Talk Like a Pirate Day may have been last week, but that won’t stop us from referring to today’s Nice Price or No Dice Jag as an S-Type “Arr.” You could even throw a “matey” in there at the end if you want. Let’s see if this supercharged saloon is worth giving up a chunk of your booty to buy.
The automotive world is in the midst of a transition at the moment, as cars with electric powertrains encroach on those powered by internal combustion engines. As in any re-alignment, it’s the early adopters who face the greatest risks, and with electric cars that means suffering the highest costs and/or the shortest ranges.
The 2017 Tesla Model X 75D we looked at on Friday was an example of this. A reply from the small California-based company to the shift toward SUV layouts, the 75D edition of the three-row people mover was the lowest-spec car in the lineup. That meant a modest 250-mile range from its 75 kWh battery pack. Even though it was the bargain basement model, it still cost almost 90 grand when new. Here, three years out, that value had dropped appreciably. To $63,500 in that particular car’s case. That wasn’t enough of a drop for many of you, however, and the Tesla fell in a 73 percent No Dice loss.
Don’t tell anybody, but for better or worse, there’s a lot of Ford underneath today’s 2004 Jaguar S-Type R. The S-Type was built on the DEW platform that Ford shared with the British luxury carmaker back when the two companies were connected at the bank account. The DEW also underpinned the Lincoln LS and retro-themed Thunderbird two-seater.
The S-Type was also retro in style, its rounded corners and almond-shaped grille hearkening back to the original S-type saloon (itself an offshoot of the Mark 2) of the ’60s. That throwback styling didn’t go over very well, especially not with its harshest critics, Top Gear’s James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson. None of them liked the styling at the time the car was new, and James May even predicted that it would become less liked with age.
You know what? Screw those old farts. This 2004 R, especially in its British Racing Green paint and beige leather interior, is a pretty smart-looking car. The big alloy wheels and mesh grille help, as do the twin pipes under the rear valance. Those are the only brightwork bits on the body, save for the traditional Jaguar “Leaper” mascot on the bonnet, and overall the car has a mean, purposeful look. Massive disc brakes sit proudly behind those factory alloys and are painted with Jaguar R branding.
The bodywork under that traditionally British hued paint appears to be in excellent shape and without issue. The wheels seem free of curb rash, although a close-up shot of one does indicate some wear evident on the center cap.
The interior of this 130,000-mile example looks to have held up in fine shape as well, although if the exterior led you to expect an English drawing room inside, you may be sorely disappointed. In place of the base car’s burl wood dash, this R got carbon-fiber-pattern trim. Real wood still adorns the doors so you get the best of both worlds here. The only glaring issue seems to be the leather on the steering wheel, which is looking a bit worse for wear.
The car seems appreciably stock, although the current owner has added a Bluetooth radio connector to the power plug/cigarette lighter. Also added are floor mats that look like they were cut out of some industrial flooring material. Carpet mats might do wonders.
Of course, the most important part of the car lives under the bonnet. That’s a 4.2-liter AJ-V8 topped with an Eaton M112 Roots-style supercharger. Set up as the S-Type’s top mill, that combo is good for 390 horsepower, according to factory specs. Playing backup to that is a ZF 6HP26 six-speed automatic that feeds the ponies to the rear wheels.
In action, these cars are generally civilized until they are called upon to not be. In this car’s case, the odd choice of a muffler delete means it’s probably a bit of a soccer hooligan all of the time. On the plus side, the ad notes the replacement of the water pump and the notorious timing chain tensioners. New tires and brake pads were apparently added recently.
The seller claims the car to be a reliable vehicle with no issues, hidden or apparent. The title is clean, and the asking price is $6,500. It should be pointed out that price is almost exactly a tenth of this car’s base price when new. We were just discussing Tesla depreciation. Without a doubt, Jaguar can give pretty much every other carmaker on the planet lessons on that.
Ah, but is it enough? We have to decide if this clean and mean Jag is worth even that. What do you think, should a buyer pony up that $6,500 for this angry cat? Or, is this a car that’s not worth that much now, nor will it ever be?
H/T to S.R. Gooch for the hookup!
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