Jaguar the brand has probably had a little more in common with jaguar the big cat than it would like: too infrequently seen, too little understood, too much threatened. But both car and feline have endured, likely owing to two other common traits: tenacity wrapped in dangerously come-hither looks that inspire rescue impulses from others (after all, when’s the last time you heard of anyone clamoring to protect the just-as-threatened blue-billed duck?).
The automaker unsheathed three of its newly sharpened claws at the New York Auto Show in the forms of the 2012 XF, XJ and XK, but before that we spent a day at the company’s Whitley Engineering Center in the English midlands to learn what went into those cars and what will come after them.
In Part 1 of our Deep Dive we’ll look at the numbers, the future and the message of the new Jaguar, while in Part 2 we’ll check out the technology and powertrains and drive the 2.2-liter diesel (that, of course, won’t be coming to the U.S.). While we can’t speak for the cat, the future could be quite promising for this storied English concern.