The Ultimate Expression Of Jaguar Luxury Saloon Car Engineering | Part Three

Engines And Transmission “A range of modern, powerful engines and an advanced, lightweight vehicle construction is the perfect recipe for a luxury saloon that rewards its driver with outstanding levels of refinement, performance and fuel economy.” David Scholes, Chief Programme Engineer

The new XJ will be available with a choice of four engines. Jaguar’s reputation for large capacity, V8 power is legendary and this proud heritage continues with two 4.2-litre engines setting the pace at the top of the range. A 4.2-litre supercharged V8 delivering a massive 400bhp (DIN) powers the XJR model, while a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre engine developing 300bhp (DIN) sits just below it. When matched to the lightweight new XJ, these renowned engines deliver exceptional performance.

Details of power output, performance, economy and emissions figures for all engines and models will be announced at a later date but there is more to the powertrain story than the recognised strengths of Jaguar’s 4.2-litre V8s. A new 3.5-litre V8 makes its debut here and again the trim nature of the new XJ allows the best possible exploitation of the highly impressive 262bhp (DIN).

Another engine new to the XJ also marks the return of a famous badge, as once again an XJ6 takes to the road. The 240bhp (DIN) 3.0-litre AJ-V6 engine offers a new level of accessibility with the performance expected of a luxury flagship. This is made possible by the advanced body and chassis design, which keeps vehicle weight to a minimum.

All four engines benefit from being coupled to the outstanding six-speed automatic transmission that Jaguar first introduced earlier this year in the revised S-TYPE. Designed by transmissions giant ZF, this advanced automatic gearbox is the perfect match for Jaguar’s spirited engines and in the new XJ the combination is hugely impressive.

The Dynamic Approach

“The new XJ is engineered to provide relaxing and refined ride quality, yet can deliver spirited and highly capable dynamic qualities when required. Although larger than its predecessor, the new car is extremely precise in its behaviour, so inspiring driver confidence.” Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity

Under the aluminium skin and body of the XJ are new suspension systems that take ride comfort and dynamic qualities to new heights. Based on a further development of the front and rear suspension technologies utilised in the revised S-TYPE, the XJ systems feature an important additional advantage – self-levelling air suspension is fitted as standard across the range. The adoption of air suspension in the new XJ is a first for Jaguar and perfectly complements the aluminium-intensive construction of the double-wishbone systems. Air suspension ensures that full suspension travel is always available by increasing spring stiffness relative to payload. As well as delivering major advantages over traditional coil-spring suspension in respect of comfort and refinement, the air system ensures ride height remains constant regardless of load conditions – an important factor because in the lightweight XJ, vehicle occupants represent a relatively higher proportion of gross vehicle weight. In addition, the air suspension automatically lowers the ride height at speed to improve stability and increase aerodynamic efficiency.

The new XJ also benefits from an enhanced version of Jaguar’s CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension, standard on all models. This optimises ride and handling under all conditions, electronically maximising dynamic performance and driver control. A completely automatic system governed by the same Electronic Control Unit that controls the air suspension, CATS requires no intervention from the driver, the damper settings being adjusted in milliseconds to suit driving conditions.

Driver Technology To The Fore The essential nature of the XJ – its advanced aluminium architecture, sleek and stylish lines, sumptuous yet contemporary interior and spirited performance – is supported by an array of state-of-the-art electronic technologies to assist drivers in enjoying the car to the full.

An electronic park brake, as introduced earlier this year on the revised S-TYPE, offers the convenience of drive-away release and automatic application on removal of the ignition key – as well as freeing up space between the front seats. It is on the move, though, that the new XJ’s features come into their own. The braking system, which is equipped with a sophisticated four-channel anti-lock function as standard, incorporates Emergency Brake Assist. This senses if a driver is not applying maximum braking in an emergency and intervenes to deliver the necessary additional force. Traction control assists the driver in retaining control of the car in the event of adverse conditions or unexpected occurrences; in the new XJ this feature is complemented by Dynamic Stability Control, a safety-oriented system that intervenes if it detects the vehicle is at the limit of its grip capabilities and applies braking force to bring the situation back under control. This latest DSC system detects and responds to both oversteer and understeer, a significant advance on previous generations. The traction control and DSC can be switched off if so desired.

When drivers choose to take a more relaxed approach, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can be set to keep the new XJ at the required pace, the system slowing or speeding up the car to maintain the set speed at a safe distance to the car in front and cancelling the cruise function if this is not possible. A new feature of the ACC system is Forward Alert, which can be activated to provide an audible warning that driver intervention is required, even when the cruise control is not operating.

Passive safety measures are equally impressive. The energy-absorbing advanced body structure and Jaguar’s A.R.T.S. safety restraint system have been designed to meet the world's most stringent safety standards. To optimise protection, the renowned Advanced Restraint Technology System senses the severity of a crash, the position of the driver and the usage of the seatbelts to provide tailored protection. The occupancy sensing system uses ultrasonic technology combined with a seat weight sensor to detect the presence, position and size of a front seat passenger. A.R.T.S. uses this information to determine the airbag energy levels most appropriate to the individual occupants during a frontal crash. This is combined with the standard side thorax and full-length side curtain airbag protection utilised in the event of a side impact.

The all-new Jaguar XJ makes its public debut on 26th September at the Paris Motor Show. Sales will commence from next spring, dependent on market. Specification and prices will be announced just prior to the car going on sale.

continues... | Part Four
Published 13 September 2002 Melanie Carter
 

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