Thursday, February 3, 2011

2010 Jaguar XJ Video Review

There is very little wrong with the way the current Jaguar XJ drives, but it can be fairly criticized for having less passenger space than its peers and appearing to have been stamped from a single mold the automaker has used for the past decade or three. Indeed, if you talk to Jaguar dealers, they’ll tell you that people who drove the car loved it; the problem was getting people to look at it in the first place.

The new 2010 XJ, which goes on sale early next year in the U.S., is styled to be as bold as the current car is staid. This is a dramatic, coupe-like four-door sedan, with a notably bluff-like grille, a short front overhang, and a long tail. The only jarring note, to our eyes, is a black plastic section on the C-pillars that looks like an afterthought, especially on light-colored vehicles. We also think the long-wheelbase version, which features an additional five inches in the rear doors, is the better-looking model. Overall, the new car is 1.1 inches longer than the current XJ, coming in at 201.5 inches long in short-wheelbase configuration.

Lighter Than the XF

Like the current sedan, the new XJ is underpinned by an aluminum body shell that’s riveted and bonded together. Magnesium is also employed, most notably for the front and under-dash crossbeams. Andy Dobson, chief program engineer, says the basic principles of the architecture are carried over from the current car, but that most of the pieces and the suspension mounts have been changed. The rear axle is shared with the XFR model, as is its electronically controlled differential. Dobson says the new XJ is slightly lighter than an XF, which weighs 4400 pounds in supercharged XFR guise. This bodes well for performance, and three powerful engines will be offered in the U.S.: a 385-hp, naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 and 470- and 510-hp supercharged versions of the same engine. These correspond to three models—base, Supercharged, and Super Sport. All will be offered in both long- and short wheelbase forms. There’s even talk of doing an ultra-luxury version, positioned above the Super Sport.

A six-speed ZF automatic transmission is the only gearbox; paddle shifters are standard. As you’d suspect, the suspension is similar to the current car’s, with unequal-length control arms in front and a multilink arrangement at the rear, but electronically variable shocks are now standard, and air springs are only at the back instead of at all corners. Dobson says that Jaguar didn’t consider electric power steering because the engineers weren’t confident of getting good steering feel. So the XFR’s hydraulically assisted rack is used instead.

Gorgeous Inside, as You’d Expect

The interior is plush and very beautiful, with a stockyard’s worth of hand-stitched leather; piano black trim, chrome, and wood are also on display. The top Super Sport model gets a leather headliner and the Supercharged model has Alcantara above the passengers. The traditional gauges have been replaced by a thin-film transistor screen that is reconfigurable.

The central touch screen is now eight inches wide (instead of seven) and much easier to operate than the one in the XF and XK. One of our main gripes has been addressed: Jaguar has finally seen the light and added separate hard buttons for the seat heaters, which means no more backing out of the radio or navigation screens to turn the heat up (or down) via the touch screen. Luxury features include an optional 20-speaker, 1200-watt Bowers & Wilkins stereo and available TV screens in the rears of the front-seat headrests.

Although it will be launched into a depressed market for luxury cars, the XJ is vital for Jaguar as it seeks to position itself as a genuine alternative to the German luxury carmakers. If the XJ drives as well as it looks, it could well succeed, and a sticker price much lower than those of the Germans—the 2010 XJ will likely start at about $70,000—will further help its chances.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ is a luxury saloon sold under the British Jaguar luxury marque. The XJ was launched in 1968 and has served as the Jaguar flagship model for most of its production span which continues through to today. The original model was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir William Lyons, the company's founder.
Current XJ models

As of November 2007, the following XJ models are available in the UK (according to Jaguar UK):

* XJ 2.7D Executive
* XJ 2.7D Sport Premium
* 3.0-litre Executive
* 2.7D, 3.0-litre, and 4.2-litre Sovereign
* 4.2-litre supercharged XJR
* Daimler Super Eight

Notice: the models with the 2.7-litre diesel engine or with the 3.0-litre petrol engine are also known as the XJ6 (since the engines have six cylinders), while the 4.2-litre eight-cylinder petrol engine mounted in the Sovereign results in that model being known as the XJ8. Also notice that the model list for the UK does not include the 3.5-litre V8 engine available in Germany, for example.

As of May 2007, the following XJ models are available in Germany (and presumably other Western European countries) (according to Jaguar DE) (German nomenclature applies):

* XJ6 2.7 litre Diesel Classic
* XJ6 2.7 litre Diesel Executive
* XJ6 3 litre Executive
* XJ8 3.5 litre Executive
* XJ8 4.2 litre Executive
* XJ6 2.7 litre Diesel Sovereign
* XJ8 3.5 litre Sovereign
* XJ8 4.2 litre Sovereign
* XJR 4.2 litre V8 Kompressor (i.e. the supercharged V8 variant)
* Daimler Super Eight

As of May 2007, the following XJ models are available in the US (according to Jaguar US):

* XJ8
* XJ8L
* XJ Vanden Plas (this model is equivalent to 'Daimler' in Europe; the name 'Daimler' is not used by Jaguar in the US)
* XJ Super V8

Notice: the XJ6 and the XJ 2.7D are not available in the US, unlike in Europe. The 'L' on the XJ8L badge denotes the long-wheelbase version.

General Information

Jaguar Cars is originally a British car builder. Started in 1922 by William Lyons. It was renamed Jaguar in 1935. Jaguar is owned by the Indian automobile manufacturer Tata Motors Ltd. Jaguar is known for its luxury sedans and sports cars. It was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in Blackpool in 1922, changing to SS Cars Ltd in 1934 in Coventry, and finally becoming Jaguar Cars Ltd in 1945, followed by several subsequent changes of ownership. The company was bought by Ford Motor Corporation in 1989 becoming part of their Premier Automotive Group.