The New XJ - The Most Advanced Jaguar Ever - Lightweight Vehicle Architecture | Part Two

Representing contemporary British automotive luxury at its best, each generation of XJ has delivered the blend of attractions that Jaguar customers demand: elegance, style, comfort and spirited performance.

The all-new XJ has all this and much more besides. Not only is it the ultimate expression of Jaguar luxury saloon car engineering, it is also the most advanced Jaguar ever.

Jaguar has a well-documented history of working with aluminium, but with the new XJ the technologies used have moved to an altogether different level.

Pioneering a new lightweight vehicle architecture that is centred on a conventional monocoque body structure rather than an unnecessarily exotic space-frame, Jaguar engineers have developed a car that is larger in every respect than the model it replaces and has more features and driver-assisting technologies – and yet weighs up to 200 kg less than the outgoing generation. Referring to a large saloon as a lightweight vehicle may seem incongruous, but the new XJ fully deserves – and earns – this label.

The benefits of a lightweight vehicle are in place all the time, from the moment the wheels start turning. In addition to measurables such as fuel economy, emissions and performance, the subjective issues of handling and ride also feature.

In the new XJ, Jaguar’s engineers have created a vehicle that is very agile. It is also quicker and more economical than the outgoing generation. Comparing the new entry model, the 3.0 litre XJ6, with the previous 3.2 litre XJ8 reveals that the new XJ is 0.3 seconds quicker from standstill to 60 mph and almost 15% per cent more economical in the combined cycle. A more direct model for model comparison between XJRs shows that the new XJ is quicker to 60 mph (5.0 seconds versus 5.3 seconds) and yet returns average fuel economy in the combined cycle of 23.0 against 22.4 mpg. Top speed of both vehicles is the same electronically limited 155 mph.

These levels of customer gain in areas that are becoming ever more important, especially in the luxury sector, give the new Jaguar XJ significant advantages over its main competition. And that's without considering the driving experience, the traditional Jaguar attractions of craftsmanship, style and luxury, and the impressive array of driver-friendly technologies that make life behind the wheel of the new XJ more relaxing and enjoyable – and safer.

Four engines will be available and the full details of each can be found in the specifications section of this pack. Not all markets will take all engines, but the advanced six-speed ZF6HP automatic transmission – introduced in the spring of 2002 in the revised S-TYPE – is fitted to all models.

The weight of the new XJ has made it possible to bring back the famous XJ6 badge. It was an XJ6 that started the XJ story in September 1968, when the first generation of car was revealed at the British Motor Show.

The 240 bhp (DIN) 3.0-litre V6 engine in the new XJ is already familiar to S-TYPE and X-TYPE owners. A new 3.5-litre V8 with 262 bhp (DIN) becomes the entry point to eight-cylinder XJ motoring, while formidable 300 bhp (DIN) and 400 bhp (DIN) 4.2-litre V8 and 4.2-litre V8 supercharged engines power the top-of-the-range models.

Specification levels vary according to market, but in the UK trim levels run from V6 through Sport and SE to XJR and Super V8. It goes almost without saying that even the entry-level models have a very generous specification.

continues... | Part Three
Published 3 December 2002 Melanie Carter
 

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