We will take it! I presume this is what Tata said when they first saw the sketches for the XJ. Back in the 90s XJ had had lost it robust and impressive looks, that made more and more Jaguar customers to move away from it lovely fur. After a recent acquisition by Tata, the XJ saloon was transformed from an ugly duckling to a magnificent swan. The Jaguar XJ was welcomed by the world with open arms. The XJ popularity has experienced a positive growth ever since its maiden debut three years ago. New to the XJ range is a model design to offer high performance and luxury in every detail. The new XJR is now the flagship model for the XJ range.
The Jaguar XJR has been extensively modified, compared to a normal XJ. This, according to Jaguar, brings out the feline’s full potential. The ‘R’ spec side sills, unique to the XJR, serve to create a sharp break-off point between the bodywork and the road surface. This in turn keeps the airflow attached to the car’s sides for as long as possible. Rear lift is also reduced through the fitment of a boot lid-mounted lip spoiler, to manage the airflow off the top rear surface of the car.
|Sexy front headlamps|
Special ‘R’ bonnet louvers aid in aerodynamics and engine cooling. The five-spoke, lightweight Farallon forged alloy wheels provide the XJR with a purposeful, broad shouldered stance. The alloy wheels come as standard in either Sparkle silver or Technical grey finishes. The assertive appearance of the Jaguar XJR is further enhanced with a Sport pack grille, with chrome surround and black mesh.
The XJR features Jaguar’s acclaimed 550hp (410kW) 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine in its most potent form, matched to a responsive eight-speed transmission system. Torque is pegged at 650Nm. The Jaguar XJR accelerates from 0 to 10km/h in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 280km/h. The eight-speed automatic transmission brings out the sporting nature of the Jaguar XJR while still maintaining the car’s composure in town and in low-speed driving environments. When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration, braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity. Fuel consumption for the Jaguar XJR is pegged at 11litres/100km.
On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission automatically makes the gearshifts more aggressive and moves the shift-up point higher in the rev range. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles also give the driver higher levels of control. Corner Recognition senses when the car is negotiating a bend, the transmission holding the correct gear for the exit.
|A luxury saloon with two personalities|
The eight-speed transmission also allows the XJR to be offered as standard with Jaguar’s Intelligent Stop/Start system. This automatically shuts down the engine when the car comes to a halt and the brake pedal is depressed. When the brake is released, the system restarts the engine in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move to the accelerator.
The dynamic handling characteristics of the Jaguar XJR have been based on similar developments made in the XFR-S. The engineers’ hard work has made the XJR an incredibly agile, responsive and involving luxury super saloon. In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the suspension, the XJR’s new lightweight, forged 20-inch ‘Farallon’ alloy wheels are dressed with Pirellityres. The feline’s Pirelli shoes have been selected to deliver optimal cornering grip, traction and stability over a wide range of speed and performance parameters.
The XJR steering system has been incorporated with the valving developed for the F-Type roadster. Working in harmony with the suspension, wheels and tyres are electronic programmes controlling the Adaptive Dynamics, active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems. Braking performance is provided by the 380mm front and 376mm rear discs are internally ventilated for assured, repeated stopping power.
Opening the large XJR doors reveals a luxurious interior. Centre stage on the instrument panel is an analogue clock, its individual chrome graduations, spun metal face and iridescent blue background inspired by luxury wristwatches. Many of these design details are picked out by the phosphor blue interior lighting, which further helps to create a relaxing and harmonious ambience. The driver grips a beautifully-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel. The steering wheel features an ‘R’ logo. The Jaguar XJR’s elegant switchgear and phosphor blue lighting enhance the contemporary, luxurious mood still more. The doors feature a beautiful pannier-style storage compartment. The simplicity and purity of the interior design emphasises the fine execution of detail.
|Spacious rear compartment|
The four spherical air vents contrast a high-gloss piano black finish with chromed metal components. This stylish combination of piano black and chrome is repeated on the centre console; it’s deliberately very subtle, with the number of visible switches kept to a minimum. The seats themselves are embossed with the ‘R’ logo and can be finished with a choice of stitching in either Red or London Tan. The heated and cooled front and rear seats are provide comfort to all occupants.
|Distinct flaming red Jaguar badge|
The multi-adjustable seats also have the option of a seat massage function. The XJR is fitted as standard with a 380W, 12-speaker surround-sound system from British audio experts Meridian. The system uses digital signal processing to create a sound field that is second to none. An optional 825W, 18-speaker system features Meridian’s proprietary Trifield™ System places every occupant at the centre of their own perfectly focused surround-sound arena.
|Unique XJR front fins|
When the rear-seat entertainment package is specified, passengers have access to dual 8-inch LCD screens in the rear of the front headrests and wireless infra-red digital headphones. A specially designed portable touch-screen controller allows passengers to select their preferred source of entertainment, with the two rear screens and all headphones controlled independently.
|Jaguar XJR’s profile|
The XJ range now has a competitive performance saloon to match with most of its rivals. The German competition should watch out, as an aggressive Jaguar is hunting them down.