Jaguar unveiled a new Sport variant of its popular S-type model at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy, a venue favoured by lovers of performance cars. The latest mid-size 'Jag' has a distinctive colour-coded exterior, sports interior with grey stained maple wood veneers, 18-inch alloy road wheels and extra equipment.

Subtly restyled to appeal to younger drivers, the S-type Sport has the regular S-type's engines: either the 240 bhp three-litre 24-valve V6 or the 281 bhp four-litre 32 valve V8.

Developed by a young team of Jaguar designers, the Sport reflects the tastes of their generation, with a 'dechromed' body and a new 18-inch Monaco alloy wheel design.

The car's interior is also influenced by young[er] tastes, with darker tones and sports leather seats. Both three and four-litre versions are equipped with stability control, while the four-litre car also has Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) as standard.

Ian Callum, Jaguar's design director, is pleased with the results. "They have created a car with attitude," he said, "and that's the kind of youthful approach we wanted to expand the appeal of the S-type. Just as we developed the looks of the XK8 to create the purposeful XKR, we were determined to give the Sport that same impact. I wanted it clean and mean, and that's what the team delivered."

The new Sport also benefits from improvements introduced on all S-types for the 2001 model year. These include stability control and a new ZF power steering system, which combines improved steering feel with lower noise levels and a reduction of vibration at the wheel.

Detailed changes to the engine management systems of both V6 and V8 engines reduce warm-up time and improve engine smoothness and throttle response.

Additional standard equipment for the Sport includes metallic paint, leather upholstery, sports seats, floor mats and front fog lamps and the model will be sold in all major Jaguar markets.