Jaguar Chills Out with New Winter Test Facility in Minnesota

Luxury Automaker to Use Cold-Weather Testing to Hone Its Future Models

SCARBOROUGH, MAINE (12/20/2012)(readMedia)-- Jaguar may have a reputation as a cool auto brand, but when it comes to testing its newest vehicles, the British automaker is looking to go sub-zero. As part of its increased focus on the U.S. market, Jaguar recently opened up a winter test facility in International Falls, Minn., one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states.

America is already one of Jaguar's largest markets, but with much of the nation residing solidly in the Snow Belt, cold-weather performance is an important consideration. The luxury brand's new winter test facility will allow it to put its vehicles through an all-conditions gauntlet, with features ranging from a frozen lake and concrete test track to snow-covered surfaces and a cold chamber.

"Jaguar already has an incredible reputation for performance, but it wants to show luxury buyers that its vehicles thrive in even the most extreme conditions," said Rick Smith, general manager of Maine Jaguar dealer Jaguar Scarborough. "The new facility in Minnesota will help Jaguar develop innovative ways of tackling winter's worst, whether that means increasing stability on snow, preventing ice buildup or simply making the cabin a more pleasant escape from the weather outside."

Starting this winter, motorists will get a firsthand look at Jaguar's latest snow-related efforts with the new 2013 Jaguar XJ AWD and 2013 Jaguar XF AWD, each of which features a new all-wheel-drive system that was developed primarily for North American drivers. Dubbed Instinctive All-Wheel Drive, the advanced technology went through 18 months of testing in northern Sweden before finally reaching production.

In normal driving conditions, Instinctive All-Wheel Drive sends most of the power to the rear wheels for more dynamic handling, but in snow, ice and rain, the technology can automatically shift energy to the front wheels to either preempt or alleviate slipping. The system will come paired to a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 engine, another new addition to the lineup that marks a departure from Jaguar's traditional V8-powered models.

Jaguar says that more than 80 percent of its competitors' vehicles are sold with all-wheel drive, while more than 90 percent of them feature either all-wheel drive or a V6 powerplant. The automaker hopes that the added all-weather capability and improved fuel economy will expand the market for its luxury sedans and boost their sales even further. Through November of this year, Jaguar has sold 10,962 models across its lineup in the United States, with the XF setting the pace as volume leader last month.

"Maine drivers demand vehicles that can take on the craziest weather that Mother Nature can come up with, and now, Jaguar is offering a luxurious solution for that need," noted Smith. "The best part is that the all-wheel-drive system and new V6 not only improve performance in snow, they also combine to provide an impeccable ride and better fuel efficiency year round."

About Jaguar Scarborough:

Serving Maine Jaguar enthusiasts, Jaguar Scarborough specializes in new, Select Edition Certified pre-owned and pre-owned Jaguar sales and service at its Maine Jaguar dealership. With an expert sales staff and a state-of-the-art Jaguar service shop, they can meet all the unique needs of current and future Jaguar owners. Part of the Goodwin Motor Group, which has been serving Maine drivers for almost 80 years, Jaguar Scarborough is located at 371 U.S. Route 1 and can be reached by phone at 888-236-7594. Online, customers can browse their inventory of Jaguar models at or like them on Facebook at