Jaguar’s Renaissance comes to Geneva
Jaguar’s product-led renaissance is on display at the Geneva Auto Show with a redesigned 2008 XJ and the special edition XKR Portfolio version of the popular XK coupe and convertible.
Jaguar’s recent products have impressed auto writers and consumers, resulting in praise and increased sales for the XK and top ratings for the brand in quality surveys like those from J.D. Power.
Jaguar’s flagship 2008 XJ comes with exterior design changes, interior improvements, technological advances, and additional features on the sedan’s already unique all-aluminum body. The redesigned front end includes a new bumper, upper and lower mesh grilles with chrome detailing, two power vents and door mirrors with indicator lights.
“Every Jaguar must have a distinctive face, something that you cannot mistake if you catch a glimpse of it in your rear-view mirror as it powers up behind you,“ said Ian Callum, design director at Jaguar. ”The new 2008 XJ range meets that challenge thanks to a new grille and bold new bumper style.”
Besides the reshaped rear bumper, the 2008 XJ has a new spoiler and revised tailpipe.
Interior changes include new standard heated front seats with optional air cooling and new leather trim. Revisions to the front seats provide greater leg and foot room for rear seat passengers.
Like previous models, the 2008 XJ’s aluminum monocoque design (in which the body is integrated into a single unit with the chassis) offers increased stiffness and reduced weight, producing faster acceleration and improved handling. The XJ’s long wheelbase model is actually lighter than many competitors’ standard wheelbase platforms.
Jaguar’s advanced technology is upgraded with the latest Bluetooth ® system that allows up to five approved mobile phones to connect with the car’s own telephone system. Many of the vehicle’s main functions can be controlled through JaguarVoice -- a simple to use voice command system. Adaptive Cruise Control is available along with safety features like Adaptive Restraint technology that calculates appropriate airbag deployment based on passenger weight and position.
Jaguar is also introducing the Portfolio version of the XKR. The special edition Portfolio XKR adds further technology and luxury to the supercharged XKR. Available as either coupe or convertible, the XKR Portfolio adds exclusive Celestial Black exterior paint, 20-inch polished Cremona five-spoke alloy wheels and Alcon® 15.75" (400mm) front brake discs – an increase of 1.77-inch (45mm) over the standard XKR.
On the inside, a unique Engine-Spin aluminum veneer is standard on the Portfolio with a Satin American Walnut veneer as an option. Also new is an alloy and leather gearshift selector, soft-grab door handles, contrast stitching throughout the cabin, leather-edged mats with a Jaguar logo and distinctive Portfolio treadplates on the doorsills.
The XKR Portfolio marks Jaguar’s first production example of its new partnership with audio entertainment specialists Bowers & Wilkins. The world-leading loudspeaker manufacturer worked alongside Jaguar to create a stunning speaker system for the recent C-XF concept car, but the XKR Portfolio is the first production Jaguar to benefit from the relationship.
Taking Jaguar’s 525W Premium Audio system with Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound as a starting point, Bowers & Wilkins tuned a signature speaker system specifically for the XKR’s cabin. High-output, low-distortion Kevlar mid-range speakers and specially designed aluminum-dome tweeters deliver superb mid-range and extended high-frequency responses.
Like the Jaguar XKR, the Portfolio edition is powered by a new 4.2-liter supercharged AJ-V8 engine, producing 420bhp at 6,250 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The new engine increases power by 120bhp over the normally aspirated 4.2-liter engine in the XK.
The engine along with a significantly stiffer and lighter aluminum monocoque body structure results in times from 0 to 60mph in 4.9 seconds for the coupe and 5.0 seconds for the convertible.
The V8 engine is mated to Jaguar’s Sequential Shift that combines the best characteristics of both manual and automatic transmissions. Controlled by steering-wheel mounted paddles and a conventional gear selector lever, the system provides three modes of operation – Drive for normal automatic, Sport for more demanding conditions and Manual that delivers a manual gear shift feel from an automatic transmission.
Jaguar’s transmission avoids the typical interruption of torque at gear changes by maintaining the torque flow throughout the shifting process, resulting in gear changes occurring in less than 600 milliseconds.
Geneva show goers will get their first look at the hit of the recent North American Auto Show, the C-XF concept.
“When we launched the new XK sports car series, we moved ahead on the product-led transformation of Jaguar,” said Bibiana Boerio, managing director of Jaguar Cars. “The C-XF proves that these same values are coming in Jaguar saloon cars.”
The C-XF was named Best in Show at Detroit by AutoWeek.
“The Jaguar C-XF is the sexiest four-door we’ve seen from Jaguar in years,” said Dutch Mandel, editor and associate publisher, AutoWeek. “This car draws a line from Jaguar sedans of the past to Jaguar sedans of the future.”
“The C-XF concept is the most dynamic and modern four-door car that Jaguar has ever created,” Callum said. “Jaguars should be perceived as cool cars that attract interesting, edgy people. The next generations of Jaguars will do just that.”
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