Keeping with the times, Jaguar has brought out the refreshed XJ model in a bid to keep up with the new offerings from BMW with the G11 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz W222 S-Class. Jaguar is on the heels to contend the Germans in this niche segment.
The overall shape and design hasn’t changed much but to the keen eyed observer, there are few details that’s been changed out for a more refreshed look for this British full-size sedan. Jag has also introduced its own sports trim line called the R-Sport trim to join the rank and likes of Bimmer’s M-Sport, Mercs AMG and the S-Line for the Four Ringed Ingolstadt automaker. The XJ is set to be made available by autumn this year (late September 2015).
As the trend these days is to make the front end sleek, Jag has inevitably gone down that road as well with new XJ getting a slightly more butch front end with chrome finishing and mesh designs. As is the way with Jag, the starkness have been kept to a more subtle degree.
The biggest difference on first impressions are with the new twin ‘J-Blade’ DRL‘s mounted in the all-LED headlight module which as we’ve seen as of late, is the trend amongst premium automakers in illuminating the way forward. The J-Blades also double as the signal indicators.
Around the side, not much has been tinkered with, but the rear end gets minute changes with a chrome strip that runs across the lower breadth of the bumper, including an oval shaped chrome exhaust finishers to complete the look.
The interior is as we’ve come to expect from modern-day Jaguars. A mass of soft leather upholstery and trimmings enveloping the cockpit followed by a pop-up gear knob selector that rises out of the centre console. The cabin also gets a touch of Tron-style blue-backlit touch. Nice.
Luxury is something that’s never been taken out of the equation with Jag subtly reminding everyone how good they are at coach building from days past, starting with soft grain leather that’s been quilted into a diamond pattern with polished wooden veneer garnishing.
The audiophile amongst us aren’t neglected either, as Jag is offering four different stereo options with the range topper being a 26-speaker, 1,300 Watt system powered by a 17-channel amplifier that’s developed by British audio experts Meridian to produce true Hi-Fi sound.
Let’s start with the 2.0-litre unit here. It’s a four-cylinder engine fitted with a low-inertia turbocharger that makes it more agile and lowers fuel consumption to 8.4 litres per 100km, all while being able to do a century sprint time of 7.9 seconds before topping out at 241 km/h.
The 3.0-litre V6 mills are now available in either a turbocharged diesel or supercharged petrol. The diesel puts out a massive 700 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm and a top speed capped at 250 km/h, whereas the petrol powered V6 pushes out 335 hp and 450 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm with a 0 to 100 km/h time of a shade under six seconds. It tops out at 250 km/h. The petrol V6 is available in either long wheel base and all-wheel drive options apart from the base model.
The range toppers are the five-litre V8s available in three different states of tune, ranging from 463 to 542 horses with the latter figure being reserved for the XJ R-Sport variant. The blown mill features a twin-Vortex supercharger unit that does the job of producing torque that ranges from 575 Nm to 680 Nm. It also lends its hand in achieving a fuel consumption rate of 11.1 litre per 100km which, isn’t all too bad considering the XJ weighs in excess of 1,800 kg. EGR or exhaust gas recirculation also contributes to that endeavour.
All versions of the XJ are driven by a ZF sourced eight speed automatic gearbox with the exception of the RWD 3.0-litre petrol version which uses a more compact ZF gearbox. Tasked with steering is the job of an EPAS or electric power-assisted steering system – one that’s favoured over the conventional heavy hydraulic system. This saves up to three percent of fuel.
Jag has kitted out the XJ with a host of safety systems to keep it abreast with the rest of its competitors with tech such as the 360° surround camera system and semi-automated parking, the latter allowing automated parallel parking.
Driver suites like All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC) helps the driver manage tricky low-friction road surface conditions for a safer ride, while Traffic Sign Recognition senses the road ahead via a front facing camera and GPS that informs the driver of approaching traffic changes such as speed limits and other variables.
What’s more is the Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist that uses radars to read the traffic ahead and is capable of slowing down or bringing the car to a complete halt. There’s also Blindspot monitoring and Reverse Traffic Detection on board as driver convenience features.
WHAT ELSE ?
The InControl Remote Access App allows owners to remotely check if the windows are up, sound the horn, check how much fuel it has got and can even be used to start the car remotely and crank up the air-conditioning system. Should the driver forget where the car is parked, the app will even draw you a map to get to the car.