Tag Archive | "Jaguar XJ"

Express Delivery – The Jaguar XJL

Anyone wishing to cross a continent in time for that all important birthday celebration could do worse than splash out on the glorious Jaguar XJL Supersport. This is Jaguar’s biggest car – in long-wheelbase form – and is indeed a whopper. At its beating heart is the superb 5.0Litre V8 petrol supercharged engine. This is a slightly detuned version of the engine that drives the XKR and XFR sports cars and saloons. In this car it is linked to a smooth eight-speed ZF auto gearbox.

Just because this is a luxury car do not be deceived by it’s limousine-like appearance. Yes, it is supremely comfortable and yes there is legroom for your tallest relative but push the pedal to the metal and it takes off like a stabbed rat. Although big, it drives like a much smaller car. It is nimble and secure on the road and this is probably because it is constructed from aluminium and is thus lighter than you’d think. Although its playground is the great auto-routes of the world, it is surprisingly calm and settled on twisting country lanes.

Such is the pace of this car that it brings out the driver in everyone. Forsaking the extremely well calibrated automatic gearbox changes for the paddles makes for a very rewarding drive and all the while your passengers are unaware that they are on an express train heading for the horizon, because they are cosseted in comfort and quiet. Handling is amazing. The adaptive suspension ensures the chassis feels taut and controlled while remaining smooth and composed at speed. The Supersport XJL is the complete package. Everything a discerning driver would expect is there. The touchscreen navigation is particularly clear and informative.

jagweb81 300x201 Express Delivery   The Jaguar XJLThere are some niggles but for the most part it comes down to personal preference. There’s a tiny gleaming clock dial in the dashboard but the speedometer and rev counter are round digital readouts. Motor Blogger thought they looked a bit cheap if we’re honest. Proper dials that match the clock would be nice but, as we said, it is down to personal choice. There are plenty of would-be buyers who, like a dead owl, couldn’t give a hoot.

The other catch of course is the price. Depending upon how it is specced out the cost should be just under £100,000. That’s a lot of money but it is around the same as the big luxury beasts from the major German names. Fuel consumption is alleged to be 24mpg and the emissions less than 300g/km. About what you’d expect from a luxury car. Parking in tight spaces will always be a problem although all the expected aids are available but, frankly, this is not really an issue. The Jaguar XJL isn’t a city car; it is a car for the great open highways of the world.

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Top cars driven by British prime ministers

We’re all used to seeing images of the prime minister pulling up to meetings and other events in a swish car. This isn’t a new phenomenon either; British PMs have been chauffeured around in some of the best home-manufactured vehicles since they first started being made.

As such, it’s a bit difficult to pick just three of the most notable PM cars, but I’ve done my best with the below:

1) Humber Pullman (Winston Churchill)
Now, Mr Churchill used quite a few cars worthy of inclusion in this list, even the humble Austin 10hp (which he had during the war and was only able to reach a maximum speed of 60 mph!). But the Humber Pullman was perhaps the stateliest of the lot. The luxury limousine began being manufactured before the outbreak of World War II, but sales were restricted to the government and military officials once the conflict started.

Mr Churchill wasted no time in making the car his own by having an extra large ashtray installed to accommodate the ashes from his undoubtedly marathon cigar-smoking sessions (something that seems to have been a trend among British PMs, as I’ll describe later on). Humber Pullmans are a bit of a rarity now, unfortunately, due to production ending in 1954, but one of the last models to have been made can be seen at the Louwman Museum in The Hague.

2) Jaguar XJ (David Cameron)
It stands to reason that the most modern of the PMs’ cars should be in a list of the best, if only for the mind-boggling array of high-tech features it has. Mr Cameron’s Jaguar XJ, which was acquired last year, raised a few eyebrows due to its extremely high cost (£200,000, apparently), but it’s reported to have pretty much everything you can think of and more to ensure the PM, his fellow passengers and the driver can be as safe as possible, as the threat of terrorist attacks remains potent.

I do like the sleek lines of the XJ a lot, but I can’t help but feel that Jaguar isn’t quite as British a brand as it used to be now it’s owned by an Asian company. However, with the PM still a firm fan of the marque and the manufacturer apparently remaining true to the design ethos of the company when it was in British hands, I’ll let that go this one time!

3) Rover P5B (Harold Wilson)
Harold Wilson followed the example set by Mr Churchill by having massive ashtrays fitted in his powerful Rover P5B, a car so well liked that the next PM, Margaret Thatcher, decided to keep it for a time, too. The Queen also has more than a few P5Bs in her own fleet, so I think I can safely say that this particular set of wheels is hard to beat as a top choice for Britain’s high-ranking officials!

What I like about the P5B is the fact it very definitely looks like a car fit for a prime minister, even if it does look dated now when compared with the likes of the Jaguar XJ. It was also a bit of a beast on the road, as the engine’s technology came from US powerhouse Buick, hence the ‘B’ tacked on to the original P5 name. This is certainly what PMs should be looking for when it comes to an official car, in my opinion – something that looks slightly imposing and can outpace pretty much anything else on the roads!

Are you a civil servant looking for a new set of wheels? Money-off deals for Prospect members are available through associations like CSMA Club.

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Jaguar Rings The Changes With The XJ

Although purists may mourn its passing, the old normally aspirated 5.0 litre V8 in the excellent Jaguar XJ is shortly to be no more, at least in the UK. In these eco-enlightened times Jaguar have replaced that famous unit with a more efficient engine in their new generation model.

Jaguar, not that many years ago considered a spent force, have been relentless with their R&D programme since the company was bought by the giant Tata organisation. There isn’t a bad car in the range and the new XJ is the latest to introduce improved efficiency, comfort and functionality.

The XJ has received a major make-over with refined developments in engine and gearbox technology. The old V8 gives way to a lighter supercharged V6 of just 3.0 litres. The petrol version is not as powerful as its predecessor but makes up for that with much improved fuel economy and lower emissions. A variation of this power plant will appear in the much anticipated F-Type sports car. The likelihood is, however, that most buyers will go for the three litre V6 diesel version which only pumps out 159g/km of the evil fumes whilst delivering a stonking 600Nm of torque and an abstemious fuel consumption of 47mpg – impressive in such a big vehicle.

To further enhance the performance of this all-aluminium car the company will introduce an eight-speed ZF gearbox that incorporates Stop-Start technology both of which improve consumption and efficiency. The XJ also benefits from recalibrated spring and shock-absorber settings ensuring that passengers will be cosseted in a truly comfortable environment, remaining isolated from the worst excesses of British roads.

On the infotainment front DAB is now standard within a new premium quality 825W sound system developed in conjunction with the British audio specialists Meridian. The system boasts much lower levels of harmonic distortion which apparently means that clarity is better and less power is used. The top-of-the-range unit has twenty (count them!) speakers and will be standard on the Portfolio and Supersport models. Lesser versions can get this Ministry of Sound rivalling system as an option.

If customers want something really special they can opt for the above mentioned 503bhp Supersport version which comes with special trim embellishments and badge work plus an active limited-slip diff. The XJ continues to be a best seller enjoying a rise in sales of 11% last year. With its advanced construction, comfort and performance this new model is sure to rival the best in the class. It’s competitively priced too!

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