Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Plus K40 1000 radar detector, upgraded pulley, and more horsepower..
Published on May 10, 2005 By Draginol In Car Reviews

What is the right car for the person who wants a luxury sedan but also a sports car? Why can't you have both?  Well it turns out, you can have both -- for a price.  For those looking for a Sedan, the options are a bit limited if you want both luxury and power.  In about a year, the options will be much better.

But for my needs, I looked at the BMW M5, the Cadillac STS-V, Mercedes S500, and the Jaguar S-Type R.  Some of these cars aren't generally available yet. 

The STS-V has 470 horse power and seems to combine the best of the CTS and STS.  My only complaint is that the seats are still pretty "grandpa-like" in style and feel. But the biggest problem is that the STS-V won't be out until this Fall and the regular STS was entirely too elderly feel for me. The new BMW M5 isn't out yet either. It looks like it'll be a truly remarkable car with its 507 horse power and excellent styling.  The Mercedes S500 just didn't strike me as being aesthetically striking nor did it have enough power. It was far more luxury sedan than sport cars for what I was looking for.

But a friend turned on to the Jaguar S-Type R.  And once I had a test drive in it, I knew I wanted it.  The seats tuck you in and I must say, I've never had as much fun driving a car as this one. It's a totally different experience from other cars I've driven in the past.

The I ended up going to Jaguar of Novi (Michigan). While there, I was able to find nearly the perfect Jaguar for my tastes. The only feature it was missing (which I hope to rectify) is adaptive cruise control.  Priced at around $62,000 (before I applied my friend's X-Plan to it) it had a good combination of a sporty look, great ride, and plenty of power with its 390HP (399 foot pounds of torque) with 0 to 60 in about 5.2 seconds.

But the dealership had some pleasant surprises for me.  They do custom upgrades right there, under warranty.  One upgrade they convinced me to get that I am very glad for was a 100HP upgrade that involves upgrading the exhaust system, super-charger pulley, and replacing the intake.  They also tweaked it so that the super charger is doing 16PSI instead of the base 10.  Bear in mind, all this is under warranty which made a big difference (and since I lease cars, in 3 years I'll be looking at something else no doubt).

The other upgrade they convinced me to get was the K40 1000 integrated radar detector with laser diffuser.  In essence, it keeps the car relatively invisible to laser based speed detection and provides very accurate, very rare false positive radar detection.  I don't normally speed (I have 0 points and have never been in a traffic accident) but with this car, it's incredibly easy to be 5 to 10 over when there aren't other cars to gauge.  Plus it's fun to occasionally push it a bit..

The Jaguar S-Type shared quite a bit with Ford's Lincoln until 2003 when the Jaguar went through a major overhaul. Though still sharing some architecture with it, the 2005 Jaguar is a whole new animal. With a new 6 speed transmission, and the computer active technology suspension help give it a very distinct character.  The interior includes the best GPS based navigation system I've played with so far -- though still pretty far from what I'd consider the ideal system. It also includes a 6 CD changer (which is based in the trunk) and a CD player in the front panel that lets me switch between the two CD players. 

Some of my favorite touches are barely mentioned in reviews I've read.  The lights are very powerful and adapt based on the amount of light. The windshield wipers detect how much it's raining and adjust accordingly.  When gas gets low the navigation system displays nearby gas stations. The internal environment controls work far better than the similar system on the Bonneville. I set a temperature and within a few minutes the car is that temperature.  Checks on a checklist don't do it justice because there are features and there are features done right and the Jaguar gets the features right.

With the horse power upgrade, which I plan to Dyno soon to get a more accurate gauge of the upgrade, the car really moves, particularly in the mid range. In terms of how is handles as a sports car, it definitely holds its own with traditional Corvettes and Mustangs and would not likely be embarrassed by even the new C6 Corvette.

The interior is more than adequate with very adjustable seats (and it bears repeating how they seem to hug you in which really completes the sport effect) and a surprising number of cup holders for a car of this type (not that I'm going to let my kids eat or drink in this car).

For the first time, I have a car that I look forward to driving in the morning.  If you're looking for a car that combines the comfort and sophistication of a luxury sedan with the power of a high end sports car, the Jaguar S-Type R delivers on both.





Cam phasing



Aluminum alloy cylinder head/block


90-degree V8

Valves per cylinder



3.39 in.


3.56 in.


4.2 liter

Compression ratio




Horsepower (SAE)

390 bhp @ 3,500 rpm (upgraded to ~500 bhp @ ~4800 rpm)

Maximum torque

399 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm (upgraded to ~520 lb-ft)




0-60 mph

5.3 seconds (~4.6 seconds upgraded)

Maximum speed (electronically limited)

155 mph

EPA estimated fuel economy

17 city/24 highway

Comments (Page 1)
2 Pages1 2 
on May 10, 2005

it don't hurt at all that it's such an elegant looking vehicle either. 

i do hope you're pronouncing the marque correctly. like jag-you-are

on May 10, 2005
Glad you like the rain sensor....that's at least the Bosch technology.     I always think those would be more popular if the car companies would learn to market them.   Oh well.
on May 10, 2005
I do indeed like the rain sensor.  Though I haven't had much opportunity to use it with the good weather.
on May 12, 2005
I found out today I can't get adaptive cruise control added on after the fact.  So it's not quite the perfect car.  I'll have to wait until my next car to get that.
on Jun 12, 2005

I took some pictures with my cell phone but they didn't turn out very well.

on Jun 22, 2005

Better picture.

on Jun 22, 2005
Pretty car. Curious, do you let your boys ride in it?
on Jun 25, 2005
I do indeed. I took them out to lunch today and then to the movies in it.
on Jun 26, 2005
interesting how you upgraded the jaguar. i would really like to know what you did exactly to the car. i would like to know where to purchase these modifications. does the car have any problems that you have not noticed before? did you have to upgrade the headers. could you email me on
on Jun 26, 2005
I do indeed. I took them out to lunch today and then to the movies in it.

Sweet. I'd be a little nervous about it (hehe, we get nervous about our boys being all over our Malibu), but I'm sure your boys think it's incredibly cool.
on Jul 27, 2005
Yea, the kids like it when I "zoom".
on Aug 25, 2005
I have the same Jaguar and would also like the same upgrades done to my vehicle. Do you have a name in Novi at the dealership or did someone do this on the side for you, I would like to have the intake (I could do myself and the exhaust plus the radar detection done. Please advise. E-mail oat or call 586 604-1612
on Sep 06, 2005
This was done at the Novi Jaguar dealership.
on Sep 06, 2005
I always considered the Jag as THE classic sports car. Congratulations and hope you enjoy driving it Brad.

on Oct 19, 2005
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