Updated 2012 Jaguar XJ sports sedan arrives in NZ

August 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar’s NZ distributor has just landed the updated 2012 version of its luxury flag ship – the XJ sports sedan. With new equipment and pricing for 2012 the XJ apparently allows for greater personalisation and flexibility of use, with the first models available in New Zealand now.

Prices for the 2012 model start from $155,000 and the new XJ now offers the Rear Seat Comfort pack. This feature allows the electric adjustment of the backrest recline angle, four-way lumbar support and a massage function. Increased comfort is also provided by new winged headrests and rear seat footrests. The Rear Seat Comfort pack is standard on the long wheel base Supersport model and an option on the others in the XJ range.

There are new interior colour combination for 2012, available with both the Premium Luxury and Portfolio trim levels. There’s a Jet/Ivory option that features ivory seating with contrast jet stitching, piping and upper surfaces while the headlining is available in either colour, according to customer preference.

“An XJ should be the ultimate in comfort, design and refinement. The bespoke interior changes  incorporated for the 2012 model make it an even more special car to drive or be driven in,” said Paul Ricketts, the brand manager for Jaguar New Zealand. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Jaguar XJ sports sedan arrives in NZ” »

The Cat Came Back

August 20th, 2011 by Tim Grimley

It’s strange how things never seem to work out entirely as you anticipate. After my last tirade about the social inadequacy of the proletariat I was expecting to be the recipient of at least a smattering of bile and vitriol from the bus dwelling community, but it seems that in general the world agrees with me. Or at least it doesn’t find my viewpoint objectionable enough to justify a major counter-strike.

Instead the response from the select few of my acquaintances who happen to peruse my weekly ramblings was focussed on one specific sentence. The bit where I casually proclaimed my least favourite car of all time to be the Jaguar X-Type.

It turns out that along with Olympic whinging abilities and an inability to play expansive rugby; most Kiwis’ believe that a passionate devotion to all things Jag is a deep seated trait of those of us from the motherland. And they are absolutely correct.

Throughout its history, Jaguar has been about making truly great cars that have been accessible to the common man. Not too accessible of course, but not in the airy realms of fantasy that seem to be the reserve of other motoring exotica. If you worked hard in life and didn’t fritter too much of your life savings away on other frivolous wastes such as children, then at some point you would accrue enough coinage to join the big cat club of motoring pleasure.

But with the X-Type they took a sharp and unpleasant diversion from this tried and trusted theory and instead decided to make a truly great badge accessible to the common man. Although at this point I must point out that the X-Type was in no way a bad car. At its core was the Ford CD132 platform which was also used to produce the Mondeo; a dynamically excellent vehicle and one of my all time favourite rep-movers. Continue reading “The Cat Came Back” »

Updated 2012 Jaguar range and XKR-S coming to NZ

April 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar has introduced upgrades across its range of 2012 models at the recent New York Motor Show and the updated machines will be available in NZ by the end of the year.

The XF sports sedan has received powertrain updates to improve performance and economy. There is also a new interior look and exterior design. The XJ luxury sedan now has a Rear Seat Comfort package offering a limousine experience. The new 300km/h XKR-S now tops the XK range.

“Substantial changes and improvements have been made across the XF, XJ and XK ranges bringing performance, refinement and economy to new levels” says Paul Ricketts, Brand Manager of Jaguar New Zealand “While fresh design enhancements strengthen the appeal of Jaguar’s latest line-up.” said Mr Ricketts.

The XF, now receives new front and rear revisions to its appearance that bring it in line with the flagship XJ. The supercharged XFR features further unique design enhancements that signal the performance available in this range-topper. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Jaguar range and XKR-S coming to NZ” »

Jaguar XJ arrives in NZ – pricing announced

July 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar’s range topping sports sedan, the all new XJ, will arrive in New Zealand next month.

Building on the success of the exciting XK and XF models the introduction of the all-new XJ is a landmark for the revitalised Jaguar brand. Clearly positioned as the company’s four-door flagship, it will attempt to extend the appeal of the XJ to a new generation of customers.

“The new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the quintessential Jaguar. Its visual impact stems from the elongated teardrop shape of the car’s side windows, that powerful stance and its wide track. It is the most emphatic statement yet of Jaguar’s new design direction”, said Ian Callum, Design Director of Jaguar Cars.

Eight different models are available with short and long wheelbase chassis and a choice of a three litre diesel, five litre V8 and supercharged V8 engines.

Pricing begins at $174,990 for the XJ SWB 3.0 Diesel with the performance topping LWB 375 kW supercharged Supersport model at $324,990.

An innovative new panoramic glass roof is an integral part of the all-new XJ’s design concept, enabling the car to have a lower, more streamlined roofline, while increasing the feeling of light and space inside.

Standard and long-wheelbase models are available from launch in New Zealand. The long wheelbase offers an even more refined environment for rear-seat passengers with an additional 125mm of legroom. Whichever the wheelbase, the XJ’s 520-litre boot can swallow two large suitcases side-by-side.

In the all-new XJ’s cabin chrome and piano black detailing provide contrast to the leather and veneer surfaces.

Continue reading “Jaguar XJ arrives in NZ – pricing announced” »

Land Rover set to increase production

August 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Range Rover Sport fq

It’s hard to know what’s really happening at Tata and Jaguar Land Rover at the moment. Sales for the Jaguar XF continue steadily and the XJ looks promising but the JLR division lost £673.4 million pounds last year, and parent company Tata was also deep in the red at the end of its 2008 fiscal year. With that in mind and a so-far unfulfilled quest for financing, Tata has been busy discussing the need to shed production workers.

Now, strangely a report says that due to “forecasts of strong demand” for the refreshed Land Rover Discover and Range Rover Sport, the Solihull plant will need to increase production. Workers who’ve been on shortened hours since the March will now go back to a five-day work week. That’s good news for the employees and hopefully for Tata.

Workers at Land Rover’s Halewood plant aren’t so lucky with the Freelander factory being shut down intermittently because of low demand.

Jaguar officially unveils the 2010 XJ Sedan

July 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XJ sedan fq1

The current Jaguar XJ is around 7 years old which is a fairly typical vehicle lifespan but the body styling is the same basic shape that’s been around since the 1970s. This shouldn’t be an issue but it had caused many to think the car lacked technical sophistication despite its impressive spec sheet. Yesterday, Jaguar released official images and information for its all-new, redesigned 2010 Jaguar XJ.

Liberally taking styling cues from the new Jaguar XF sedan, the 2010 XJ is definitely not stuck in the past. Using long lines and a staunch profile the XJ is unique and handsome.

Using a low, sloping roofline to give the XJ a four-door coupe look, the black D-pillars create a ‘floating roof’ effect from the rear, and a panoramic glass sunroof lets abundant light into the cabin improving the sense of space. The rear is sure to polarise opinion with its vertical tail lights and tall deck.

Inside, their is a much more modern cockpit featuring a pop-up transmission control interface, laser-inlaid wood trim, a leather headliner and a new instrument panel that discards traditional dials in favor of a high-definition screen displaying driver information.

Under the bonnet, the new V8 found in the XF will provide motivation with the European market also getting a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel. The 5.0L V8 engine will be available in a naturally-aspirated base form rated at 385hp, while a supercharged variant will put out 470hp and an even higher-performance 510hp version for the Supersport edition will also be available.

Only one transmission is available at launch – a paddle-shifted six-speed auto this will take the standard XJ to 100kph in 5.4 seconds, and the Supersport version to 100kph in a brief 4.7 seconds. Suspension dynamics are controlled via air springs, with computer-controlled settings of Normal, Dynamic and Winter.

Like the outgoing model, the new XJ makes extensive use of aluminum, weighing in at a mere 1,723kg in its lightest trim. The combination of light weight and a powerful engine will make for a solid performer but also for potentailly very good fuel economy.

Global sales for the new XJ will begin in December for early 2010 delivery. American prices have been announced at $72,500 ($114,800 NZD) for the base 5.0L V8, $87,500 ($138,600) for the XJ Supercharged and from $112,000 ($177,300) for the XJ Supersport.

Jaguar updates XJ for 2009

December 5th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XJ 2009 fq

Rumours of a new Jaguar XJ are around but for the 2009 model year Jaguar is pushing ahead with its current top cat. The Jaguar XF has proved that the decades old styling can be reworked with good results, so the 2009 XJ may be the final example of the classic looks before a total re-fit. It is hard to fault the all-aluminium sedan which sports V8 power in an old school measure. For 2009 Jaguar has added more standard content to the XJ, includng newly designed seats that improve leg and footroom for rear passengers, and seat heaters are standard in all models. The XJ Soverign model gets a cooling functionality added to the seats, as well as 20″ wheels, soft grain leather, Jaguar branded sills and the traditional wool rugs in the rear. Navigation is standard in Executive and Soverign trim levels, along with parking radar, and bi-xenon lighting.

The engine range is limited to the manic 400bhp 4.2 litre supercharged petrol V8 and the well recieved 2.7 litre V6 twin-turbo diesel. If these are the last XJs before the model is redone then they will be well equiped final examples for collectors of the future.

Jaguar XJ diesel takes award for best towcar in class

June 23rd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

jaguar-xj-diesel-fq

Jaguar has claimed the 2008 Towcar Award for the XJ 2.7 litre Diesel in the 1725-1899kg category.  The award was presented by What Car?, Practical Caravan, and The Camping and Caravanning Club.

The cars were put through their paces for their towing ability and a host of other qualities including driving performance when not towing, practicality, value for money and safety.

The judging panel comprising industry experts, motoring journalists and caravanning enthusiasts were particularly impressed with the way that the XJ performed.  The judges chose the XJ as the winner because: “Stability and ride comfort don’t always go together. Cars with rear suspension that’s firm almost to a fault in normal driving are often the most composed when towing. But the XJ combines unflappable stability with limousine comfort.  The suspension’s alchemy was worth its weight in gold through the lane-change test. The XJ changed direction quickly, gripping hard and holding the intended line. However much the caravan slid behind it, the Jag wouldn’t budge. Data from the ATC shows how much G-force was generated in the van, but the smooth curve of the graph speaks volumes as to how undramatic the Jaguar made this manoeuvre.”

Managing Director of Jaguar in the UK, Geoff Cousins said: “What this award does is demonstrate the breadth of capability of the XJ.  It is already renowned for its all-aluminium body construction, state-of-the-art technologies and outstanding craftsmanship and build quality.  I am delighted we have won this award; it really demonstrates the diverse appeal of the XJ.”

This is the latest in a number of awards for Jaguar’s flagship model.  Most recently, the XJ 2.7 litre Diesel was named Britain’s greenest luxury car in the Environmental Transport Association’s 2008 Car Buyers Guide.  Earlier in the year, the XJ Long Wheelbase was voted ‘Chauffeur Car of the Year’ by Chauffeur Magazine, while What Car?, Auto Trader and Auto Express all voted the XJ ‘Best Luxury Car’ in their various Used Car Awards towards the end of last year.

Since its launch in 2003, the XJ model line-up has been enhanced to include the XJ long wheelbase, the special edition XJR Portfolio, the XJ armoured vehicle and most recently the XJ 08 Model Year, featuring a revised exterior design and significantly upgraded interior.