COVENTRY, England - Jaguar plans a series of high-tech features and upgrades on its 2001 models. The brand wants to reclaim the reputation it had as a technology leader in the 1960s.
Jaguar wants to set itself apart from its rivals by getting leading-edge technology with practical applications into its cars as quickly as possible.
The 2001 improvements apply in particular to the XK series coupe and roadster.
Engineers at Jaguar's engineering center in Whitley, England, have developed what they claim to be 'the world's first ultrasonic occupant sensing system.' The system will be installed in all 2001 XK series cars.
The system has been designed to reduce injuries caused by inappropriate airbag deployment It features a series of ultrasonic sensors mounted in the A- and B-pillars and the roof console.
These sensors detect the positions of front seat occupants and convey the information to a central computer. If the car is involved in a collision, the computer determines whether the airbag should be deployed - and at what degree of force.
The same information governs the seat belt pretensioners. Sensors also tell the system whether or not the driver and passenger are wearing their seat belts.
The system was designed at Whitley with help from various suppliers. Visteon Corp. supplies the central computer, which can react 25 times faster than the blink of an eye.
The radial deployment airbag, developed by TRW Corp., is inflated by a mixture of hydrogen and air. It does not use the traditional sodium azide detonator.
Autoliv Inc. supplies the ultrasonic sensors and the seat belts. Delphi Automotive Systems supplies weight sensors in the seats.
The XK series will also get new 12-way adjustable seats, supplied by Lear Corp.
Meanwhile, Sovereign, XJR and Daimler models will be equipped with the 'world's first dual-band in-car telephone' as standard. It will be offered as an option on XK and other XJ models.
The handset is designed and manufactured by Motorola. The dual-band technology allows users a choice of networks.
Jaguar is also offering refinements to its adaptive cruise control system, which employs radar to adjust the speed of the car when approaching heavy traffic. The system now warns the driver when mud or snow is blocking the sensor.