The new 2012 Jaguar XJ sedan is a stunningly beautiful automobile, but there is a lot more to it than the sleek and sexy styling.
The new XJ is based on the next-generation of Jaguar’s lightweight vehicle architecture. The construction material is primarily aluminum, but it also utilizes magnesium and composite alloys to get a significantly lighter and stiffer body structure than one made of steel alone. The construction technique uses the same aerospace riveting and bonding processes refined by Jaguar on the XK models and previous generation XJ sedans.
The nose of this new XJ follows Jaguar’s new design language with a mesh grille and slim standard xenon headlights. The muscular lower half of the car is contrasted with the slim and graceful quality of the roofline and the wrap-around rear window gives the impression of an exotic “floating” roof, while a standard panoramic glass roof enhances the sense of light and space.
There are six model variations in the XJ series, including standard and long-wheelbase (XJL) versions, the stretched XJL adding five inches of rear legroom. The model range includes the XJ with a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8; the XJ Supercharged with a 470-hp supercharged engine, and the limited-production XJ Supersport with a 510-hp supercharged engine.
All XJ models are powered by variations of the AJ V-8 Gen III 5.0-liter V-8 first introduced with the 2010 XF and XK models. The all-aluminum four-cam Jaguar V-8 engines (16/23 mpg) combine high power with high efficiency, and utilize such technologies as spray-guided direct fuel injection and dual independent variable cam timing, plus a variable inlet manifold on the naturally aspirated engine. The XJ Supercharged and Supersport models have a twin vortex system (TVS) supercharger and twin water-cooled intercoolers packaged in the engine’s V.
The XJ is very much a driver’s car. It’s agile and fast, yet elegantly comfortable. The XJ Supersport, for example, clocks 0- 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. All XJ models come with an electronically controlled, fully adaptive six-speed automatic transmission with a unique JaguarDrive Selector that rises from the center console, as well as the Jaguar Sequential Shift function with steering wheel paddles. An illuminated stop/start button pulsates until pressed.
On the inside, the XJ’s interior is the most luxurious ever offered in a Jaguar, blending the latest infotainment technology and a wide choice of leather and wood finishes. The clean and simple leatherwrapped instrument panel sits low across the sightline, while bold architectural wood sweeps forward from the rear doors to meet at the center of the upper dashboard, with an analog clock located in the center of the lower dashboard.
Pricing on the 2012 Jaguar XJ ranges from $73,700 to $117,700.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.