Jaguar rolls out 2014 XJ updatesTue, 20 Aug 2013 11:39:00 EST
It may be an uphill battle with Mercedes-Benz having rolled out its all-new S-Class, but in an effort to entice more customers towards its flagship sedan, Jaguar has announced a series of enhancements for the XJ.
A number of upgrades aim to make the long-wheelbase model that much more accommodating, with new airline-style rear seats that recline, massage and optimize the headroom in the back. The rear suspension has also been recalibrated for comfort, and there's a new optional Meridian sound system with a Conversation Assist feature that uses microphones in the headliner to pick up occupants' voices and pipe them through the speakers to support the art of conversation in motion.
The engine range carries over unchanged, but each engine is now mated to an eight-speed automatic with an available stop/start system which Jaguar says takes less time to restart the engine than it takes for the driver to move his or her right foot from brake to gas. Full details in the press release below.
ELEGANT PERFORMANCE AS STANDARD IN 2014 MODEL YEAR JAGUAR XJ
- Enhanced luxury features in the rear cabin of the 2014 model year XJ add to the already luxurious status of Jaguar's flagship saloon
- A comprehensive range of engines – 3.0-litre V6 diesel and supercharged petrol and two 5.0-litre V8 petrol powerplants – enhances customer choice
- An even more spacious long-wheelbase version of the 14MY XJ is available
- A new Jaguar flagship sports saloon – the 550PS XJR – combines supercar performance and assertive looks with the XJ's typically high levels of luxury
- All engines in the 2014 XJ range are available with Intelligent Stop/Start system
- All available engines deliver their power through smooth shifting eight-speed automatic transmissions
The 2014 model year Jaguar XJ is the latest in a long line of luxurious Jaguar sports saloons, incorporating enhanced rear cabin luxury features, comfort and in-car technology to create a truly elegant and contemporary luxury Jaguar.
"The 2014 XJ represents the summit of Jaguar's luxury saloon range. The XJ's unparalleled breadth of talent combines class-leading levels of luxury, comfort and performance with the elegant, contemporary design for which Jaguar is renowned."
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar
The Jaguar XJ is offered with a choice of diesel and supercharged petrol 3.0-litre V6 engines and two supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol engines.
These engines are mated to Jaguar's eight-speed automatic gearbox which offers a broad spread of ratios for a perfectly balanced combination of smooth-shifting, economy and driver control.
The long-wheelbase models feature enhanced rear cabin luxury options which include 'airline' style reclining seats with massage function, increased headroom and fold-out business tables. A specially re-tuned rear suspension set-up enhances rear seat ride comfort.
The entertainment system has been enhanced with a Rear Seat Entertainment options featuring two hi-resolution touchscreens, and premium Meridian Reference Audio System with Conversation Assist.
The 14MY XJ's luxurious feel is underlined by the palette of materials used on the interior. This includes Bond grain, soft grain and semi-aniline leather, and a wide choice of veneers including Piano Black, Carbon Fibre, Gloss Burr Walnut and Satin Rosewood.
The 14MY 'R' version of the XJ incorporates bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments to create the most focused, agile and responsive XJR ever. Seamless performance from its 550PS/680Nm, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine makes the XJR capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h).
"With a dynamic set-up tuned for both performance and incredible comfort, the new XJR brings immense breadth of capability to the segment, creating the ultimate high-performance luxury saloon car." Andrew Dobson, Chief Programme Engineer, Jaguar XJR
ENHANCED INTERIOR FEATURES
The 2014 XJ features a range of enhanced interior features focused on the rear cabin of the car, which upgrade both the luxury and functionality of the XJ's rear environment, resulting in the most accomplished Jaguar luxury saloon.
The rear passenger compartment of the 2014 LWB car is now available with two individual 'airline style' reclining seats which both feature cushion and squab adjustment, three massage programs – Wave/Rolling, Lumbar and Shoulder – to provide optimum levels of relaxation during long journeys, lumbar adjustment and two memory settings for each seat. The total recline adjustment of each seat is 11 degrees, with 103mm lateral cushion movement and 14 degrees of upper articulation movement. The rear seat home positioning setting returns each seat to its home position at the touch of a button on the door panel, easing entry and exit.
The new centre armrest, which can be stowed in the upright position to allow the use of the centre seat, houses all the seat controls as well as the Front Seat Activation button which allows control of the front passenger seat from the rear.
Front seat enhancements include massage functions for each seat with five levels of intensity, allowing occupants to personalise massage settings to their preference.
Through the use of the front touchscreen, any one of the four electric seats can be selected and then fully controlled via the driver's seat switches. The rear seats can be returned to their home position by the use of the touchscreen and driver's memory buttons, and can also be programmed to return to their home position on rear door opening for ease of entry and exit.
Rear-seat passengers in the LWB version of the 2014 XJ are provided with a wide range of entertainment features. The optional Rear Seat Entertainment package comprises two 10.2" high-resolution screens mounted on the back of the front seat headrests. These can display inputs from a number of sources; the DVD player, digital TV tuner or an external media player that can be synced through the Rear Media Interface, which provides USB and RCA connections. Audio can be transmitted through the wireless headphones, allowing each passenger to watch separate entertainment sources. The rear seat environment, including the entertainment, is managed by a wireless controller housed in the centre console which also allows passengers to alter their individual climate zones and seat heating and cooling functions.
The LWB XJ also offers leather-surfaced business tables in the rear, which fold out of the seatbacks of the front seats. To keep rear seat passengers shielded from the sun, and to offer privacy, the XJ offers electric rear-side window blinds that are operated via the window lift switches. An increase in rear headroom by 13mm gives rear-seat passengers the optimum in luxurious, limousine levels of comfort.
The 2014 XJ engine range includes powerful and efficient 3.0-litre V6 petrol and diesel engines, as well as two supercharged 5.0-litre units putting out 510PS, and in the XJR, 550PS.
Maximising the benefit of the engine calibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission, which brings out the performance of the XJ while still maintaining the car's composure in town and in low-speed driving environments.
When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load and kickdown request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressive and move the shift-up point higher in the rev range. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles give the driver higher levels of control.
Intelligent Stop/Start system
The 14MY XJ features Jaguar's Intelligent Stop-Start system, which uses a Twin Solenoid Starter (TSS) to shut down the engine when the car comes to a halt, and restart it in less time than it takes for the driver's foot to move from the brake to the accelerator.
The system offers 'change of mind' functionality, enabling the engine to quickly restart even during its rundown phase to allow the driver to, for example, exploit a gap in traffic at a junction. An illuminated 'ECO' symbol appears on the instrument panel when the engine has been stopped by the system. Intelligent Stop-Start can be turned off manually, but it will automatically be turned on again for the vehicle's next journey with every ignition cycle. The system operates in all modes apart from Reverse. The 14MY XJ has a secondary battery fitted specifically for engine re-starting, meaning that all the normal car systems – such as the entertainment system, the ventilation and lights – continue to receive power from the standard car battery and are unaffected by the re-start. In addition, a sophisticated control system ensures that the Stop/Start operation only occurs when the car does not require the engine for other functions.
REAR SUSPENSION ENHANCEMENTS
To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain luxuriously cosseted at all times, the LWB version of the 14MY XJ features revisions to the rear suspension for optimised ride compliance, providing a smoother journey for rear seat occupants.
While this provides a truly relaxing experience for rear seat passengers, the XJ loses none of the model's core dynamic abilities and so is as rewarding to drive as it is to be driven in. The XJ's lightweight aluminium construction means a weight saving over its rivals of as much as 150kg, resulting in great advantages in terms of agility, acceleration, braking and driver feedback and involvement.
14MY XJ customers can choose from an exterior palette comprising 15 colours: Polaris White, Ebony, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Lunar Grey, Rhodium Silver, Cashmere, Osmium Blue, Dark Sapphire, Caviar, Carnelian Red, Black Amethyst, Italian Racing Red, British Racing Green and Satellite Grey.
The 14MY XJ also features soft closing door technology which ensures that the doors of the XJ are securely closed with minimum exertion and undue noise.
MERIDIAN™ REFERENCE AUDIO SYSTEM
An optional range-topping 1300W Meridian™ Reference Audio System – with 26 super premium speaker drive units upgraded to reduce distortion and improve linearity – is available for the 14MY XJ.
The Meridian™ Reference Audio System incorporates two 80mm speakers and one 25mm tweeter set in the rear of the each of the front seats; this combined with the speaker drive unit upgrades delivers a concert-like experience for all vehicle occupants. The system also incorporates DEC, which is a progression of the successful Dynamic Volume Control (DVC). This utilises the microphones above each listening position to optimise the frequency response and level of the sound to compensate exactly for varying levels and types of noise registered.
The Meridian™ Reference Audio System is visually recognisable with unique badging on the doors and rear parcel shelf and also the red cones on the door speakers, which are visible through the speaker grilles.
Conversation Assist, which is only available with the Meridian™ Reference Audio System, utilises a microphone above each seating position and digital audio processing technology to reinforce the occupant's voice via the vehicle's audio system. This makes it much easier for occupants to be heard clearly by the other occupants in the vehicle above any cabin noise.
Conversation Assist can be activated whenever the infotainment system is on, whether audio sources are actively playing through the audio system or not, but the feature will not be active when in a phone call or voice session.
By Noah Joseph
See also: Jeremy Clarkson's Jag going up for auction, Seven-figure cars highlight day one of RM's Monterey auction, Jaguar recalling XK Convertible and XF 2.0T sedan for unrelated issues.