Roadfly.com         Roadfly Home | Features | Car Review Videos | Car Reviews | Cars For Sale | Used Car Parts Classifieds | Forum | Car Review Archives | Forum Archives Index



PDA



RickKap
02-26-2004, 10:29 PM
I thought this link might help people worried about how aluminum is used to the new XJ.

johncalifornia
02-29-2004, 12:22 PM
This article stretches the facts mighty thin to provide what seems a strained rationale for using aluminum in the body of a production car. Comparing the weight of the X350 to the Porky Pig of the segment -- the Phaeton -- is misleading. And I have never seen vehicle weights as low as the article quotes for the X350 and the Audi A8.

I'm all for making cars lighter, and for using aluminum in unsprung suspension components and other strategic areas. But when the manufacturer uses the stuff for body panels, it's the end users (the owners) who ultimately pay the costs of being ahead of the technology curve -- in higher repairs and lower resale. My theory is based on the tanking resale value of the otherwise excellent Audi A8. Word has gotten round the "masses" on the hassle and cost of repairing its aluminum body, and bargain priced used units sit on dealers' lots for months. I know because I was shopping for one when I was seduced by a 1998 X308.

Twenty years from now when aluminum (or more likely carbon fiber) is commonplace, so will be repair facilities for non-steel-bodied cars. But today, in the real world, Ford's announcement of an increase in USA-based aluminum repair facilities to 200 only underscores how far there is to go in this area.

I fear Ford is using Jaguar as a guinea pig in its aluminum experimentation, and that, regardless of eventual success or failure, X350 owners will pay the price of being early adopters. I hope I'm wrong, because I am a major enthusiast of the brand, but I really can't see it any other way.
John Mulvihill, technical writer, San Francisco Bay Area
1998 XJ8, Anthracite/Charcoal

RickKap
02-29-2004, 07:48 PM
I guess Ferrari decided to make 360 Modena owners guinea pigs and along with Acura making NSX owners guinea pigs over a decade ago.

The doors on the X350 are very light but close solidly. The front doors of the S-Type are heavy in comparison but don't close as solidly.

Happy leap year.

johncalifornia
02-29-2004, 08:45 PM
For exotic cars like Ferrari and Aston Martin, aluminum does make sense. On the latter, the aluminum body panels are hand-beaten works of art! You see Ferrari are going to carbon for their ultra-exotics. This I think is the future for all cars, expensive ones anyway.

Keep in mind that the owners of such cars live in a different world. They have a fleet of other cars to use while awaiting their replacement body panels. And they park such cars at the local mall.

Happy leap year to you too. Don't accept any marriage proposals. Now get back to your homework!John Mulvihill, technical writer, San Francisco Bay Area
1998 XJ8, Anthracite/Charcoal

RickKap
02-29-2004, 08:59 PM
BMW uses aluminum for the body panels of the new 5 series and the 7 series.

RickKap
02-29-2004, 09:29 PM
Read the fourth fact about the new XJ on the following link.

JHinton
03-02-2004, 02:15 PM
I like to buy my cars used and keep them for about 10 years, so high depreciation is fine by me. I happily let the new car buyer take a 50% hit to enjoy that new car smell. I'll have to look for one of those "bargain priced used units" in about 2007 to 2008 when the first batch of X350's start coming off lease.

The real reason I like the concept of an all aluminum car is that it won't rust. In my home state of Michigan, rust is what kills cars. The chance of collision repairs on an aluminum car taking a little longer to me is well worth the savings in guaranteed rust repair work on a steel car.

When you add in reduced weight, better performance, and increased gas mileage; an all aluminum car just makes sense to me.

johncalifornia
03-03-2004, 01:11 AM
From your persepctive buying an aluminum X350 used a few years down the road DOES make sense. We enthusiasts never buy our cars new -- money down the drain.

In my post I was thinking more of the consequences for those who are buying the X350 new right now! Your gain is literally their loss.

I live in salt-free California and my goal is to snag a well-maintained steel-bodied Super V8 in a few years. For the nonce my 1998 XJ8 gets me around in a style to which I am rapidly becoming accustomed (see link).
John Mulvihill, technical writer, San Francisco Bay Area
1998 XJ8, Anthracite/Charcoal

RickKap
03-03-2004, 01:14 AM

JHinton
03-03-2004, 01:11 PM
A lot of Jaguar enthusiasts do buy their cars new. Without them we would have no used cars. With that purchase comes the pride of owning a new car and the peace of mind that having a warranty brings. But a new car purchase also comes with about 60% depreciation over the first 5 years.

Depreciation is just a part of the package, especially with luxury models. Edmunds predicts 61.5% for a 2004 XJR, 62.5% for a Mercedes S430, and 65% for an Audi A8. Considering that the S430, a steel bodied car, fits right between the aluminum A8 and XJR, I just don't see an aluminum body to be a liability.

Charlienmr
03-03-2004, 01:36 PM
I guess I am one of the suckers that likes new cars. The point about warranty is one of the things that makes me like new cars. I don't need to worry about a thing with a 4 year 50,000 warranty. My dealer also gives me a Jaguar loaner when my car is in the shop and the warranty also covers all scheduled maintenance. (I do more regular oil changes than required.) So I do lose 60% over the first five years, but I don't pay for anything else. I also tend to keep the cars a long time if their track record on reliability is good. I also think that at certain times, technology moves forward in some ways that make me want to get it now rather than later. That's an expensive habit that I just can't control. Good example is aluminum cars. Jaguar is setting the technology standard IMHO. Depreciation is important to some people, but to me, the difference between 55 or 60 or 65% isn't critical. And almost all cars fall in that range after five years. Just my thoughts. By the way, I take very good care of my cars, so if anyone would like to buy my 04 XJ8 Ebony/warm charcoal, almost fully optioned, I can put you on the list of people waiting for my well maintained and beautiful Jaguar sedans. Should be avaialble in about 4-5 years. :-)

Charlie

johncalifornia
03-04-2004, 01:22 AM
If you can afford a new Jaguar without sweating you've got the last laugh on us "enthusiasts." (Euphemism for poor but with expensive tastes and canny about ways to satisfy them.)John Mulvihill, technical writer, San Francisco Bay Area
1998 XJ8, Anthracite/Charcoal

Charlienmr
03-04-2004, 01:53 PM
So does that mean you want to be on the list? Actaully, wealth is relative. We both live in the Bay Area, so a lot of money is required to just live adequately. Housing, food, premium gas. Ah well, I could always move back to Illinois. Naaaahhhhhh!

Charlie :-)

johncalifornia
03-05-2004, 01:43 AM
You think Illinois is bad? Try Ottawa Ontario! I'd rather be a lamp post in the Bay Area than . . . well, you know.

I don't qualify to be on this list, I own an X308. Hey, SOME of us in the Bay Area have to make an honest living to support all you X350-driving nouveau-riche arrivistes! <G>
John Mulvihill, technical writer, San Francisco Bay Area
1998 XJ8, Anthracite/Charcoal

Charlienmr
03-05-2004, 02:31 AM
Oh, very unfair. I've lived in California for over 30 years. I'm practically a native. And the rich part sounds good, but..... The market did recover last year, ya know. How's the old song go. "You got to know when to hold'em. And know when to fold'em." And don't feel bad about posting on this board. I post on the XJ8/XJR board. :-)

Charlie

PaulNeko
03-05-2004, 02:33 PM
I agree with Charlie. Although it may not be the most economically prudent thing to do, buying a new car has its intangible rewards. I keep my cars for at least 100K miles so depreciation isn't really a factor except for the intial cost could be lower if I had started off with a one or two year old car. The housing market is probably a little more reasonable down here in So. CA ($240 sq. ft) but filled up my new XJR at $2.52/gallon today. Although I don't own my '99 anymore I still post on both boards too. It's not a sin is it?

Bloodworm
04-04-2004, 11:52 AM
all of the v8's have aluminum bodies and steel FRAMES. the newest jags have aluminum bodies and aluminum frames. Aluminum is eaisier to recycle for the european push for more recyclable products, this is why they are going aluminum. Here in the USA, we stopped caring about recycling on Vday back in the forties! recycling is still no where near where it should be and where it acctually was during WWII here in the states.


Roadfly Home | Car Reviews | Forum Archives Index