Tag Archive | "Jaguar"

The 2014 Model Year Jaguar XJ

In July 2009, the newly styled Jaguar XJ was unveiled and it has gone from strength to strength since. This is the car as limousine and it has now been updated once again. Enhanced luxury features in the rear cabin of the 2014 model year XJ, for example, add to the already luxurious status of Jaguar’s flagship saloon. The version featured has the V6 diesel in Premium Luxury trim and is, frankly, all the car you’ll ever need.

The model boasts a comprehensive range of engines: 2.0L turbocharged petrol, 3.0L V6 diesel and supercharged petrol and four 5.0L V8 petrol power plants – all of which enhance customer choice. All the engines in the 2014 XJ range – including the 2.0-litre i4 Ti 240 turbocharged – deliver their power through the smooth shifting eight-speed automatic transmission which offers a broad spread of ratios for a perfectly balanced combination of smooth-shifting, economy and driver control.

Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System, which monitors grip levels and driver input to provide maximum traction at all times, is available as an option on the XJ with 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.

An even more spacious long-wheelbase version is available and a new Jaguar flagship sports saloon – the 550PS XJR – combines supercar performance and assertive looks with the XJ’s typically high levels of luxurious motoring. More on this version at a later date.

Inside, both front and rear passengers can enjoy the daylight through their own glass roof. The entertainment system has been enhanced with a Rear Seat Entertainment package featuring two hi-resolution touch-screens, and optional premium Meridian Reference Audio System (superb, incidentally) with Conversation Assist.XJin The 2014 Model Year Jaguar XJ

The 14MY XJ’s luxurious feel is underlined by the palette of materials used on the interior. This includes Bond grain, soft grain and semi-aniline leather, and a wide choice of veneers including Piano Black, Carbon Fibre, Gloss Burr Walnut and Satin Rosewood.

The diesel can whisk you comfortably to 62mph is a scant six seconds yet will return in excess of 40mpg under normal driving conditions, ably assisted by an unobtrusive stop/start system. For such a big, powerful car the emissions are a stingy 167g/km. That’s brilliant.

It isn’t just about the big picture though. It’s the little touches that please. An example is the digital dashboard dials. Both the odometer and the rev counter display the range in which the car is working. For example, if the car is doing forty miles per hour, the dial highlights the 30-50 range. This makes it so much easier to glean information at a glance.

Sadly perhaps, the car in the image costs £66,000. It is out of reach of most motorists yet is good value for money. One day, perhaps; one day.

Posted in Car ReviewsComments (0)

Is A Sports Car Right For You?

Sports cars can be fun. They can also be lethal so it’s best not to let your head rule your heart when thinking about a purchase. The crucial thing is that the car is right for you.

As ever, money is the first issue. A sports car can bring a lot of pleasure to your life and is a satisfying buy, especially if you’ve earned it. Why not treat yourself? The trouble is – it isn’t just the price that counts, it’s also the running costs. Generally, they aren’t the cheapest cars in the world to own.

They will often need to be shod with wider, more expensive tyres and they will likely be less fuel efficient, especially if you’ve got a heavy right foot. Insurance companies will also raise a sceptical eyebrow at your purchase. The new Alfa Romeo 4C is hugely desirable and a great drive by all accounts but can you imagine the premium? In other words a buyer has got to take a look at the cold hard world of their finances before they take the big step.

What does the future hold? That’s a question many of us would like answered, but if you are looking ahead then can you see a family on the horizon? If there’s one thing that cramps the style of a sporting driver it is the ankle-biters. If children are on the cards then a sports car’s a no-no.

Power. There are many levels. The Jaguar XKR-S – pictured – is massively powerful (5.0L Supercharged!) and massively expensive but, in truth, there will be very few occasions when a driver could really open the taps. Perhaps it would be better to consider something less powerful that will, on Britain’s narrow roads, be just as much fun without the risks that high performance can bring. If you can’t resist seriously putting your foot down then there is a way to do it legally – a track day at a circuit!

On the other hand, there is no need to go too cheap. Obviously it is your opinion that matters but reviews can be helpful in that they can flag up bad or risky cars. It’s worth reading a few before, like the value of your purchase, taking the plunge.

One last thing. If you think sports cars are desirable then so do others. There are people out there who would like a car like yours. If fact, they would actually like your car. Cars that are popular and that hold their price or are easy to sell are a target for thieves and miscreants. Think about security. Try to keep your pride and joy under lock and key when not in use and think about installing a tracker and/or an immobiliser if one is not already fitted. The last thing you need is a sad empty space outside your house.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

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.

Posted in Car ReviewsComments (0)

New Cars At The New York Show

2013 seems to be producing a bumper crop of new cars, despite all the recessionary woe. At the latest show in New York the trend continued with a selection from Kia, Jaguar, Audi, Volvo and Mercedes.

The Kia Soul is a car that is either loved or hated for its looks despite being practical and roomy with a decent boot. It strives for a trendy image but has been let down by a mediocre ride and economy. The company have now announced the replacement which will arrive on our shore early in 2014. That’s it in the picture. It is probably a coincidence but it looks a bit like the new Fiat 500L; not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Suspension and handling have been improved for a better ride and the whole car has a more premium feel to it. Mini owners won’t be trading in but this new car should attract plenty of new fans.

A surprise addition to the Audi range is a saloon version of their excellent A3. It has to be said that it is hard to understand the purpose of this car but Audi rarely put a foot wrong. The company say that the car is aimed at ‘young professionals’ looking for a ‘sporty but fun car’. So why not choose the brilliant sport back then? Audi see their market for this car to be predominately in Russia and the far East and, to a lesser extent, Europe. Early reports say that it’s a roomy car, slightly longer than the hatchback.

Sweden is represented by Volvo and a new set of R-Design cars based on the recently updated 60 series. All three cars get new faces, a new rear diffuser, sports seats and an R-Design exhaust system. The S60 and V60 models have a sports chassis and lowered suspension whilst the XC60  gets a better handling kit of springs and anti-roll bars.

If all this is a bit tame for you and you feel the need for 355bhp then how about the new Mercedes CLA45 AMG express. This car looks fabulous (especially in white with black) and in the traffic light grand prix will whisk you to 62mph in a ferocious 4.6 seconds. Despite this performance Mercedes are claiming 40mpg and emissions at around 160g/km. If that’s a fact then it is quite an achievement and bodes well for performance cars of the future.

It seems that scarcely a week can go by without there being a new Jaguar – and here it is. This time it’s the super-hot XKR-S GT which the company describe as the ‘ultimate road-going XK’. Presumably until the next one. Only thirty will be built and they are all going to North America. If there’s enough clamour in the UK then a small run of LHD versions could be built but don’t hold your breath.

The Rolls Royce Wraith also featured as did the new Range Rover Sport that Motor Blogger featured on March 20th. As we said – a bumper year!

Posted in Auto Blog, Auto News, Auto ShowsComments (0)

Thirteen For 13

Are you superstitious? Would you be entirely happy with the number 13 on your car? Well, unless you can find a way around it – as suggested by Motor Blogger last year – you are just going to have to lump it. Our unwavering government have no intention of ditching this year’s series just to please the likes of you.

Never mind. At least there is going to be a fantastic selection of new cars that you could attach to the back of your new number plate. Honda, for example, are planning a new SUV in line with current trends that will be pitched into the gap between the Civic and the CRV. An interesting point is that it may feature Honda’s next-generation hybrid technology.

If you’re feeling flush with cash you could push the boat out and treat yourself to Jaguar’s forthcoming F Type. This may well be the most anticipated car of the year; full of lovely supercharged goodness. Too tame for your wallet? Fair enough. How about the long-awaited replacement for the Enzo, the F70. Or will it be the F150? We’ll see what Ferrari decide although Ford America won’t be too happy as that’s the designation for their new pick-up!

Back in the real world Fiat are offering the 500L. We’ve mentioned this before. Basically it’s a 500 on steroids. Presumably this is designed to rival the giant Mini and word has it that this could be one of the year’s best sellers. As indeed could the 500 Coupé , a cheeky 2+2 version of the perennial favourite. Meanwhile over the border in France, Citroen’s successful DS3 is taking it’s top off, or at least rolling it up – a feature that really suits this star car.

For hot hatch fans Ford will be selling the long awaited Fiesta ST, sporting at least 180bhp. If a suitable family car is more to your requirements then there’s a new package with the latest Kia Carens SUV (pictured) – the words on the grapevine are ‘surprise’ and ‘delight’. Not content to settle for one new car, the same company will present their first hot hatch in the UK. The Cee’d GT. Boasting a muscular 200bhp it looks like a rival for the ST.

Winner of this year’s daft name award is the mighty Maserati Kubang. Effectively a Ferrari powered Jeep in an Italian designer frock it’s a new departure for a company that is slowly resurrecting its image. The trouble is – is it a car too far for a company noted for beautiful design? The official Kubang website is showing a wonderful old and evocative short film called ‘A story that will overcome time’. Worth a look.

Mazda’s 6 is a good and popular choice, especially if you are not badge conscious but now they’ve produced a coupé version that’s a real looker. Let’s hope it gives a boost to this underrated manufacturer. If you do like a badge then Mercedes are refreshing the E-Class. Not earth-shattering in itself but the company are saying it will be packed with cutting edge technology under the banner ‘intelligent drive’.

In fact, there will be something like sixty new or updated cars being sold or announced in the coming year, but in this brief article there is only one car that can finish of the list. Will we finally be able to get our hands on the Alfa Romeo 4C? Live in hope.

So there you have it – thirteen cars for 2013. So don’t worry your heads about the reputation of the number 13. You know what they say – lucky for some!

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)

Manual Man

Many cars are described as having an automatic or semi-automatic gearbox. Most will have an option to manually change gear using flappy paddles behind the steering wheel – the invention, incidentally, of a mysterious and secretive German engineer known only by his initials, DSG. It is the era of the techno car and everybody seems very happy about it.

But wait. In the UK at least – leaving aside the emotive issues of emissions and fuel economy for once – why do we need seven and eight speed gearboxes when the speed limit is just 70mph? Purists will wonder what was so wrong with four speeds and an overdrive switch which reduced engine revs when cruising in the highest gear.

The truth is that you’ve all gone soft and wimpy, frankly. Have you forgotten what driving is all about? Have you forgotten the feel of a well sprung clutch beneath your left foot (the only correct appendage for the job); the joy of seamlessly shifting a lever? Don’t you miss the cry of “sort ‘em out!” when you miss your gear selection or the terminal sound of stripping synchromesh? How quickly you forget.

Well, Jaguar haven’t forgotten that particular sporting need because in about a year or so they plan to offer fully manual gearboxes as an option on some of their cars. They understand that sports cars need a manual ‘box for that pure experience. It is likely to be offered first on the forthcoming F Type and subsequently on the prestige XF. The company has seen that as well as added driving fun there are also cost benefits too.

It’s obviously not for everybody though because the company are also considering a new nine-speed (!) ZF auto gearbox, not just in Jaguars but also some Land Rover models.

There is as yet no confirmation that they plan to offer some new accessories to those discerning drivers who choose the manual option. These may or may not include some delightfully retro string-back driving gloves, Hermes scarves for lady passengers, a nostalgic but branded wicker picnic hamper and possibly an amusing stick-on handlebar moustache.

Jaguar aren’t wrong though. There is something hugely enjoyable about driving a manual sports car that can’t be replicated through paddles. A feeling of being completely in control. It’s a welcome addition.

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)

Just Like The Real Thing

Virtually anything is possible. Your avatar can travel to foreign lands and meet exotic people or do battle with sabre-toothed monsters. You can acquire enemies and a massive gun with which to shoot-em-up or you can be a passenger in WRC rally car as it hurtles down narrow forest tracks. The world is yours.

Now, especially if you are a fan of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) stable of vehicles, you can experience your heart’s desire before you finally decide to buy it, thanks to some clever boffins down at the factory.

Virtual Experience, as it is called, first featured on the JLR stands at the Paris Motor Show this year. Basically, it is a digital showroom that utilises a 1:1 scale representation of any JLR model configured just how you’d like it. The screen show the results in glorious ultra high resolution 3D with no less than five million polygons, whatever they are. Once set up the potential buyer can ‘explore’ the vehicles using natural movements and gestures.

The science might be complicated but the application of it is not. All that’s needed is a big display screen and a computer that can be set up anywhere that’s suitable. It would seem to be a great addition to the showroom, for example, or spaces where it isn’t possible to feature a real car.

The company believe that it could, in one form or another, be rolled out to mobile devices in due course. The upshot of this would be that a client could design his ideal configuration at home and ‘present’ it to Virtual Experience.

This is very impressive. The chance to be able to see and move around the product of your imagination is very desirable indeed and may put paid to some otherwise questionable styling decisions by the customer. It is very unlikely that a dealer will have access to demonstrators across the range, so before even arranging a test drive it will be possible to ‘see’ your car. Just like the real thing, in fact.

This particular technology belongs to Jaguar Land Rover but how long do you think it will be before all the other manufacturers have something similar? It is certainly a remarkable sales aid and a great advantage to the customer. Sadly it is not yet possible to see how Tulisa would look sitting in the passenger seat. A serious oversight – JLR please note.

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)