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2013 Jaguar XJ-Series Overview
Prior to its major rehab program in 2011, Jaguar was an afterthought in the minds of many when they contemplated a luxury European automobile. For 2013, Jaguar’s potent XJ-Series 4- and 5-passenger sedan lineup, has made a particularly important contribution to the British automaker’s resounding comeback, due mainly to some spiffy design changes, as well as the introduction of a supercharged V6 powerplant to go along with a pair of V8s, one normally aspirated, one supercharged. All of this means the XJ-Series is giving the more well-known luxury sedans, chief among them Audi’s A8, Beemer’s 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz’s pricy S-Class, a run for their money.
Available in standard-length XJ and stretched XJ L configurations, this spiffy sedan is offered in a range of increasingly elegant trims. Beginning with the standard-length XJ Base, this princely conveyance also comes in the elongated XJ L Portfolio, the standard-length (XJ) and stretched (XJ L) Supercharged pairing, the XJ and XJ L Supersport siblings, and finishes up with the new-for-2013 XJ L Ultimate. Standard-length XJ trims sport an overall length of 201 inches with a 119.4-inch wheelbase, while XJ L variants boast 207 inches of overall length on a 124.3-inch wheelbase. The added length of the XJ L versions provides some 5.2 inches of extra rear-seat legroom, while trunk space stands pat in either length at 15.2 cubic feet.
All trims are delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), but the Base XJ and the lower-midlevel XJ L Portfolio are each available with Jaguar’s unique driver-selectable 2-mode all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Handling characteristics in both RWD and AWD trims, meantime, are bolstered by driver-selectable self-leveling suspension, steering and throttle response modes.
The brand-new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine boasts 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque when mated with the also new-for-2013 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission with its steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. With variable valve timing (VVT), look for this peppy six-banger to burn recommended premium unleaded at an estimated 18 mpg city/27 highway in RWD configurations and 16/27 in AWD versions.
A normally aspirated VVT 5.0-liter V8 inhabits the XJ L Portfolio trim and again mates with the paddle-shifter-managed 8-speed automatic for 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Look for 16/25 in RWD editions, with AWD variations estimated at a 15/24 clip.
Standard power in the XJ/XJ L Supercharged pairing is, as the moniker implies, a supercharged 5.0-liter V8, again with VVT, that once more mates with the 8-speed shiftable automatic to pound out 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. Available only in RWD form, mileage out of this blown V8 is estimated at 15/23.
Some tweaks to the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that’s standard with the XJ/XJ L Supersport twins, as well as the XJ L Ultimate, leads to an impressive 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque, again under the auspices of the shiftable 8-speed automatic. Mileage, even with the added ponies, remains at 15/23 in this overwrought V8. All XJ-Series trims, by the way, burn only premium gasoline.
Boasting a fixed-glass panoramic sunroof, power-opening trunk and 19-inch painted alloy wheels, the Base XJ lords it over lesser rivals with such cabin amenities as leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, 4-zone automatic climate control and plenty of leather, chrome and wood accents and inserts. Remote keyless entry and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors are also standard, as are power windows, a 12.3-inch monitor displaying a “virtual instrument” cluster, memory for driver's settings, power-adjustable telescoping tilt-wheel steering, cruise control, parking sensors, a universal remote garage door opener and a rear-view camera.
Techno goodies in this entry-level luxury sedan include a 380-watt audio system with single-CD player, 14 speakers, satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free communications and a hard-drive-based navigation suite. All of this is displayed and controlled via Jaguar’s iTech interactive voice-command infotainment system with its dash-mounted touchscreen.
The stretched XJ L Portfolio adds, besides the extra rear legroom, heated and ventilated front seats with extra positions, upgraded cabin accents and 4-zone climate control, while the XJ and the lengthy XJ L Supercharged editions boast tighter suspension tuning, 20-inch polished alloy wheels and a Meridian 825-watt stereo with 17 Surround Sound speakers.
The XJ and XJ L Supersport trims add even further upgrades to the leather upholstery, as well as high-performance tires, heated and cooled rear seats with included DVD entertainment and, in the XJ L variation, rear-seat footrests, fold-down business trays and massaging seat cushions. Finally, the brand-new XJ L Ultimate sports added and even further upgraded cabin accent pieces, a roomier (4-passenger) two-place rear-seat arrangement, power rear window shades, and heated and cooled console storage bins.
Lesser XJ and XJ L trims are eligible to be optioned up with most items that come standard in higher trims, while radar interfaced adaptive cruise control is available lineup-wide. XJ/XJ L Supercharged trims can be delivered with the Sport and Speed Pack, boasting the tweaked supercharged V8 as well as added exterior and interior appearance bling, including upgraded wheels and heated and cooled rear seats with DVD entertainment. Finally, the XJ/XJ L Supersport trims can get the available Sport Pack, featuring all of the above except the already installed up-powered V8 and rear-seat entertainment.
Standard safety features throughout the XJ-Series lineup include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. All trims additionally sport a blind-spot alert system, as well as adaptive and self-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a remote antitheft alarm.
by Eric Tallberg
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