What happens when a custom crazy US firm teams up with a brand renowned for preserving the notorious English stiff upper lip? A very striking, or perhaps very startling, Jaguar X-Type…

What happens when a custom crazy US firm teams up with a brand renowned for preserving the notorious English stiff upper lip? A very striking, or perhaps very startling, Jaguar X-Type…

Jaguar’s North American affiliate has teamed up with Californian speed and design studio, Bonspeed, to produce a version of this popular compact saloon, complete with a monster body kit and huge sound, for the SEMA show in the US.

Equipped with a body kit, enhanced suspension and braking equipment, and more power, does this conversion do justice to the X-Type’s legacy of understated and elegant class? Or is it simply something to satisfy a select group of executive boy racers…

The Bonspeed X-Type is finished in dramatic red paintwork, while the 3,0-litre powerplant has been tuned to deliver a further 22 kW of pounce. The bodykit displays revised styling to the front and rear ends with a mean-looking mesh grille adorning the front. An integrated boot spoiler, and the car’s low stance, accentuate the striking lines.

Several changes to the X-Type’s engine management system are responsible for the extra kick, pushing the maximum horsepower of the V6 to just under 195 kW.

Suspension specialists were enlisted to develop a slimmer, trailing arm rear link system to accommodate the massive 19-inch wheels. Thirteen-inch cross-drilled brakes give this leaping cat extra stopping power.

On the inside, the Recaro F1-style bucket seats are the main attraction, while the complete cabin is re-trimmed in matching red leather. A 1 200-watt entertainment system with TVs and a DVD player for front and rear occupants are included.

"Our plan is to eventually offer all the features seen in the Bonspeed X-Type to X-Type owners,” Brad Fanshaw, president of Bonspeed said. Whether this would necessarily be a good thing is something else that needs to be considered.