Jaguar has taken the wraps off the 2016 version of its XJ flagship luxury saloon. With an expanded model variant range with two new top-end models, the XJR-Sport and XJ Autobiography, there aren't too many surprises, but there is a greater emphasis on driver assist functions and infotainment systems.
The new Jaguar XJ range consists of the XJ Luxury, XJ Premium Luxury, XJ Portfolio and the XJR, as well as the new XJR-Sport and XJ Autobiography, the latter of is which only available in long wheelbase. As to style, the emphasis this year is on subtle changes rather than bold reinventions – really more tweaks than upgrades to the lines with the designers aiming at a "mature, prestigious" character, which is more bank manager than premier league footballer. The most obvious changes are the larger, upright grille and the sculpted chrome blades on the outboard air intakes. The lighting also gets an upgrade in the form of LED headlamps with a color temperature similar to daylight for better visibility and comfort, along with double "J-Blade signature" daytime running lights
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For the new model variants, the Autobiography is notable for touches such as its chrome front bumper air intakes and 20-in Mataiva wheels. The XJR-Sport has its three-piece front splitter, deep side sills, side power vents, and rear spoiler along with a gloss-black finish in the grille mesh and rear valance.
]The new Jaguar XJ comes with a wide choice of powertrains. The mainstay is the 300 bhp, 3-liter V6 diesel automatic rear-wheel drive. Jaguar says that this has a quieter, higher output with better fuel economy and fewer emissions thanks to new eight-hole piezo injectors, which provide fuel to the combustion chambers with greater precision and control at a maximum injection pressure of 2,000 bar for a better mixture. In addition, there's a parallel-sequential boosting system for the aerodynamically-efficient turbochargers, and the primary turbo uses ceramic ball bearing technology for reduced friction, better launch performance and transient responses. Meanwhile, Jaguar says that the switchable coolant pump and dual-stage oil pump provide faster warm-ups and reduced parasitic losses.
Put that all together and you get 0 to 62 mph ( 100 km/h) in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
The XJ is also available as a 240 bhp, two-liter, four-cylinder petrol; a 340 bhp, three-liter V6 rear-wheel/all-wheel drive petrol; and 470, 510 and 550 bhp five-liter V8 petrol engines. Whatever the engine, all are available with the 8HP70 gearbox or the lighter, more compact 8HP45, as well as double-wishbone front and rear suspension as standard.
Steering for the 2016 Jaguar XJ is rack-and-pinion and electromechanical power-assisted. According to Jaguar, hydraulic systems have reached their limits, so a new more energy-efficient system has been devised that filters out steering disturbances on bumpy roads and compensates for road camber.
A big emphasis is put on driver assist features, such as the All-Surface Progress Control that acts as a low-speed cruise control on ice or snow by adjusting the throttle and brakes, allowing the driver to pull away with less effort. Another is Traffic Sign Recognition, which uses a forward-facing camera to read speed limit signs, temporary speed limits, and variable speed limits, which it then compares to GPS readouts.
Other assist features include the Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, which has a long-range radar sensor to keep a safe distance from the car ahead, and the Closing Vehicle Sensing feature, which can detect overtaking vehicles and gives the driver a warning when changing lanes.
The Jaguar XJ also has semi-autonomous park-assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to measure potential bay and parallel parking spaces, then maneuvers the car in with the driver operating the accelerator, brakes and transmission while cameras provide all-around vision. In addition, there's the Reverse Traffic Detection feature that uses the radar sensor to detect oncoming traffic that may not be visible while backing up.
Inside the XJ the emphasis is on luxury with semi-aniline leather and inlay veneers, diamond stitching, embossed headrests, and figured ebony veneer. For those choosing the Autobiography, there's quilted semi-aniline leather seats with contrasting stitching, a leather headliner, oak inlay veneer, and illuminated stainless steel treadplates, air vents, and boot finisher. Meanwhile, the XJR-Sport has sports seats, the XJR-Sport steering wheel and treadplates, a Jet headliner, and piano black trim.
For this release, Jaguar is also making a big push for the new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, which features door-to-door navigation; iOS and Android connectivity; a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices; and a 26-speaker, 17-channel, 1,300W Meridian Digital Reference audio system. The infotainment system is controlled by an customizable 8-in capacitive touchscreen that is designed to resemble the layout of a smartphone for intuitive control.
There's also a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster with a full-screen navigation display. Maps and other data are stored on a hard drive for faster recall and dead reckoning in areas where a GPS signal isn't available, such as heavily built-up areas or narrow mountain ravines. A companion app allows for offline trip planning, and Commute mode provides alternative routes based on data gathered from repeatedly-traveled roads. Meanwhile, the Approach mode gives an all-around view when nearing a destination and can locate available parking spaces.
For those who prefer to be driven rather than drive, the XJ has a rear-seat entertainment system with two fold-away 10.2-inch high-definition screens with true 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, and digital storage for 100 GB of media. In addition, there are two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI and one MHL port.
When out of the car, the owner can still stay connected with the XJ using the InControl Apps, which links to the infotainment system. Depending on app levels, the owner can check fuel levels, remotely lock or unlock the car, receive notifications if the car alarm goes off, get a map of the car's location if stolen, and pre-set cabin temperature by remotely starting the engine. InControl Protect feature will also call the emergency services in the event of the airbags deploying or a manual alarm.
The 2016 Jaguar XJ goes on sale later this year with a starting price of US$75,000.
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