By John Quilter
Jaguar (and Land Rover) are keeping up with promoting their products with scale models of current vehicles in the popular international collecting scale of 1:43. Although in the USA the much larger 1:18 scale models are an alternative collecting hobby and these are often made with greater detail and operating features the sheer variety of models made in 1:18 is much more limited. Perhaps the size of these larger models, measuring about a foot in length, limits the number an inveterate model collector can reasonably display. And this may be even more the case for Europeans with more compact homes.
The latest 43rd scale offerings are of the new Jaguar XE compact sedans marketed by Premium X who are based in Macao outside Hong Kong. They have a very extensive range of 1:43 scale vehicles from all over the world, including most of the current and historic Jaguars. Jaguar UK licenses them to produce these replicas and they provide specifications, dimensional details and exterior and interior colours to ensure accuracy. Traditionally, high accuracy collectible models in this scale were produced in diecast for larger volume production or white metal for lower production. Now, due to the cost of producing dies for metal models many model makers have shifted to resin that speeds launches and keeps costs lower. In prior decades American auto companies licensed their products to makers of 1:25th scale promotional models such as AMT or Johan and these were often available in the dealerships at the time of the new model launches in the fall. Now many European car makers such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, and others have long produced similar items but downsized to 43rd scale which makes for a car about four inches long. The Jaguar UK website offers a range of current and vintage Jaguar models in their accessories and lifestyle boutique, but availability has not been expanded to the Jaguar USA website. Some of the UK offerings are in the very large 1:8 scale with prices of £6,500! Truly limited production collectibles. The Jaguar UK website shows a red Premium X XE model in red produced for Jaguar’s boutique sales. Since this is not available in the USA a quick check on line one here in North America can find and buy these 1:43rd XE replicas from Premium X products in silver, green or white. Premium Collectibles webstore is at http://store.premium-collectibles.com
The models reviewed here are two versions of the Premium X Jaguar XE which was launched at the September 8, 2014 at the London motor show, Now after a period of sales in the home market the Ian Callum styled car is to be launched in the USA in the spring of 2016. This is after a gap in this compact executive segment of the market in the USA from 2008 to now Jaguar comes back with a new and completely different car from the previous X Type. Following Jaguar’s precedent the XE is an aluminum bodied car to pare weight off and improved fuel mileage and performance. It is reported to be the first car in its segment with an aluminum monocoque structure. Production commenced April 13, 2015 in Land Rover’s Solihull plant which is between Coventry and Birmingham. The XE promises to greatly ramp up Jaguar’s sales volumes worldwide, and in the USA, with its lower price point and greater affordability yet continues the X Type’s all-wheel drive feature although making it optional at buyer’s choice.
The Premium X models reviewed are a white replica billed by Premium X as an XE R-Sport which is fitted with the red leather with jet suedecloths inserts sport seats and “19 Star 5 Twin Spoke Sparkle Silver Wheels” as billed by Jaguar in their UK brochure. This car is a left hand drive example and is fitted with the optional carbon fibre mirror covers and black front fender vents. The lower front side grills are in black mesh without the windsplits that is part of some of the other versions such as the SE, Prestige and Portfolio editions . With a flashlight it is clever to note that one can see the video display in the centre of the fascia is imprinted with the opening screen of the Jaguar leaper. With the demise of the hood mounted chrome leapers of the past the iconic emblem continues on the boot as a chrome badge and a red growler is part of the front grill badge. The XE car has available an optional panoramic sunroof but this is not duplicated on these models. Since wagon and coupe versions of the XE are planned it will be interesting to see if Premium X adds these to their future Jaguar range as they did with the X Type estate in the past.
The second example reviewed is of a SE-S version in a very handsome metallic British racing green with the light oyster and jet black two tone seating. Again this is a left hand drive version and it is fitted with the 20 inch Propeller 10 spoke silver/diamond turned wheels. It is worth pointing out that per the UK brochure there are no less than 16 different wheels offered from 17, 18, 19 and 20 inch. Some are noted as Sparkle Silver, some Silver Diamond Turned, some Black Diamond Turned and two in Smoke Black with such interesting names as 17” Aerodynamic, 17” Lightweight, 18” Star, 18” Arm, 17” Turbine, 17” Crux, 17” Projector, need I go on? The wheel designers have been very busy. And the interior designers have not been far behind with eleven veneers and finishers five of which are of wood (including the traditional Jaguar burl walnut) and six of other materials such as brushed , embossed, etched, or meshed aluminium or carbon fibre, Plenty of choices to create a bespoke car of your wishes but Premium X does not go to quite these lengths in their attractive models although the models are labelled as “Limited Edition” which means in that particular color and other colours may follow at later dates. These XE models show some limited detail relief on the underside which includes a large transverse rear silencer, front and rear suspension and the company’s internal designation “Jaguar X760”.
As with previous promotional models of current Jaguar production vehicles these are nicely done and great additions to a collector’s fleet of miniature Jaguars.
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