It’s hard to believe the current-series Jaguar XJ has been around for six years. Approach one in the metal and it’s still as striking as the day it was released.
Timeless Ian Callum design perhaps, or is it more to do with the fact you rarely see one in traffic? I think I see more XJ’s on television pulling up outside 10 Downing St than I do on the road.
Whatever the reason, prepare to be noticed when you’re in the Jaguar XJ R-Sport.
It’s an imposing machine with a sense of grandeur and occasion like…well, like Jaguars of old.
It takes a pretty penny to join the exclusive XJ club.
The 2016 Jaguar XJ R-Sport tested topped the scales at almost $230,000, plus options and plus on roads. You get the picture.
Thankfully the big Jaguar is every bit as good to drive as it looks.
The Supercharged 3.0 litre V6 develops 250kW and 450Nm and in dynamic mode pushes the Jag to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds.
Mated to an 8-Speed automatic it’s a great power train that turns it on when asked yet silently whisks along when a more refined look is required.
Jaguar has engineered a lithe, agile sedan and it has a lot to do with the XJ’s mostly aluminium construction. It helps everywhere. In speed, economy and handling.
The suspension set up is a great blend of sporty and plush. In dynamic mode everything sharpens, the ride, the steering and the throttle, resulting in a car that is rewarding to drive with pace.
In normal mode however the XJ delivers the ultimate in a gentlemanly ride.
Soaking up all the nasties of a substandard road surface and keeping it out of the cabin. Only the very worst potholes will be noticed by passengers.
Inside, the current XJ is about as modern as tomorrow. A tweed jacket would look ridiculous in there.
Framed by a big hoop that laps the cabin (known as the Riva Hoop in Jaguar land), it’s low and swept back toward the driver. And you sit down in the XJ, giving you a real connection with the car.
The dashboard is mimicked in lesser Jaguar models, but the attention to detail in the XJ makes it more special. Way more special.
Swathes of leather line the endlessly adjustable seats. You imagine the hides have been sourced from bottle fed cows that get a daily massage.
A subtle electric blue back light emanates from behind switchgear throughout the cabin, an analogue clock sits atop the infotainment system and a suede roof lining contributes to an interior that pampers like few others.
Of course there’s plenty of space both front and back. A long wheelbase version of the car is available although the regular length XJ (and it’s not small at 5130 mm) provides plenty of legroom in the back, enough for four adults to take on in interstate run in supreme comfort.
They are amazing machines offering world leading technology, unexpected performance and genuine exclusivity. I’d be thrilled to have any of them in my driveway.
None however do it like the Jag does.
It’s aristocratic ‘Britishness’, sublime looks, sumptuous interior and rewarding performance add up to a car like no other.
If you love the Jaguar XJ don’t hesitate to buy one.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Jaguar XJ R-Sport
Engine: 3.0 litre Supercharged V6 developing 250kW and 450Nm
Transmission: Eigth-Speed Automatic
Warranty: Three years
Safety: Not tested
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: from $229,591