IN RECENT years, Jaguar seems to be on the growth path in order to extend its pride. The new 14MY ‘R’ version of the XJ is no different.
The incorporation of a bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments matched with great performance from its 405kW/680Nm 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine makes the XJR capable of accelerating from zero to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 280km/h.
It’s a fast cat that benefits from the engine calibration of the eight-speed automatic transmission, which brings out the XJ’s performance while maintaining the car’s composure in town and low-speed situations. When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake-pedal activity, road load and kick-down requests. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gear shifts more aggressive and move the shift-up point higher in the rev range. Steering-wheel-mounted gear-shift paddles give the driver higher levels of control.
The XJR can be identified as a performance model and wears distinctive five-spoke 20-inch ‘Farallon’ forged alloy wheels shod with bespoke low-profile tyres to maximise grip and lend the car a dynamic, muscular stance. A new front splitter and aerodynamic sill section, combined with an additional rear spoiler and unique ‘R’ bonnet louvres, give the car optimum levels of high-speed stability and an assertive appearance.
The XJR represents a fitting pinnacle to Jaguar’s luxury saloon range, combining class-leading levels of luxury, comfort and performance with the elegant, contemporary design for which Jaguar is renowned.
It also spearheads an improved range of XJs for 2014 and customers now have an expanded choice of powerplants, including a highly efficient 177kW turbocharged petrol fitted to the new XJ Luxury as well as a turbocharged diesel. All engines are mated to Jaguar’s eight-speed automatic gearbox, which provides a broad spread of ratios for a perfectly balanced combination of smooth-shifting, economy and driver control.
For those who want extra rear legroom, Jaguar offers a long-wheelbase version of the XJ. Few rear compartments can boast so much space and comfort and the 2014 model’s headroom increases by 13mm while the rear suspension settings have been optimised for more compliance, resulting in an even smoother ride. The stretched XJ can also be specified with a number of individual rear seat configurations, enabling owners to turn the rear compartment into an exclusive club, boardroom or lounge.
The latest evolution of Jaguar’s extraordinarily luxurious saloon can be identified by the red ‘growler’ wheel badges, a three-dimensional red ‘growler’ on the grille and a 3D leaper on the trunk, along with the new Jaguar word mark.
The 14MY XJ’s luxurious feel is underlined by the palette of materials used in the interior. This includes soft grain and semi-aniline leather and a wide choice of veneers including Piano Black, Carbon Fibre, Gloss Burr Walnut and Satin Rosewood. XJ customers can also choose from an exterior palette comprising 15 colours.
The 14MY XJ continues to offer Jaguar’s Intelligent Stop-Start system on all V-type petrol engines and uses a Twin Solenoid Starter (TSS) to shut down the engine when the car comes to a halt and restart it in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move from the brake to the accelerator.
Finally, the 14MY XJ also features soft-closing-door technology, which ensures that the doors are securely closed with minimum exertion and undue noise. When the door is within approximately 6mm of the lock, a sensor activates an electric motor which squeezes the door shut.