Maybe were easily pleased, but weve never found ourselves wishing the Jaguar XJ was more opulent. After all, its already one of the most luxurious vehicles on the road, a car in which to while away hours of driving – only to jump out at the other end, more refreshed than when you started.
Still, if you have someone to do the driving for you, theres always room for improvement in the back – and thats where the XJ Ultimate, launched at the Beijing Motor Show, has seen the most changes. We investigate what youll find different from the regular XJ.
There really wasnt a lot to change on the outside, so wisely, Jaguar has left it largely alone. That means the same elegant lines, aggressive grille and mildly controversial rear end.
Instead, the changes are more subtle. The front air intakes have been subtly reshaped and chrome-finished, the rear is embellished with oval tailpipe finishers, and a discreet Ultimate badge. The 20-inch Maroa alloy wheels are all-new, and finished in a dual-tone colour scheme.
The first twenty Ultimate models will be finished in Celestial Black, but as a vehicle aimed at the wealthiest of clientele, youll be able to order it in pretty much any colour you desire.
To improve comfort for those inside, the suspension has been revised to provide an even more cushioning ride quality.
This is where most of the Ultimate changes become apparent. Once again, the front cockpit – almost perfect to start with – has seen few changes.
Instead, its the rear-seat passengers who will experience luxury unlike that of any previous XJ. The already-opulent rear seat bench has made way for two individually-sculpted chairs, with reclining functions, lumbar adjustment, massage functions and climate controls.
Between these is a large, full-length centre console. This features such niceties as a solid aluminium and piano black business table – power operated, of course – an iPad and keyboard for each passenger, a Meridian 15-channel, 20-speaker surround-sound system, and screens on the reverse of the front headrests.
The XJ Ultimates luxurious pice de rsistance is the champagne chiller between the rear seats, and bespoke champagne flutes from which to enjoy your tipple. Ah, to live in the lap of luxury
Another case of if it aint broke, dont fix it – the XJ Ultimate comes with two engine choices, both well-proven and more than capable of catapulting the XJ down the road at quite some pace.
The first is Jaguars powerful 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged diesel, which isnt only incredibly smooth and quiet, but economical too – with EU combined economy of 40.1mpg. For those concerned less about economy and more about getting there quickly, the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 from the Supersport will also be offered. With over 500 horsepower, supercar-like performance is on tap at all times.
A third engine will also join the range – a new 3.0-litre, supercharged petrol V6. Jaguar is claiming V6 levels of economy with naturally-aspirated V8 levels of performance. The V6 will incorporate Jaguars Intelligent Stop-Start system, and use the same slick 8-speed automatic gearbox as all other XJs.
If you have to ask, you probably cant afford it. But if you want to know anyway, youre out of luck, as Jaguar hasnt released pricing details yet.
Expect it to be comfortably dearer than the regular XJ – and with Portfolio models of the V6 diesel already nudging 70,000 and the Supersport knocking on the door of 100,000, we anticipate some reassuringly expensive price tags.
Available from: Later this year
The XJ Ultimate appears to prove – if ever proof were needed – that its possible to make the best, better.
Drivers already had a lot to smile about in the XJ, but now passengers will also have plenty to occupy them between high-flying meetings.
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