Since its introduction in 2003 as a 2004 model, the XJ range has expanded from three to five distinct models with the addition of the long-wheelbase XJ8 L, Vanden Plas, and Super V8 for 2005.
‘The XJ continues to set the standard in its class with its ground-breaking all-aluminum construction,’ explains Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar Cars managing director. ‘The benefits this advanced way of building cars offers in terms of improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, are more relevant today than they have ever been’.
For 2007, Jaguar’s aluminum-intensive XJ sedan continues to improve and evolve. More equipment, like Bluetooth® wireless mobile phone connectivity, becomes standard on all XJ models. The base XJ8, long-wheelbase XJ8 L and supercharged XJR also get major interior upgrades with addition of Jaguar’s highest-quality soft-grain leather-trimmed seating with piping.
XJ LONG WHEELBASE FOR EXTENDED COMFORT
The XJ Long Wheelbase continues to be a natural fit for the Jaguar driver who enjoys the focused driving dynamics of the standard wheelbase XJ sedan, but prefers the additional
rear seat room, and the added opportunity of using the back seats as a traveling office or meeting room.
To add the required extra space and equipment, while retaining the dynamic character, style and everyday drivability of the standard wheelbase XJ, Jaguar increased the original wheelbase by 5 inches to 124.4 inches, increasing the overall length to 205.3 inches.
That makes the XJ LWB the longest car in its premium sedan class – 0.3 inches longer than the new Mercedes Benz S-Class and 1.4 inches longer than the longest BMW 7 Series.
To increase the rear seating room, all the additional body length was incorporated behind the B pillars. To maintain the XJ’s elegant visual proportions, and to gain a small but useful increase in headroom, the roofline was raised by 0.28 inches – a subtle curvature resulting excellent rear headroom. In addition to the increase in headroom, the improved rear passenger space gives the XJ LWB 4.5 inches more rear knee room than offered in the SWB XJ – without compromising the XJ’s excellent 16.4 cu.ft. luggage volume.
Most significantly, it retains its exceptional shell stiffness, and thanks to careful weight management in both shell and other areas, the LWB adds only 53 lbs. body weight. The changes were cleverly engineered – only 17 body parts (including the large side pressings, new doors and longer roof) were new to the XJ LWB, which is built on the same assembly line as the standard wheelbase model.
SPACE TO WORK, OR ROOM TO RELAX
The rear seats of the 2007 XJ LWB aren’t only spacious and comfortable, they can also be a convenient place to relax or work while on the move. On Vanden Plas and Super V8 models, picnic trays fold down from the front seat backs – an ideal place to read or write, and big enough for a notebook computer, which can be powered from the auxiliary socket.
The XJ also offers available multi-media connectivity for MP3 and DVD players, digital memory media, personal gaming systems, with the option of 6.5-inch displays in the backs of the front seat head restraints, and independent input points for two rear seat passengers.
Added space allows a variety of rear seating configurations. The layout for XJ8 L and Vanden Plas is a full width, three-passenger bench seat. The Super V8 features a three-passenger bench with four-way power adjustment for the two outer seat positions, and the front passenger seat can be moved forward from the rear seat behind it for even more legroom.
Both seat configurations are available with a rear-controlled, four-zone climate control system (standard on Super V8).
ALUMINUM – SLIMMING DOWN
The standard wheelbase version of this seventh generation XJ sedan broke new ground when
it went on sale in 2003, as a 2004 model year car. For the first time ever, the complete body structure of the XJ sedan was manufactured from aluminum alloy.
Aluminum alloy is notable for its high strength and low weight, but it isn’t a new material for Jaguar. From its earliest days as a car manufacturer, Jaguar has used many forms of light alloy in its vehicles and components. In the XJ, however, Jaguar uses it in a unique and innovative way.
Unlike other aluminum-alloy-bodied cars, which typically use unstressed outer panels over a separate chassis, the XJ’s body shell uses conventional, stressed skin, monocoque construction. By employing advanced assembly techniques from the aerospace industry, including adhesive bonding and self-piercing rivets, the XJ uses lightweight aluminum alloys rather than steel, as its principal body material.
In effect, riveting is used in a similar way to spot welding on a steel shell, and adhesive bonding is used in a similar way to seam welding. Using both together produces immensely strong, durable joints and a lightweight bodyshell with exceptional torsional stiffness. In addition, the latest forming, casting, machining and extrusion processes have further increased the possibilities offered by both aluminum and magnesium alloys, for maximum strength with minimum weight.
With this lightweight monocoque construction, any new XJ sedan is some 180 lbs lighter than the equivalent model from the previous generation, and significantly stronger. This has a very beneficial effect on power-to-weight ratio, which is a major factor in almost all aspects of vehicle performance. Reducing a vehicle’s weight (without compromising its strength) will improve its performance for the same power output. That not only improves straight-line performance and especially acceleration, but by allowing the engine to work less hard it also improves fuel consumption. Lower weight reduces the energy involved in any impact, and also improves braking performance. This benefits subjective areas such as ride comfort, handling agility and steering feel – all of which are core elements in the defining character of any Jaguar.
Other advantages are inherent in these materials and in Jaguar’s unique construction method. The treated alloy panels are highly corrosion-resistant, for long life, with a six-year anti-corrosion limited warranty. Jaguar uses them in such a way as to minimize repair costs in the event of accident damage.
The deformable aluminum alloy front structure can withstand an impact of up to 10 mph without transferring damage to the main shell. It is bolted on, so that it can be replaced more quickly and easily if needed. Front fenders as well as trunk and hood lids are bolted on, and the doors feature ‘lift-off’ hinges – again for easier, more economical, replacement. The shell is also protected by injection-molded front and rear bumpers. All this helps the XJ achieve competitive insurance ratings.
THE PERSONALIZED XJ
There are a wide array of interior trim and equipment options on the 2007 XJ. Soft-grain leather trim with piping – now a standard feature of all XJ models – is offered in a variety of trim colors carefully coordinated with the range of body colors. Veneer selection includes the traditional Jaguar Burl Walnut on XJ8 L, a specialized Burl Walnut veneer with hand-inlaid Peruvian boxwood on Vanden Plas and Super V8, and newly optional Elm veneers which offer the choice of a lighter hue.
The 2007 XJ also offers versatile storage space, including a large glovebox with one-touch release offset towards the driver. As well as interior light and sunroof controls, the overhead console can incorporate the switches for features such as remote garage door opening and rear sunblind, microphones for the optional built-in hands-free telephone and JaguarVoice systems.
Jaguar is a leader in voice control technology, which can be used in the LWB to operate telephone, audio, air conditioning and satellite navigation functions, in several languages (with voice control as a dealer installed accessory). All XJ models now come standard with Bluetooth® wireless technology for mobile phone connectivity.
Jaguar has embraced and developed many new technologies, but is careful to adopt them only when they are relevant and easy to use. Its DVD-based satellite navigation system is a good example of that philosophy. It uses a large, clear, touch sensitive screen with logical menus and commands to display points of interest, restaurants, hotels, parking facilities, Jaguar dealers and gas stations – the latter automatically highlighted when the fuel level is low. Touch-screen control also extends to the major audio and climate control functions.
THE POWER BEHIND THE LUXURY
The naturally aspirated version of the 4.2-liter V8 produces 300bhp at 6,000 rpm, with impressive mid-range flexibility and a torque peak of 310 lb.-ft. at 4,100 rpm.
Against the clock, this engine can accelerate the XJ from standstill to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. However, paired with the advanced lightweight aluminum construction, it is also an engine that provides extraordinary fuel economy, with an EPA rating of 18/27 mpg (city/highway).
The mechanically supercharged 4.2-liter V8 that powers the XJR and Super V8 uses an Eaton supercharger, twin high efficiency intercoolers, a special twin pump fuel system, and forged oil cooled pistons to handle the increased internal loads and temperatures without compromising durability.
It produces a very strong 400bhp at 6,100 rpm, and a robust torque peak of 413 lb-ft at only 3,500 rpm. What’s more, its exceptional torque spread delivers at least 86 percent of the peak torque figure across a very wide range, from 2,000 rpm to well beyond the peak point. Against the clock, it delivers 0-60 mph sprinting in just 5.0 seconds.
Both engines share similar construction, with aluminum alloy blocks and cylinder heads, designed for high strength, long durability and minimum transmitted noise and vibration. All use chain driven overhead camshafts with low noise, fine pitch, inverted tooth chains and sprockets.
Both the supercharged as well as the naturally aspirated AJ-V8 were equipped with Variable Camshaft Phasing. This continuously varies the phasing of the inlet camshaft according to demand, to optimize low speed torque and high speed power, while reducing emissions. High compression ratios and multi-hole injection nozzles improve combustion, improving fuel economy and further reducing emissions. Short engine and catalyst warm-up times make further gains.
The XJ continues to offer the choice of powerful, refined and efficient V8 engines both matched to the advanced ZF six-speed automatic transmission that was the world’s first stepped six-speed automatic transmission when it made its debut in the S-TYPE in 2002.
This light, compact unit is perfectly matched to the V8 family’s power characteristics, and is also a major contributor to the XJ’s refinement. It features Bosch Mechatronic shift – an electro-hydraulic shift mechanism incorporated into the main gearbox casing. Its adaptive shift strategy (controlled by the ECU) responds both to road conditions and to the way the car is being driven, providing the smoothest shifts and optimum performance.
On all naturally aspirated XJs – the XJ8, XJ8 L and Vanden Plas – the diameter of the front rotors is 12.8 inches, with the rear rotors of 11.8 inches in diameter. On superchar ged models, the ‘R’ Performance barking system employs calipers with enhanced stiffness to deliver even better high-speed braking performance.
All XJ models still feature four-channel Anti-Locking Braking (ABS) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), which complement to the Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) systems. Traction Control combines engine torque control, to reduce engine torque, and selective rear wheel braking using the ABS system to counteract wheelspin when too much power is applied on a low grip surface. DSC uses engine torque control plus selective braking on all four wheels to counteract either understeer or oversteer if the limits of adhesion are overstepped.
The combination of Jaguar’s industry-leading Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) and the double wishbone layout and air springs ensures the classic Jaguar balance of agile handling, outstanding ride comfort and fine steering feel. CATS is an electronic control system that operates by continuously adjusting the damping characteristics to suit the driving conditions – optimizing both ride and handling. These adjustments are seamlessly made by the electronic control unit (ECU) which receives input from a series of sensors.
Both front and rear suspensions are mounted on isolated subframes, with rubber and hydraulic bushes to give precise control with maximum noise and vibration suppression. Pressurized air springs are used rather than conventional steel coils to give ample travel while optimizing the balance between comfort and control. Effective spring stiffness increases with load, to give a consistent ride, and ride height is automatically controlled according to the data supplied by three height sensors. At high cruising speeds, ride height is automatically lowered by 0.6 inches to enhance stability, minimize aerodynamic drag and maximize fuel economy.
Dynamically, the XJ long wheelbase is uniquely distinguishable from the standard wheelbase car. While gaining interior space it remains compact enough to fit into an average-sized garage, and to handle the tight spaces of multi-level parking structures. Its turning circle is a tight 39.5 feet that out-maneuvers the competition.
Even with the additional five inches, the aluminum alloy monocoque shell retains its exceptional stiffness and light weight allowing the long wheelbase models to have the same highly-acclaimed ride, handling balance and steering feel as the standard wheelbase model.
The target in developing the aluminum-intensive XJ was to produce one of the world’s safest cars.
Building on the solid active safety foundations of excellent handling, road-holding, braking and stability, the XJ is equipped with Jaguar’s Adaptive Restraint Technology System (A.R.T.S.).
This system employs the world’s most comprehensive and sophisticated sensing technologies to monitor the position of the front passenger, while other sensors detect the passenger’s weight, the position of the driver in relation to the steering wheel and the usage – or not – of safety belts. A.R.T.S. has the capability to sense the severity of a collision and deploy the vehicle’s passive safety system.
All XJs are also equipped with an advanced tire pressure monitoring system to enhance vehicle safety, and provide extra peace of mind for driver and passengers. Unlike some other systems, which use a car’s anti-lock brake sensors to detect drops in tire pressure, Jaguar’s system uses radio frequency transmitters.
This allows each tire – including the spare – to be accurately and precisely monitored. And, unlike the ABS-based systems, it can detect if all four tires lose pressure gradually. If the pressure in any of the five tires drops by 25 percent of the recommended threshold, a warning light on the instrument cluster flashes.
Laminated side glass fitted to all XJs aids in safety as well as reducing interior noise levels. Featuring two layers of laminated glass separated by an ultra-thin acoustic interlayer, the laminated side glass makes ‘smash and grab’ thefts more difficult. The plastic interlay between the glass also reduces harmful UV rays, which can deteriorate interior trim.
For 2007, Bluetooth® wireless technology for mobile phones becomes standard on all XJ models.
With the Bluetooth® wireless module installed, an owner’s compatible Bluetooth® capable cell phone automatically links with the car’s system, allowing safe and easy, hands-free cell phone operation.
Price this car:
MSRP: $63,585 – $91,335
Invoice: $57,863 – $83,115
Source: Jaguar Press Release