The last time we saw Car Throttle’s Jaguar X-Type, it was literally stuck in a rut. That’s a long way from being the off-road weapon that host Alex Kersten intends it to be and nowhere close to being worthy of the name Project Mud-Type.
All-wheel drive or not, it takes a lot of modifications to make a small sedan capable of going over anything taller than a speed bump. Luckily, Kersten knows a shop in England that can help take the X-Type from mall crawler to rock crawler. In the video above, he and a colleague start off by changing a few cosmetic bits, swapping the stock steering wheel for a mahogany-rimmed Momo and the beat-up shift knob for a fresh new replacement.
Then it’s time for the major work. Kersten envisions Project Mud-Type having nearly three more inches (70 mm) of ride height and increased suspension travel. The obstacle in the way is the fact that there aren’t exactly droves of companies manufacturing lift kits for the X-Type. This means Kersten and his crew have to get a lot of the necessary homemade lift kit pieces custom-made, and then hope that they can make them fit into the X-Type’s suspension design.
The idea behind the lift is simple enough. It starts with taking the front springs and shocks out, and fabricating and welding a spacer on top of the assembly, then putting the new piece back in.
In the rear, Kersten and his team create a metal sleeve with an internal platform that each spring can sit on. They then weld the finished pieces on the control arms. While they’re at it, they also unbolt and dispose of the anti-roll bar. As its name implies, Project Mud-Type will not be driving over paved roads, so making it street-legal is not on Kersten’s list of build priorities.
Thanks to rust, sticky bolts, and clearance issues, the execution of that idea gets complicated. Having to drop the X-Type’s subframe doesn’t make things any easier. Nevertheless, Kersten and company grind, weld, push, and hammer their way to more ground clearance.
The next major modification is much easier. The gang rips the stock exhaust’s noise suppression hardware out, throws it in the trash, and cuts lengths of steel tubing to size, creating a straight-pipe exhaust system. To make it look as cool as it’s going to sound, they have both of its finishing pipes exit the X-Type’s back bumper at an angle.
There’s still plenty left to do to make the little Jag into an off-road juggernaut, but Project Mud-Type is off to a great start. It has the targeted ride height increase, which doesn’t significantly decrease the car’s ride quality. The new exhaust is much more audible than the OEM setup. It’s not just loud, though. It actually sounds good, letting out a raspy, angry noise.
That lift leaves plenty of space for bigger tires. Kersten has every intention of putting them where they belong. He’s also going to add a roof rack on top of Project Mud-Type to make it more useful off-road – after he has it custom-made, of course.