The New XJ - The Most Advanced Jaguar Ever - Handling Technology | Part Eight

A Dynamic Approach

Jaguar saloons have always had a sporting edge and the new XJ is no exception. In fact, the use of aluminium has allowed the engineering teams to develop a car that belies its size and is extremely agile.

New front and rear suspension systems – with the refinement of standard air suspension and enhanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) adaptive damping – take ride comfort and vehicle handling to new levels.

The suspensions incorporate extensive lightweight materials and are designed to complement the lightweight but stiff aluminium body structure that provides a rigid foundation for handling, steering and braking performance.

Fitting air suspension across the whole XJ range delivers major advantages over traditional coil-spring suspension systems in terms of comfort and refinement, providing optimum ride quality regardless of load conditions and ensuring that the vehicle’s full suspension travel is always available to soak up bumps or irregular road surfaces.

The XJ’s air suspension system uses air spring/damper units in lieu of the coil-spring/damper units of a traditional system. Height sensors at the four corners of the car feed vehicle height data to an electronic control module in the boot and on de-restricted roads, the system automatically lowers the XJ’s ride height by 15 mm at 160 km/h (100 mph). This improves aerodynamic efficiency, vehicle stability and fuel economy during high-speed cruising.

The new XJ’s suspension system also features the latest version of Jaguar’s sophisticated CATS system as standard on all models. This optimises ride refinement under all conditions with two-stage adaptive damping under electronic control, but is so refined that the driver is unaware that damping conditions are changing.

The new XJ also features an impressive array of electronic driver aids, including four-channel anti-lock braking (ABS) with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), the former a latest generation system that operates in a more refined manner than previously.

EBA helps the driver in an emergency when maximum power isn’t being applied, assessing the urgency with which the driver hits the brake pedal and instantly applying maximum available braking power if it is needed.

A new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system reacts to and controls both understeer and oversteer, while Traction Control helps provide optimum tractive power under acceleration by preventing the drive wheels from spinning when pulling away or cornering.

Jaguar’s innovative and award-winning Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system offers major advantages over conventional cruise control systems. Using microwave radar technology to overcome the need for the driver to adjust speed – either by disengaging cruise control manually or applying the brakes – when approaching slower traffic on the road ahead, ACC automatically adjusts the throttle (and may also apply limited braking) to reach a speed that is compatible with traffic ahead.

ACC now also features Forward Alert, which provides an audible warning of slowing traffic ahead but does not intervene by adjusting the throttle or applying the brakes.

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

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