Published on February 5th, 2013 | by Trevor Lamenya
Ultimate British swag; The 2013 Jaguar XJ
Jaguar Land Rover seem to be on a roll, it looks like it’s engineers have been burning the midnight oil, so as to get an edge over the more established marques in the business.
With the tough and stringent emission laws already in place in Europe and the United States, Jaguar has finally added two brand new engine derivatives in addition to the current line up for the 2013 XF and XJ models, so as to meet and exceed the emission regulations.
Last week I had the privilege to travel to the great land of Madiba to experience these two brand new engines in their full glory.
After five hours airborne, I touched down at the seaside city of Durban, in their recently built exclusive and well designed King Shaka International Airport, which by the way would put to shame our very own Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
After a quick check out in to the foyer, a bevvy of seven Jaguars were awaiting for us to tame them in the picturesque Durban to Karkloof highway.
With my heart racing and adrenaline pumping furiously in my veins, I scanned the vehicles and quickly took my pick; the metallic red XJ with body kit fitted as standard.
PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING
I made myself comfortable in driver’s seat, and since the XJ’s cockpit was familiar territory, I pressed the pulsating start button and immediately I was greeted with a deep thrum from the supercharged V6, sending shivers down my spine.
Quickly I engaged the rising transmition selector in to ‘drive’, and the sheer violent reaction I experienced when I stepped on the accelerator pedal was unbelievable!!
The all new three litre V6 supercharged engine that was in the XJ is such an engineering marvel; on full throttle, it churns out 250kw@6500rpm’s and 450Nm @3500-5000rpm of twisting force. That’s enough to hurl it from naught to 100kph in 5.9 seconds before hitting a terminal speed of 250kph!
All this power is transmitted to the back paws via an 8 speed ZF automatic gearbox that has closely matched ratios for smoother and faster shifting times and of course enhanced fuel economy.
A decade ago, most European manufacturers would willfully scorn to the idea of
Turbo and super-charging their engines. But now times have really changed and everyone from Mercedes Benz, Bmw, Audi and now Jaguar has embraced this technology.
As I blasted down the N2 highway, I noticed how responsive the engine was,However, I decided to lift off the gas and enjoy the rest of the 300km journey to the Karkloof Spa resort .As I took on the twisty roads, the XJ handled sublimely.
Even at high speeds it didn’t get out of shape at all, due to the double wishbone set up at the front and multilink air suspension system at the back.
Its ride might not be as supple as the Mercedes S class or as sporty as the BMW 7 series but Jaguar engineers have managed to get a fine balance between comfort and sporty handling, plus with the addition of the adaptive magnetic shock absorbers, the XJ offers the best both both worlds
COMFORT AND GADGETRY
The XJ’s interior hasn’t changed as much, lots of leather, wood and aluminium trimmings are available for individual taste and preferences. In addition to the tons of gadgetry in the XJ, the adaptive cruise control made driving much of a pleasure, as I could maintain a constant gap between the lead car and myself; this system is so clever that just incase the car ahead brakes hard, the car slows down on its own, alerting you to initiate emergency braking! How cool is that?!
With fatigue creeping in, intuitive lane departure system kept me in check, as it uses a forward base camera to ensure that I stick within my lane, and notices if I drift suddenly to either side. With it’s sophisticated sonar system; it blips and flashes a red light on the side view mirror, warning you of an impending side collision as you switch lanes. That said, I decided to indulge in its new Meridian audio system, which has already made its way in to the all-new Range Rover. Grooving to DJ Cleo’s mixes via my USB stick, the 1200-watt system brought out the base and treble notes in absolute clarity and 7.1 surround sound, I was simply blown away.
For those with back problems, the XJ is the best prescription for you, as now it has front and rear massaging seats with varying speeds to ease and sooth your back muscles. And just in case the weather isn’t working in your favour, Jaguar has thrown in heated steering wheel and seats as standard; what more would you ask for?
Sadly we arrived to our destination as I was just getting comfortable in the XJ, but my parting short as I disembarked was; if given a chance to choose the right uber luxury saloon, I would pick the Mercedes S class for luxury, BMW 7 series for sportiness and the Audi A8 for style. What if I want a little bit of all the characteristics of the brands aforementioned?
The Jag would ideally be the logical answer for me, as it has that British modern flair, luxury minus the opulence tag that the S class carries. It handles sublimely and is ideal for the person who wants a car that will define their stature in society. Out of ten, I award the XJ 8 points. Enough said.