Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

The last-of-the-line X-Type was a very different beast from the early cars, but we meet one X400 fan who has combined the two with some neat OEM-style upgrades.




A selection of carefully installed OEM-style upgrades turn this X-Type into the car it could have been from the start.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

I think this must be the most northerly 3-litre X-Type,” laughs Nathan Reynolds as he explains the history of the car you see here and although there are undoubtedly a few examples employing their all-wheel drive layout to good advantage up in Scandinavia, when it comes to Britain he’s probably correct. Located near Wick, just a short hop from John O’Groats, the nearest Jaguar dealer is 105 miles to the south which explains both the rarity of these cars originally in the north of Scotland and also makes it all the more impressive that Nathan has managed to create an impressive array of OEM-style upgrades.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

As regular readers will know, we’re very much fans of the X-Type here at JW but the world at large can take some convincing before it appreciates the car’s merits – most people having been brainwashed by the lazy ‘Mondeo in a bowler hat’ jibes from back in the day.

Initially Nathan admits he was similar. “I didn’t think much of Jaguars at the time,” he admits but having acquired a timeworn X-Type from a friend, he came to love it – despite the car in question being the lowest rung on the X-Type ladder in the shape of the front-driven 2-litre diesel.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

Before long, he found himself wanting a better example and working on the basis of ‘go big or go home’ started hunting out a 3-litre example in the rare manual flavour. For obvious reasons sourcing a car locally wasn’t an option but within 24 hours of searching online, Nathan turned up a suitable car down in London. In a boost for the beleaguered Met force, Nathan describes the former police officer vendor as a ‘Legend’ and the process of buying the car and having it transported some 600 miles north went smoothly.

A pre-facelift example from July 2002, the car itself was something of an enigma in being a 3-litre yet in the relatively sparse Sport Premium spec with plain charcoal interior and pretty much bereft of all options, yet proudly bearing the Jaguar-branded fitted umbrella in the boot.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

Work began on transforming it as soon as it was off the trailer, Nathan’s vision being to create the ultimate pre-facelift X-Type by adding all the options available at the time and then some.

It’s not always recognised just how much the X-Type was incrementally improved during its lifetime, Jaguar claiming that 500 changes were made to create the facelift model and the differences in electrical architecture created some headaches when trying to install features offered on the facelift model to this pre-facelift car.

Making life even more difficult for himself, Nathan also wanted to make the upgrades look factory-perfect rather than an aftermarket hack, but rather usefully he knows people in the business of breaking X-Types and so had access to all the pins and plugs needed to create factory-style wiring. Chatting about the work involved reveals the challenge: the main wiring loom from the front to the rear of the car totals some five metres in length and much of it had to be meticulously unwrapped and picked apart before being neatly wrapped again with additional branches for the additional options. One of the most noticeable is the infotainment upgrade which takes the basic tape unit to the full sat nav and Alpine premium speaker set-up. It sounds like a simple plug-in upgrade and indeed the main unit can be done this way, but the 2002 wiring loom doesn’t accommodate the 10 speakers of the Alpine system.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

Accordingly the additional feeds were added for the eight-channel amp and the additional speakers, but in the interests of aesthetics Nathan has retained the original speaker box on the parcel shelf.

While the audio system was in pieces, Nathan also fitted the ‘Jaguar Voice’ system for voice control and added Bluetooth connectivity, the latter by using the Jaguar Audio Connectivity Module. These are pretty rare items these days, but Nathan jokes that he happened to have three of them to hand.

The rest of the week was then taken up with installing the black half-leather interior from the original green car, but connecting the heated electric seats was an involved task since the memory feature wasn’t offered on the earlier cars. Needless to say, a factory-style loom was made up using OEM parts and even the correct colour coding.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400 - interior

The matching carpet, headlining, sliding armrest and boot trim were also taken from the donor car and after some five and a half days the interior could be buttoned up again after pausing only to install the later instrument cluster with the message centre information display and LED mood lighting around the dashboard and console.

More electrical work was to follow though, much of it similarly involved. For example, the upgrade to automatic lights and rain-sensing wipers requires a windscreen with the appropriate sensor… which as you might have guessed, was missing from the sparsely-specced 2002 car. The solution was a neat one in the shape of a brand new windscreen with the necessary sensors, after which more electrical work saw the kit installed and working.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

Readers familiar with the nuances of X-Type development might notice that despite the many facelift additions the car still retains the original steering wheel instead of the later spoked design but there’s a reason for this and it’s buried deep in the engine control ECU. It seems that on the earlier cars the cruise control was essentially off by default, needing the driver to activate it using the on/off button on the wheel, whereas on the facelift cars this wasn’t needed. This means that the pre-facelift wheel was required, but Nathan still managed to make a neat upgrade in the shape of an immaculate Sport-spec wheel complete with a black growler badge.

Meanwhile, another interior upgrade you won’t see on another X-Type in the UK is the factory option garage door opener switch located in the roof console which was only offered as an option in US-market cars. Rather than a garage door, Nathan’s set it up to control the lighting on the outside of his house which is a nice touch. And on the subject of lighting, the mirrors (upgraded to power folding units, naturally) have gained the ‘puddle lights’ which were only offered as an option on early Sovereigns, while the headlights have been upgraded from the original halogens to HID units. To keep within the letter of the law, this also requires a height-adjustment facility, which involved adding the relevant sensors to the suspension.

Modified 2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 Manual X400

The simple addition of front and rear parking sensors – the front was never offered on the early cars – required more wiring work, with Nathan opting to fit the smaller sensors from the facelift car. Styling changes were then achieved using the original ‘XS’ body styling kit offered as an option including spoilers, skirts and splitters, with the front one being the last-ever supplied from stock by JLR.

With the 18-inch Proteus wheels powder coated along with the brake calipers and a facelift mesh grille added, the car was largely complete and needed only suitable badging. With a distinctly non-standard exhaust note thanks to a custom 2.5-inch system with the back box deleted and matched by work on the inlet system, the badging is one area where a slight deviation from standard is perhaps appropriate: there’s an ‘R’ badge on the boot and in the grille a custom ‘3-litre’ badge borrowed from an S-Type.

It all adds up to an X-Type which offers a whole lot more than the standard car did back in 2002 and with Nathan’s additions from the later car make a much more credible competitor to the contemporary 3-Series and A4. Not that anyone up there in the tip of Scotland needs any persuading. “Let me take you out in mine,” is Nathan’s stock response to anyone mentioning the M-word and as he says, “within a few miles they’re convinced.”

Nathan’s additions from the later car make a much more credible competitor to the contemporary BMW 3-Series and Audi 4.

A factory- style loom was made up using OEM parts

Interior was changed to black half leather and sounds were upgraded to the 10-speaker premium system. Later dial pack was also added.

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