By Bennett Oghifo
Jaguar has announced a range of enhancements to its XJ luxury sports sedan. The 2018 model year (2018MY) updates include the introduction of the XJR575 performance flagship model, a host of technology upgrades and the addition of the latest intelligent safety features.
The new XJR575 is the most dynamic derivative in the line-up and delivers 423kW and 700Nm of torque for effortless acceleration and refinement, according to the automaker. The 18kW uplift in power is delivered by Jaguar Land Rover’s 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine and powers the luxury sports sedan from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and to a top speed of 300km/h.
Available in standard wheelbase bodystyle, the XJR575 reinforces the XJR’s standing as Jaguar’s fastest production sedan. Customers will be able to choose between two bespoke exterior colour finishes created at Special Vehicle Operations’ state-of-the-art Oxford Road facility: Velocity Blue and Satin Corris Grey.
Tailor-made exterior details include a rear spoiler, side sills, front bumper and lower air intakes featuring Gloss Black surrounds. Updated XJR575 exterior badging and twin bonnet louvres mark the vehicle out from the rest of the range while 20-inch Farallon gloss-black wheels with red painted brake callipers are the final dynamic flourish.
Inside the XJR575 features bespoke embossed tread plates, 575 intaglio and diamond-quilted seating available in Jet/Jet and Ivory/Jet colour options and finished with additional 575 branding.
Headlining the technology updates in the 2018MY XJ is a central console that now features Jaguar’s large, 10-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. As well as giving customers greater clarity, the bigger screen functions like a smartphone allowing occupants to pinch and zoom when using satellite navigation and create custom homepages for shortcuts to favoured features.
Jaguar’s sedan car line-up promises strong safety credentials and the 2018MY XJ features the latest intelligent safety technologies. Forward Traffic Detection is designed to assist drivers when forward visibility is restricted, for example when pulling out of blind junctions.
Lane Keep Assist is able to determine the car’s lane position and monitor steering inputs. If the vehicle drifts out of its lane without indicating, the system applies gentle steering torque to correct the movement and prevent the unintended lane-change. In addition, Driver Condition Monitor is able to identify periods of little or no steering activity followed by sudden or excessive inputs – a clear indication of driver fatigue – and display multi-stage visual warnings to prompt the driver to take a break.
The XJ reaffirms its status as the most dynamic, distinctive luxury sedan in the world Performance flagship. XJR575 delivers 423kW and 700Nm for seamless acceleration from its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine. XJR575 joins the line-up alongside XJ Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio, R-Sport and top-of-the-range Autobiography; Bold exterior design includes full LED headlights and unique double ‘J-Blade signature’ daytime running lights; Powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine delivers 221kW/700Nm with CO2 emissions as low as 184g/km; 10-inch central touchscreen features high-quality graphics and intuitive user interface; Reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster offers full-screen navigation; All-Surface Progress Control enhances traction on low-friction surfaces such as snow and ice – all the driver has to do is steer; Black Pack options for subtly enhanced exterior styling; Suite of advanced Driver Assistance systems including, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, Reverse Traffic Detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, 360-degree Surround Camera System and semi-automated bay- and parallel-parking.
The XJ is the pinnacle of Jaguar’s sedan car line-up. The luxury sports sedan delivers an unrivalled combination of Jaguar design and driving dynamics along with the ultimate in luxury refinement for drivers and passengers.
The authoritative yet elegant design is formed around Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture. Its low-slung coupe-like stance, precise lines and carefully judged proportions ensure it is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar from any angle.
Inside, customers experience a perfect combination of intricate handmade details and beautifully crafted materials such as semi-aniline leather and inlay veneers alongside advanced technology. Rear occupants benefit from over a metre of legroom in long wheelbase models.
For 2018MY a new XJR575 performance flagship is available, with a number of unique exterior and interior design cues including two unique paint colours created by Special Vehicle Operations. Meanwhile, a distinctive 575 intaglio and diamond-quilted seating finished with additional 575 branding set the interior apart.
“The Jaguar XJ is the largest model in our sedan car line-up and retains the physical presence and graceful design customers expect from a Jaguar flagship,” said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar. “Anyone who sees this car immediately knows it is both great to drive and to sit in. The intricate details inside and out give owners and passengers the feeling that they are in the presence of something truly special.”
Creating a dynamic and refined driving experience has always been key to the Jaguar XJ’s appeal. Advanced Adaptive Dynamics dampers adjust to suit the conditions and driving style by monitoring the car up to 500 times a second. Analysing acceleration, cornering, throttle and brake pedal activity, and working alongside the air suspension system, the intelligent set-up improves body control in dynamic driving without compromising ride comfort.
The XJR575 features a unique version of Jaguar’s legendary 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine. Delivering 423kW and 700Nm of torque, the engine powers the car from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 300km/h. The 18kW power increase is the result of enhanced engine calibration.
Jaguar’s leadership in steering feel and vehicle dynamics is enhanced by the application of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) for rear-wheel-drive models. This set-up also underpins a range of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitor and bay and parallel Park Assist.
The vehicle’s ability is outstanding in rear-wheel-drive form with All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC) coming into its own in low-grip conditions. Developed for low-speed driving in adverse conditions, ASPC automatically manages the brakes and throttle to deliver the best possible traction, ensuring the vehicle is able to pull away smoothly and without drama: all the driver has to do is steer. ASPC is fitted to all automatic models and operates between 3.6km/h and 30km/h with the driver using the cruise control switches to select and maintain the desired speed.
“Our flagship sedan is more dynamic and distinctive than ever. We’ve engineered the XJ to deliver even greater levels of luxury and performance,” said Erol Mustafa, Chief Product Engineer, Jaguar XJ. “Featuring our world-class Touch Pro infotainment system, luxurious interior materials and finishes which create an even more bespoke feel, and our powerful petrol and diesel engines, the XJ rewards drivers and passengers like no other luxury car.”
Matching the tradition and craftsmanship of the Jaguar XJ is state-of-the-art technology, including the seamless and intuitive Touch Pro infotainment system. This new technology provides a 10-inch widescreen display for smartphone-like gesture functionality and can be had with a 1,300W Meridian Reference audio system.
Touch Pro features a high-performance quad-core processor and runs on state-of-the-art, ultra-fast Ethernet for exceptional data transfer rates. Combined, they deliver incredible graphics and fast response times.
The latest in stereo camera technology enables a number of intelligent safety features such as Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist systems. Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist takes the stress out of motorway driving in stop-go traffic by tracking the vehicle in front, at a safe distance.
The 2018MY XJ range consists of: XJ Luxury; XJ Premium Luxury; XJ Portfolio; XJ R-Sport; XJR575; XJ Autobiography
The powertrain range consists of: Diesel, 221kW 3.0-litre V6 diesel automatic; Petrol 250kW 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol automatic; 375kW 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol automatic; 423kW 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol automatic.
The XJ is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich plant, alongside the F-TYPE sports car, XF sports sedan and XE sports sedan.
Sitting at the pinnacle of Jaguar’s sedan car range, the XJ is commanding and sophisticated design represents the ultimate opulent luxury and sporting vehicle dynamics.
“The Jaguar XJ has a number of roles to fulfil. It must remain exciting to drive but also be incredibly compliant and comfortable,” said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar. “This all starts with the way the vehicle looks. Our advanced Lightweight Aluminium Architecture means we are able to create a vehicle that has an authoritative yet elegant stance. Inside, absolute precision is a prerequisite – exceptional craftsmanship ensures all occupants experience the feeling of ultimate luxury and refinement.”
The Jaguar XJ’s dynamic shape is the result of exhaustive computational modelling in which designers and engineers have worked side-by-side to ensure that aesthetics and aerodynamics work in harmony.
Starting at the front of the vehicle, the upright grille with mesh detail framed by Jaguar’s unique ‘J-Blade’ daytime running light design creates an assertive stance. In profile, the distinctive chrome accent of the daylight opening emphasises the XJ’s pure and elongated form while the taut waistline accentuates the vehicle’s low stance and commanding presence.
This elegant but powerful design focus continues through the body of the vehicle to the strong rear end design. Finishing touches at the rear include elliptical tailpipes and LED tail lights incorporating a distinctive pinstripe graphic that delivers a crisp and clear ribbon of light, further projecting the luxurious look and feel of the Jaguar XJ.
Jaguar’s commitment to its lightweight all-aluminium construction reinforces the precise and pure lines of the XJ exterior. With fewer joints and welds than traditional methods, it is also key to the luxury sedan’s dynamic performance, fuel economy and refinement.
The Jaguar XJ’s dynamic appearance has been enhanced with the introduction of the XJR575. A number of unique exterior design elements set it apart from the rest of the range. These include two exclusive exterior paint colours, Satin Corris Grey and Velocity Blue, created by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division.
Further exterior enhancements include a revised rear spoiler, side sills, front bumper, splitter and lower air intakes featuring Gloss Black surrounds. Distinctive XJR575 exterior badging also helps to mark the vehicle out, while 20-inch Farallon gloss-black wheels with red painted brake callipers give it a final dramatic flourish.
Eye-catching full-LED headlights accentuate the ‘quad lamp’ design feature that Jaguar sporting sedans have made their own. They are further enhanced with active front steer and static bend lamp functions, and auto high beam-assist. LED headlights provide a more natural light than Bi-Xenon lamps, improving visibility, driver comfort and energy efficiency.
Twin ‘J-Blade signature’ daytime running lights ensure the XJ is recognisable as a Jaguar. The white light instantly and seamlessly changes to orange when the direction indicator is operated. The LED rear lights feature a J-signature tail and position light graphic.
First-class cabin: Space, luxury and refinement
The cabin of the XJ blends elegant, contemporary design with the comfort, luxury and unmistakable sporting style of a Jaguar. Both standard and long-wheelbase (LWB) models are available, with the latter offering an even more sumptuous and refined experience for rear-seat passengers.
The exceptional crafted feeling that is now synonymous with Jaguar, and the XJ in particular, is evident throughout. Handcrafted veneer runs around the cabin, emphasising the sense of space, while the layered instrument panel, complete with Jaguar signature ‘Riva Hoop’, continues into the door panel, creating a unique atmosphere. Jaguar’s sporting character is visible in the controls and architecture surrounding the driver, with a finely crafted leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel providing a rewardingly tactile touch point.
A full-width panoramic roof guarantees a light-filled cabin, enhancing the sensation of space. The heat-reflective glass roof sweeps to the full rear of the vehicle and above the rear seats, flooding the interior with natural light. This adds to the spacious feeling of the interior but effective tinting techniques ensure the cabin remains private while simultaneously minimising solar gain.
Attention to detail is a hallmark of the XJR575’s sporting design and contemporary luxury. For even greater comfort, the sport seats feature adjustable bolsters for enhanced lateral support during cornering while the diamond-quilted upholstery has embroidered 575 branding. A dashboard intaglio also has 575 branding and unique XJR575 front and rear treadplates are fitted.
The rear passenger compartment of the XJ LWB model includes two individual ‘airline style’ reclining seats featuring cushion and squab adjustment, three massage programs (wave/rolling, lumbar and shoulder), lumbar adjustment and two memory settings for the ultimate relaxation on long journeys. The rear seat home positioning setting returns each seat to its rest position at the touch of a button on the door panel, easing entry and exit.
The centre armrest, which can be stowed in the upright position to allow the use of the centre seat, houses all the seat controls as well as the Front Seat Activation button, which gives rear passengers control of the front passenger seat position.
Through the use of the central infotainment touchscreen, any one of the four electric seats can be selected and then fully controlled via the driver’s seat switches. The rear seats can be returned to their home position by the use of the touchscreen and driver’s memory buttons, and can also be programmed to return to their home position on rear door opening for ease of entry and exit.
Rear-seat passengers are provided with a wide range of entertainment features. The Rear Seat Entertainment package comprises two 10.2-inch high-resolution screens mounted on the back of the front seat headrests. These can display inputs from a number of sources; the DVD player or an external media player that can be synchronised through the Rear Media Interface, which provides USB and RCA connections. Audio can be transmitted through the wireless headphones, allowing each passenger to watch separate entertainment sources. The rear seat environment, including the entertainment, is managed by a wireless controller housed in the centre console, which also allows passengers to fine-tune their individual climate zones and seat heating and cooling functions.
The XJ LWB also has leather-surfaced business tables in the rear, which fold out of the backs of the front seats. To keep rear seat passengers shielded from the sun, and to offer additional privacy, the XJ offers electric rear-side window blinds that are operated using the window lift switches. Generous rear headroom gives passengers limousine levels of comfort.
The palette of materials for the interior underlines the XJ’s luxurious feel. This includes bond grain, soft grain and semi-aniline leathers, and a wide choice of veneers including Piano Black, Carbon Fibre, Gloss Burr Walnut, Gloss Rich Oak, Gloss Rich Oak with linear laser inlay and Gloss Figured Ebony.
Performance, refinement and efficiency: the 3.0-litre V6 diesel features a host of advanced technologies designed to boost output and reduce emissions. Euro 5 compliant, this outstanding engine develops an extraordinary 700Nm, powers the XJ from 0-100km/h in just 6.2 seconds and returns CO2 emissions from 184g/km.
The XJ’s sense of effortless performance is maintained by the latest-generation of Jaguar’s V6 diesel. Smoother and quieter than ever, this powertrain features sophisticated common rail injection and turbocharging systems, delivering power and torque of 221kW and 700Nm respectively. The torque provides exceptional responsiveness and CO2 emissions from 184g/km.
Eight-hole piezo injectors deliver fuel into the combustion chambers with precision and control, while maximum injection pressure of 2,000bar ensures even better mixture formation. All of this leads to excellent fuel consumption of 7.0l/100km).
The innovative parallel-sequential turbo system features more aerodynamically-efficient turbochargers, while the primary turbo features highly-advanced ceramic ball bearing technology: the reduced friction means superior launch performance and transient response as torque builds up even more rapidly than before.
Further technology highlights include a switchable coolant pump and dual-stage oil pump, which ensure faster warm-up and reduced parasitic losses. And the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system features a cooled low-pressure circuit in addition to the high-pressure circuit: this enables inherently low emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) as well as reduced pumping losses across a wider range of the engine’s operating map.
Complementing the EGR system is a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. Injecting a urea solution upstream of a highly efficient SCR catalyst converts NOx into nitrogen and water, ensuring that the XJ meets Euro 5 exhaust emissions regulations.
The petrol engines: Powerful, refined and efficient
The XJ also offers the familiar range of all-aluminium V6 and V8 petrol engines. All feature direct injection, variable valve timing, forced induction and intelligent stop-start systems to deliver high performance with remarkable efficiency.
The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 develops 250kW/450Nm. Characterised by its linear power delivery and free-revving nature, this remarkable engine also produces a unique soundtrack thanks to meticulously tuned intake and exhaust systems.
The flagship engine option remains Jaguar’s iconic the 5.0-litre supercharged V8. For 2018MY this engine produces 423kW and 700Nm of torque in the new XJR575 performance flagship, enough for a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 300km/h. This engine is also available in 375kW/625Nm configurations, to deliver all of the performance promised by the XJ’s dynamic design.
Selecting the best: Eight-speed automatic transmissions
All powertrains feature a specifically optimised eight-speed automatic ZF transmission. Each has been developed to provide the perfect balance of unrivalled launch performance, shift comfort, dynamics and efficiency.
Two variants from the 8HP transmission family are offered in the XJ: the familiar 8HP70 transmission and the lighter, more compact 8HP45.
The use of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) improves responsiveness and driver feedback, enhancing the XJ’s position as the most dynamic luxury sedan in the world. The technology is also an enabler for advanced driver assistance systems and improved efficiency.
Jaguar cars set the benchmark for steering feel in every segment. This is intrinsic to the dynamic DNA of all models, from the XE compact sports sedan to F-TYPE sports car and F-PACE performance SUV. The XJ is no exception and the latest generation benefits from the use of electric power assistance for the steering system.
Years of development and testing, plus meticulous tuning work, means that EPAS delivers a natural and engaging steering feel. The system’s ability to filter-out steering disturbances from poor road surfaces and compensate for road camber make it feel smoother and more precise than ever. Friction has also been engineered out, improving feel and responsiveness still further.
Unlike hydraulic systems, EPAS only uses energy when the driver turns the wheel, helping to reduce fuel consumption.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Seamless smartphone connectivity and Meridian digital audio systems take the XJ’s infotainment to the next level.
Designed and developed without compromise, the XJ’s Touch Pro premium infotainment system is truly state-of-the art. Conceived in-house and built around a quad-core Intel processor and a next-generation Ethernet network, Touch Pro can handle massive amounts of data and is exceptionally powerful and responsive. At the same time, the system is simple and intuitive to use.
At its heart is a new 10-inch capacitive touchscreen introduced for 2018MY. Just like a smartphone, the home screen can be customised – there’s a choice of wallpaper images, while widgets can be used to shortcut to favourite features and functions. Extra home pages can be added, if desired.
And just like smartphones, the touchscreen accepts ‘pinch to zoom’ gestures, or swipes to scroll between home screens. This simple, intuitive user interface helps drivers to keep their eyes on the road, minimising distraction.
The functionality of the navigation system is just as impressive. Dead reckoning functionality accurately determines the vehicle’s position even when GPS signals cannot be received – ideal for cities.
Touch Pro also delivers a full-screen navigation display in the XJ’s reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster.
Engineered to sound perfect: Meridian Reference system
Equal attention has been paid to audio system performance. A choice of four systems includes the outstanding 26-speaker, 1,300W Reference sound system developed with British audio experts Meridian. The 17 channels of stereo and surround sound benefit from Meridian’s Trifield technology to ensure optimum reproduction with benchmark low levels of distortion.
Rear seat entertainment: The full widescreen experience
To further enhance the XJ’s luxurious row-two experience, customers will be able to specify a rear seat entertainment system. Comprising two 10.2-inch high-definition screens, which fold away when not in use, these displays offer a true 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. When digital TV is also specified, a different channel can be shown on each screen in the vehicle.
The rear seat entertainment system also allows passengers to connect devices using two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI and one MHL port, enabling charging and media output from a wide range of smartphones and tablets.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
The XJ can improve traction in difficult conditions, take the effort out of stop-start traffic and parking in tight spaces and mitigate against collisions, making the driving experience even more relaxing, enjoyable and safe.
Gaining traction: All-Surface Progress Control
Already proven in the XE and the XF, the XJ benefits from Jaguar’s revolutionary All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC) technology. Designed to help drivers to pull away smoothly and without drama on very low-friction surfaces, ASPC makes it easier and safer to drive a powerful rear-wheel drive car at low speeds on slippery surfaces such as snow, ice and wet grass.
Conventional traction control systems attempt to modulate what happens once the wheels begin to slip – that’s usually too late. ASPC is fundamentally different, founded upon decades of Jaguar Land Rover experience in developing off-road technologies.
ASPC works like a low-speed cruise control and can operate between 3.6km/h and 30km/h. Pressing a button on the centre console activates the system. The driver then uses the cruise control switches on the steering wheel to set the desired speed and ASPC does all the hard work: all the driver has to do is concentrate on steering.
What makes ASPC so effective is that it doesn’t just provide fine control of the throttle: it also uses the brakes in opposition to the throttle. So, from a standstill, only very low engine torque is applied to the driven wheels, enabling smooth progress with little or no wheel spin.
Forward-thinking: Stereo camera at the heart of intelligent safety
The 2018MY XJ benefits from the introduction of Jaguar Land Rover’s advance stereo camera technology, which underpins an extended range of safety features. The exceptionally accurate and robust sensors ensure that the driver can feel confident in all driving scenarios.
This state-of-the-art sensor, packaged in front of the rear-view mirror, generates a real-time view of the road and objects ahead. The information is interpreted by highly sophisticated image processing software and the output used by a wide range of advanced driver assistance systems.
The stereo camera enables the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) technologies. By monitoring the vehicle’s position relative to lane markings either side, LDW can prevent unintentional lane drift by triggering a visual warning in the instrument panel and a haptic warning through the steering wheel.
If the driver begins to drift too close to the edge of the lane they are driving in, the LKA system can guide the driver back in to lane by applying a small amount of corrective counter-steering. The amount of torque applied to the steering wheel is slight and can be easily over-ridden by the driver.
Drifting out of lane can be caused by driver fatigue, and this can be identified by periods of little or no steering activity followed by sudden or excessive inputs. The new Driver Condition Monitor system is able to recognise these patterns, and, by also checking activation of the brake and accelerator pedals along with various instrument panel buttons, will display a multi-stage visual warning in the instrument panel to prompt the driver to take a break.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist
The Queue Assist function for the adaptive cruise control system has been designed to take even more of the effort and monotony out of driving in heavy traffic. Using a long-range radar sensor, the system can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, all the way down to a standstill.
Blind Spot Monitoring
Blind Spot Monitoring uses radar sensors to alert the driver to the presence of vehicles approaching fast from behind when changing lanes by displaying a flashing icon in the door mirror.
Parking made simpler and safer
The use of electric power-assisted steering enables semi-autonomous park-assist functions for both bay and parallel parking. Ultrasonic sensors measure the space first and the system steers the vehicle into position – and, in the case of parallel parking, out again. The driver just controls the accelerator, brakes and transmission.
The XJ also features the 360-degree Surround Camera: four cameras combine to give a 360-degree view of the area around the car to make manoeuvring easier and safer.
Reverse Traffic Detection
The XJ’s radar sensors can also help to make reversing safer. Vehicles approaching from either side are detected and, if they present a potential hazard, the driver is given audible and visual warnings.