Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

January 5, 2014

Cargazing: Designed for luxury

Seventy-two.

While I can admire a classic ‘72 Stingray, muse at a ‘72 El Camino SS pickup or gaze at the long-nosed ‘72 Buick Riviera, none apply to this situation.

Nor is it a palate pleasing Château Climens Sauternes or Coutet Sauternes, each ‘72 Bordeaux sweet wines. It’s not anything close to Hurricane Agnes, the ‘72 hurricane that devastated the East Coast, either.

Well, what then?

The answer is not so obvious for anyone counting themselves a James Bond fan and recent patron of the smash hit “Skyfall.” The illusive 72 is actually the number of screen shots featuring Jaguar and Land Rover cars during the film.

It would take an avid Bond fan — or, as I discovered at a recent media event, a Brit engineer from the Jaguar Land Rover Coventry plant - to do the counting. Moviegoers may recall the Jaguar sedan used to chauffer ‘M’, the Bond matriarch and head of British Secret Service, Judi Dench, between harrowing scenes.

Bragging rights on the 2013 model go to a first-ever, all-wheel-drive system available on the XF sport and XJ luxury sedans and two new engines designed for fuel economy and performance.

Jaguar models range from the XF sedan, XK sports coupe and convertible, to the flagship XJ sedan. Ownership of the brand has switched from Ford in 2008 to Tata Motors of India.

The philosophy behind the new, all-wheel-drive system is straightforward. With lagging North American sales, the world-class auto manufacturer needs a sedan to run with the Mercedes-Benz E350, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. Each offers all-wheel drive configurations with fuel-saving engines. For years, Jaguar has been producing luxury, but in gas-thirsty V8 sedans with rear-wheel drive.

The XF and XJ models solve both problems and bring to the table a pair of world-class cars starting at under $47,000.

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