Jaguar has revealed its brand new XJ flagship. It combines high-technology with a much more modern appearance, suggesting the company is now firmly engaging with the future rather than rooted in the past.
The previous Jaguar XJ was a fine machine. But in spite of its cutting-edge aluminum construction and contemporary deportment, the aging Jaguar styling branded it definitively old fashioned.
No such problem for this all-new Jaguar XJ. The front end is clearly influenced by the – a highly successful BMW 5 Series rival. And while the rear may not offer quite the same modern grace, it is no less dramatic – and certainly isn’t stuck in the past.
New XJ ‘blends performance and comfort’
Jaguar says the new XJ is intended to seamlessly blend performance and comfort. According to Jaguar Cars managing director Mike O’Driscoll: ‘It re-imagines the ultimate sporting .’
The sporting part is taken care of by the latest generation of Jaguar engines – the 3.0-litre V6 diesel, 5.0-litre petrol V8 and 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8 that have all recently joined the . Topping the range is a more powerful 463bhp version of the supercharged engine.
Recycled aluminum means low CO2
The XJ’s aluminum structure is apparently made up of 50% recycled materials, saving three tonnes of CO2 per vehicle, and making it at least 150kg lighter than any rival. Combined with the XJ’s powerful engines, the lightweight construction adds up to excellent performance and impressive efficiency. The diesel XJ officially returns 40.1mpg while emitting 184g/km CO2.
Air suspension, continuous variable damping – labelled Active Dynamics – and quick-ratio steering all suggest the new XJ will be the best to drive yet, while maintaining the cosseting ride quality for which Jaguar is celebrated.
XJ’s interior is high-tech
As for the luxury, the new Jaguar XJ is available in both standard and long-wheelbase versions – the latter adding another 125mm of rear legroom. The interior is finished with chrome and piano black detailing, packed with leather and veneer surfaces, and bursting with new technology and features.
A new panoramic glass roof has allowed the designers to reduce the window line and still allow plenty of light into the cabin, giving the new XJ a kind of coupé-like appearance. The latest in display screen technology is highlighted by 12.3-inch Virtual Instruments, and a central 8-inch touch screen that can display a DVD for the passenger while also showing satellite navigation guidance for the driver.
A powerful, bespoke stereo system designed by Bowers & Wilkins is available as an option, and complemented by a full range of connectivity for personal audio and video players via the Media Hub.
How much will the new XJ cost?
Trim levels will consist of Luxury, Premium Luxury and Portfolio, plus Supercharged and Supersport for the more performance orientated.
Service intervals are up to 15,000 miles, and Jaguar is confident of high . It also claims its attention to detail now encompasses ‘40,000 quality-specific assessments’, implemented using virtual technologies.
It all sounds very impressive, but our final verdict will have to wait until we get behind the wheel. In the meantime you can read our of the . For those who just can’t wait, the order books for the new Jaguar XJ are open now. Prices start at £52,500, and first deliveries are expected early in 2010.
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.