supercharged, cast aluminum block and heads, LEV
Horse Power 390 @ 6100rpm
Torque 399 @ 3500rpm
Power to Weight Ratio 10.4
0 to 60mph 5.2 seconds
1/4 mile 13.6 seconds
Navigation GPS DVD based navigation computer
Fuel Efficiency 17/24

But I also decided to get some upgrades to it. The dealership provides a host of upgrades that were unexpected but welcome.  First, I got it upgraded to 500 horse power.  That's done through a Spercharger pulley upgrade, a Performance Heat Shield Intake kit, A Performance Intake Kit, Upgraded Exhaust, and tweaked computer chip.  The extra ~100 in horse power is designed to increase the RPM performance in every gear.  Or put another way, it makes it have a lot more kick at every speed.  It also unofficially changes the ratings to roughly 4.4 seconds when going 0 to 60 mph and about 12.6 seconds on the quarter mile.

I'm not a speed junky (on cars anyway) but I've quickly come to appreciate the ability to drive very quickly when the desire rises.

Which brought me to the second dealer-installed upgrade.  The K40 integrated radar/laser diffusion system.  Essentially it keeps the car from showing up on radar guns or laser based speed measurement devices. It also informs you of any radar/laser using devices nearby.  Once installed, it's hidden, you can't see it in the car. It's just another light in the instrument panel.  Amongst their guarantees "Wel'll pay any and all radar speeding tickets you got for one year after purchase".  I'm amazed that such a device is legal (it's not in Canada actually).  Of course, since I never exceed the speed limit...I just have it for informational purposes of course..

I've only had it a week so far and I just love it.  Naturally some friends of mine have debated on just whether this is a "sports car" or a "luxury sedan".  My argument is that it's both.  But either way, given that this "luxury" vehicle can hold its own against Mustangs and Corvettes and other traditional "sports cars" is good enough for me.  Given that I only drive around 7,000 miles per year anyway, I want to really enjoy the ride while I am driving. And so far, the Jag has delivered it in spades.

Comments (Page 1)
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on Apr 22, 2005
you worked long and hard for this ride, enjoy it to the max.
on Apr 22, 2005

That must have been some price tag.

You've worked hard, now it's payoff time!
on Apr 22, 2005
makes me laugh after all that crap you gave us foreign car driving people last fall

on Apr 22, 2005
Oh lighten up Myrr
on Apr 22, 2005

Myrrander, I don't remember Brad ever giving somebody "crap" for driving a foreign car.  Can you give a link to what you are referring to?


on Apr 22, 2005
Um, he's not driving a foreign car. It's a FORD with FORD quality. And you can figure out if I mean that is as a complement or an insult....

The more interesting part is the K40. Man I want their radar detector and the lidar jammer... but in Canada... hrm. Brad where did you see that the K40 lidar jammer was illegal in canada?
on Apr 22, 2005
First, I got it upgraded to 500 horse power. That's done through a Spercharger pulley upgrade, a Performance Heat Shield Intake kit, A Performance Intake Kit, Upgraded Exhaust, and tweaked computer chip. The extra ~100 in horse power is designed to increase the RPM performance in every gear. Or put another way, it makes it have a lot more kick at every speed. It also unofficially changes the ratings to roughly 4.4 seconds when going 0 to 60 mph and about 12.6 seconds on the quarter mile.

Very impressive. Always liked the supercharged jags. Is it 500 at the engine, or at the wheels? (sounds like at the wheels)

Of course, since I never exceed the speed limit

Riiiight. Looks beautiful, enjoy your new ride!
on Apr 23, 2005
Jolly good show for buying British old boy. Although Jag is owned by Ford it is a British car with British class and elegance. An excellent choice for a new money chap.

Now you need a Bentley old boy.
on Apr 23, 2005
" Um, he's not driving a foreign car. It's a FORD with FORD quality."

It's a British design, Fords are known for their cheap plastic fantastic interiors. Jaguars are all about that very British of things... opulence.
on Apr 23, 2005

(the joys of a laptop)

I've never put people down for buying foreign cars. In my various car posts in which I was trying to decide on a car, I had a number of foreign cars in my list.

I have commented that while driving around town, I always saw Kerry supporter stickers on foreign cars.  I suppose one could argue that being a Kerry supporter is a sort of put-down .  But I also said in the same paragraph that there was nothing wrong with owning a foreign car.

In fact, I wrote this in the article Myrrander is referring to:

But not owning an American made car doesn't make you anti-American (I realize this should be obvious but based on some of the things I've read in response to my article this basic bit of logic seems to elude some people). 

So even when I explicitly say there's nothing wrong with owning a foreign car (this was back last October btw) there's always some poor miserable guy like Myrrander to step up and play the fool.

on Apr 23, 2005
I hope you won't begrudge me a little envy.

on Apr 23, 2005

As someone who worked on designing this car for 3 years, let me say that's not really a British car.    It's also not exactly an American car, although it's probally closer to that then British.    Basically, it's the same car as the Lincoln LS.    The difference is that anything the end customer could see and touch, was designed in England.    Anything that was mechanical unpinnings was designed in US by Ford.    So most major mechanical systems are Ford, most of the trim and styling is Jaguar.   

The plant is in the UK, actually at an old Spitfire factory.   That was pretty cool at least, you could see some of the old buildings still had the faded camoflague from the war on the sides.   

Have fun with it Brad, although I don't want to hear any gruff about the wiper systems!    I can tell you some of the horror stories about this car (although that was many years ago, I assume it's all fixed by now)    That's always the problem with working at the sausage factory, you know what goes into it.

Although even with your supercharged engine and radar detector, I can bet I've been in one going faster then you'll ever get.    Let me tell you this is a good thing.   (You don't want to know what they'll do to you if they catch you at 155 mph on 696....)

on Apr 24, 2005
Indeed, I can only imagine what the cops do when they catch someone going 155.
on Apr 25, 2005
Looks very shiny - I doubt I'll be able to afford anything like that - heck, even the insurance would be crippling. Hope you're not planning any trips to Canada, though!

I do find the legality of the K40 worrying, too. It seems like privilege in its most essential form - rich people can actually buy immunity from prosecution, just as if they'd bribed a witness to stay silent. For those who think it's their own car and you should be able to do what you like; well, cars are indeed your own personal property, but when you use them on federal or state highways, you come under the laws that govern them - laws that were made for the protection of both drivers, passengers and other users alike. I think that intentional actions to evade those laws should be illegal.

From what I know of Brad, I don't think he's the sort of guy who'd abuse this sort of technical capability . . . but I can think of plenty of people who would. One day one of these people is going to be driving a car much like this one, not get pulled over for speeding because there was no proof, and the next day they're going to cause an accident and kill someone. Probably themselves, maybe their families, and quite possibly other people as well. Probably this has already happened, but there's no way to prove it, so . . .
on Apr 27, 2005

Now your talking!!!!
Burn that money baby!!!

What did you have before? A Bonneville?? LMAO You left American made cars!!! I bet your next car will be a Beemer. lol

Actually, I like the Bonneville even more than the Grand Prix, but in your quest for a front wheel drive car with Heads Up and... what was the other thing? I know it was some sort of GM only item.

You didn't want the Cadillac STS? They have the suoup-up version now that looks cool; Cadillac STS-V
By the way, Jaguar is owned by Ford... and American company.

"Cadillac STS... convalescent sort of way" convalescent -- (a person who is recovering from illness)
REALLY??? You didn't like it? There are people I know who would burn you at the steak for saying such things.

"I originally wanted to get a dark green one but ..." I wanted to get a dark green 300C. I'll get it, one day.
You make me want to get a Jag...

Anyway, the S Type looks good. Mileage sucks, but everything else looks pretty good.
*Starts plotting ways to become rich and starts a music band*

Did you ever thing about getting a Infiniti FX35 or 45? I here the 35 is better because it is a smoother ride....
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