Waaaaay back in 2001, I heard about a car that quickly became an obsession. I was young, just 23, when this car was announced and I knew I had to have one. I spent hours (at work) pouring over the specs and looking at promo photos. When the car finally hit showrooms as a 2002 model, I went and test drove one about once a month for a year and a half before finally buying a 2004 model.
I’m embarrased by it now, because if I had known as much about cars then that I know now, I would have known the Jaguar X-Type wasn’t at all competitive in its segment. It’s like looking back on my very first concert and trying not to grimace anytime someone asks me who it was (don’t ask).
Today, I half wonder if a new obsession will begin because Jaguar has again announced a new model; this one to replace the X-Type.
Called (for now) the RD7, this five-door hatchback that also thinks it’s a coupe will feature RWD and could have a 2.7-liter diesel V6. If obsession starts, I hope patience is also a trait because we’ll have to wait until at least 2013 for this new Jag.
If the design reminds you of something, think of BMW’s 5-Series Gran Turismo and recently announced 335i Gran Turismo that will go on sale in 2011. Apparently 5-door hatchback coupes are all the rage right now! I’m not complaining, in fact, I think I even like them.
The Coyote is thought to be a twin cam, four-valve per cylinder motor with an output of 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The new V8 will replace the long-in-the-tooth modular V8, joining the 6.8-liter V10 it’s derived from.
The 5.0-liter will be used in both the light duty F-series pickups and the Mustang, and it should be interesting to see if Ford markets the EcoBoost V6 in trucks against the V8 when they’re outputs are so similar.
If a 400-horse Ford doesn’t get your blood boiling, maybe this will: McLaren’s new MP4-12C will be offered in the U.S.
Perhaps best known for the F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR, McLaren’s MP4-12C and its mid-engine 600-horse V8 should quickly make a name for itself. We’ll have to wait awhile to find out though, as the latest McLaren isn’t even slated for production until 2011.
What are your thoughts, fellow Car Gurus: are 5-door hatches here to stay? Anyone else think the McLaren may have the goods inside, but is lacking in the exterior design department?