Motorhouse 2000 have a 2.5 V6 Sport automatic at £24,499 (usually £29,200) and newcarbrokers.co.uk a 2.5 V6 at £23,094 (£25,550). DC Cook Direct (0870 6064343) have the 2.5 V6 model at £22,795, but a 3.0 V6 SE is £28,695, down from £32,000.Any snags?There were build-quality issues with early models. Five is near- impossible while the likelihood of getting all the luggage in the back is remote. The boot won’t take bulky loads and access is also restricted.How much?Jaguar dealers can be sniffy about discounts, but car supermarkets have them. You can fit four inside, but it looks tight, and anyone over average height will find their head brushing the roof. The cabin is well-organised, although there are some suspect plastics, plus the centre console can be confusing Drivers complain of wind noise on the motorway Biggest gripe is the lack of space.
That means there are old-style S-Types to be shifted.What’s good about it?It’s an executive car that isn’t German. After the sober styling (new BMW 5 excepted) of the market leaders, the S-Type makes a nice change. Some may think the design is a pastiche of the classic 1960s Mark 2, but it does stand out from the company car-park crowd. There are four engines from V6 to V8 and a supercharged version. The 400bhp R is seriously rapid — an impressive drive with good handling.What’s bad about it?Not a lot, although the styling does not have the grace of previous models.
Essentially there is a mid-life makeover which sees a restyled body for, as Jaguar puts it, a more muscular look, a revamped interior, aluminium panels and sportier suspension. No “Royale” ever bought a Royale – only a Parisian confectioner, a German gynaecologist and a retired British Army officer were buyers.It was a grotesque caricature of a large car of the early 1930s, its forward visibility menacingly diminished by the length of its bonnet, its steering as heavy as Austin’s three-ton truck, its engine as throbbingly noisy as an old Ford diesel, its suspension as unyielding as Constable’s Haywain.It was the most unpleasant of cars to drive and I was hugely relieved when, on a trial run, it drifted to a halt outside the Oxfam shop at the top of Brixton Hill – I have not seen it since.Ettore Bugatti’s dream car was a prize flop; and I cannot help thinking – hoping even – that the new Bugatti, the faux Bugatti, will follow it, unloved, into oblivion.. No dead sheep in formaldehyde can match the beauty of its forms or the purpose it proposes.To the most rigorous purist, even this exquisite motoring toy will not quite do – a Bugatti, to be a real, genuine Bugatti, must be by old Ettore through and through.Shall we consider the Royale of which he built only six of the proposed 25? At 14 litres, the engine was twice the size of its contemporary, the Rolls-Royce Phantom II, and the whole car was six times the price. There is, however, a small part of my soul that long ago was seduced by Reyner Banham’s musings that form should be subservient to function, not to style, nor to Zeitgeist, nor to idea, and to the ascetic I must commend the Type 55 that came into production in 1932. But Cadillac never offered bodies as beautiful as those mounted on Type 57 chassis.Prejudice is utterly forgivable.