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Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles
September 14 2002
New XJ model announced
Jaguar will unveil its aluminium-bodied seventh-generation XJ range at this month’s Paris motor show. Manufactured almost entirely from aluminium, the new XJ body shell is about 40% lighter than that of the equivalent steel body and is 60% stiffer than its predecessor.
THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION
OF JAGUAR LUXURY SALOON CAR ENGINEERING
Working with the most advanced technologies ever used by Jaguar, the XJ programme team has created a car that blends the ultra-modern with traditional Jaguar values. Lightweight aluminium construction provides new levels of strength, robustness and dynamic ability.
Engineering the new XJ to perform in all the areas that are expected of a Jaguar flagship saloon has resulted in a car that leads the way in the application of intelligent, relevant technology while providing the style and contemporary luxury that are the trademarks of the Jaguar brand.
EXTERIOR DESIGN AND ENGINEERING
"The new XJ is a luxury car with a true sense of gravitas. The proportions, stance and obvious dynamic quality clearly display that all-important Jaguar DNA and give it real presence on the road." Ian Callum, Director of Design
The powerful yet restrained design of Jaguar's new flagship saloon marks it out as an elegant, luxurious car in the tradition of previous XJ models. But alongside this is the technology and advanced technical design that has made the body construction possible. The new XJ body is manufactured almost entirely from aluminium, a material that has a strong place in Jaguar's history. Using the same lightweight but ultra-strong techniques that feature in aircraft, the new XJ's body is an advance on all fronts. The bodyshell (known as the body-in-white or BIW) is some 40 per cent lighter than that of the equivalent steel body. This is the starting point from which spring many of the advantages the XJ enjoys over the competition, not least in relative performance and economy.
Equally important, the new body is 60 per cent stiffer than its predecessor. This brings yet more positive points, including the ability to achieve excellent dynamic performance, safety, refinement and durability.
"We chose a lightweight aluminium vehicle architecture for the new XJ not because it was something new, but because it enabled us to deliver real and significant benefits to our customers." David Scholes, Chief Programme Engineer
Featuring an industry-first use of rivet-bonded joining technology for the whole body structure, self-pierce rivets are used in combination with aerospace-sourced epoxy adhesive to join the aluminium pressings, castings and extrusions. This provides great strength, robustness and durability. The aluminium body is primarily a conventional monocoque construction, however structural castings and extrusions are used locally to enhance the body structure and reduce the overall panel count.
In addition to the aluminium used in the body structure for panels and castings, a magnesium cross-car beam - as strong as aluminium but 30 per cent lighter again - supports the facia and instrument panel and is combined with aluminium to produce a lightweight steering column. Magnesium castings are also used in the seat frames.
But this state-of-the-art construction would count for nothing if the car did not have the essential style that ensures a Jaguar XJ stands out from the crowd. Sensuous and sophisticated, the all-new saloon is true in every respect to the glorious tradition of the XJ heritage. More than 800,000 XJs have been sold since the first generation was introduced in 1968, more than half of all Jaguars ever made.
"This all-new car had to be clearly identifiable as an XJ, capturing the recognised essence and style of the classic lineage… but it also had to have a modern idiom all of its own." Ian Callum, Director of Design
The Jaguar design team has subtly transformed the proportions of the new XJ. Longer, taller and wider than its predecessor - which results in more room for occupants and luggage alike - the new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of an iconic design.
The doors are noticeably deeper and the waistline higher than in the previous generation and overall the new car has a slightly more 'cab-forward' approach, with the four wheels closer to the corners. The front overhang is much reduced and the windscreen rake is faster (less steep), but the resulting smaller bonnet retains the characteristic sculpted XJ shape.
The headlights - vital in setting the tone for the look of any car - have evolved into a more distinct element of the front-end style. Now oval in shape, they are arranged in a classic quad design, positioned either side of a new grille of intersecting vertical and horizontal bars that takes its inspiration from the original 1968 XJ6 (XJR models have a different grille).
This makes it all the more poignant that the famous XJ6 badge is making a return in the new XJ range, taking its place alongside the XJ8, XJR and new XJ Super V8 models.
INTERIOR DESIGN AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
"The interior of the new XJ is epitomised by true craftsmanship, a sense of greater space and what I believe are the most comfortable seats we have ever designed. There is a warmth and richness that welcomes you into the car and makes you feel special." Ian Callum, Director of Design
New levels of spaciousness, craftsmanship, ergonomic flexibility and comfort exemplify the new XJ's cabin. Designed from the outset to satisfy the determination that a driver - and any passengers - should always get out of a Jaguar feeling better than when they entered, the interior of the new XJ is the epitome of contemporary luxury, tailored to meet the needs of today's demanding prestige car customers. Here is a car with a warmth and richness that cossets the occupants.
Increased space in every respect - headroom, legroom and shoulder room are improved for all occupants, whether they are sitting in the front seats or in the rear of the car - is only a part of the attraction of the new XJ. The driver environment - the facia, seat and controls - is distinctively new and takes Jaguar's ergonomic standards to fresh heights. It provides intuitive and relaxed interfaces between occupants and vehicle systems.
"You don't have to be a computer expert to operate the new XJ. Our customers are emphatic in their opposition to gratuitous technology and unwanted features intruding on the driving experience, which fits exactly with the Jaguar philosophy of making technology relevant at all times." David Scholes, Chief Programme Engineer
Comfort is a prime consideration in any Jaguar saloon and here the XJ reaches new levels. At the top of the range of electrically adjustable front seats, for example, is a 16-way seat with cushion-length adjustment and 4-way lumbar support. In the rear, buyers not satisfied with a fixed seat can opt for a powered bench with electrically adjustable lumbar support, backrest and head restraints (model and market dependent).
Adjustable pedals are available to complement the electrically adjustable steering column and allow drivers to find exactly the seating position they need.
In keeping with Jaguar's determination to offer its customers the latest relevant technologies, the new XJ is available with JaguarVoice (voice-activated control of systems including audio controls, telephone, climate control and navigation).
Another advance in the new XJ is a multi-media entertainment system that allows simultaneous enjoyment of up to three different audio, video or games systems. Screens mounted in the rear of the front seat head restraints display television programmes or games, with headphone capability to avoid disturbing other occupants. As an example, the driver could be listening to the radio or a CD, while one rear seat passenger plays on a games system and the other watches a movie on TV or DVD.
To allow driver and passengers to relax in complete comfort, a new four-zone climate control system is available (model and market dependent). This allows the separate adjustment of temperature settings by front and rear seat occupants, with dedicated face vents and foot outlet grilles for individual comfort.
The interior styling of any Jaguar is one of the attractions that marks it out from the crowd but the XJ interior is the ultimate expression of this unique brand trademark. A range of styles is being offered, from a traditional burr walnut finish on Classic models to a warm charcoal facia and grey-stained birdseye maple veneer combination on sportier versions of the car. An entirely new touch is Piano Black trim, a highly polished finish inspired by the deep, lustrous sheen of a concert grand piano. Piano Black features on the centre console and J-gate surround of the XJ, immediately differentiating the Jaguar from other luxury cars.
ENGINES AND TRANSMISSION
"A range of modern, powerful engines and an advanced, lightweight vehicle construction is the perfect recipe for a luxury saloon that rewards its driver with outstanding levels of refinement, performance and fuel economy." David Scholes, Chief Programme Engineer
The new XJ will be available with a choice of four engines. Jaguar's reputation for large capacity, V8 power is legendary and this proud heritage continues with two 4.2-litre engines setting the pace at the top of the range. A 4.2-litre supercharged V8 delivering a massive 400bhp (DIN) powers the XJR model, while a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre engine developing 300bhp (DIN) sits just below it. When matched to the lightweight new XJ, these renowned engines deliver exceptional performance.
Details of power output, performance, economy and emissions figures for all engines and models will be announced at a later date but there is more to the powertrain story than the recognised strengths of Jaguar's 4.2-litre V8s. A new 3.5-litre V8 makes its debut here and again the trim nature of the new XJ allows the best possible exploitation of the highly impressive 262bhp (DIN).
Another engine new to the XJ also marks the return of a famous badge, as once again an XJ6 takes to the road. The 240bhp (DIN) 3.0-litre AJ-V6 engine offers a new level of accessibility with the performance expected of a luxury flagship. This is made possible by the advanced body and chassis design, which keeps vehicle weight to a minimum.
All four engines benefit from being coupled to the outstanding six-speed automatic transmission that Jaguar first introduced earlier this year in the revised S-TYPE. Designed by transmissions giant ZF, this advanced automatic gearbox is the perfect match for Jaguar's spirited engines and in the new XJ the combination is hugely impressive.
THE DYNAMIC APPROACH
"The new XJ is engineered to provide relaxing and refined ride quality, yet can deliver spirited and highly capable dynamic qualities when required. Although larger than its predecessor, the new car is extremely precise in its behaviour, so inspiring driver confidence." Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity
Under the aluminium skin and body of the XJ are new suspension systems that take ride comfort and dynamic qualities to new heights. Based on a further development of the front and rear suspension technologies utilised in the revised S-TYPE, the XJ systems feature an important additional advantage - self-levelling air suspension is fitted as standard across the range. The adoption of air suspension in the new XJ is a first for Jaguar and perfectly complements the aluminium-intensive construction of the double-wishbone systems. Air suspension ensures that full suspension travel is always available by increasing spring stiffness relative to payload. As well as delivering major advantages over traditional coil-spring suspension in respect of comfort and refinement, the air system ensures ride height remains constant regardless of load conditions - an important factor because in the lightweight XJ, vehicle occupants represent a relatively higher proportion of gross vehicle weight. In addition, the air suspension automatically lowers the ride height at speed to improve stability and increase aerodynamic efficiency.
The new XJ also benefits from an enhanced version of Jaguar's CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension, standard on all models. This optimises ride and handling under all conditions, electronically maximising dynamic performance and driver control. A completely automatic system governed by the same Electronic Control Unit that controls the air suspension, CATS requires no intervention from the driver, the damper settings being adjusted in milliseconds to suit driving conditions.
DRIVER TECHNOLOGY TO THE FORE
The essential nature of the XJ - its advanced aluminium architecture, sleek and stylish lines, sumptuous yet contemporary interior and spirited performance - is supported by an array of state-of-the-art electronic technologies to assist drivers in enjoying the car to the full.
An electronic park brake, as introduced earlier this year on the revised S-TYPE, offers the convenience of drive-away release and automatic application on removal of the ignition key - as well as freeing up space between the front seats. It is on the move, though, that the new XJ's features come into their own. The braking system, which is equipped with a sophisticated four-channel anti-lock function as standard, incorporates Emergency Brake Assist. This senses if a driver is not applying maximum braking in an emergency and intervenes to deliver the necessary additional force. Traction control assists the driver in retaining control of the car in the event of adverse conditions or unexpected occurrences; in the new XJ this feature is complemented by Dynamic Stability Control, a safety-oriented system that intervenes if it detects the vehicle is at the limit of its grip capabilities and applies braking force to bring the situation back under control. This latest DSC system detects and responds to both oversteer and understeer, a significant advance on previous generations. The traction control and DSC can be switched off if so desired.
When drivers choose to take a more relaxed approach, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can be set to keep the new XJ at the required pace, the system slowing or speeding up the car to maintain the set speed at a safe distance to the car in front and cancelling the cruise function if this is not possible. A new feature of the ACC system is Forward Alert, which can be activated to provide an audible warning that driver intervention is required, even when the cruise control is not operating.
Passive safety measures are equally impressive. The energy-absorbing advanced body structure and Jaguar's A.R.T.S. safety restraint system have been designed to meet the world's most stringent safety standards. To optimise protection, the renowned Advanced Restraint Technology System senses the severity of a crash, the position of the driver and the usage of the seatbelts to provide tailored protection. The occupancy sensing system uses ultrasonic technology combined with a seat weight sensor to detect the presence, position and size of a front seat passenger. A.R.T.S. uses this information to determine the airbag energy levels most appropriate to the individual occupants during a frontal crash. This is combined with the standard side thorax and full-length side curtain airbag protection utilised in the event of a side impact.
The all-new Jaguar XJ makes its public debut on 26th September at the Paris Motor Show. Sales will commence from next spring, dependent on market. Specification and prices will be announced just prior to the car going on sale.
THE NEW JAGUAR XJ
AT A GLANCE
Powerful yet restrained design captures the recognised elegance and tradition of the classic lineage while introducing a contemporary essence and style that is unique to the all-new XJ.
The all-new XJ is the most advanced production Jaguar ever, with aluminium-intensive construction providing new levels of strength, robustness and dynamic ability. It is the ultimate expression of Jaguar luxury saloon car engineering.
Blending the ultra-modern with traditional Jaguar values, the all-new XJ leads the way in the utilisation of intelligent, relevant technology while providing the style and contemporary luxury that are the trademarks of the brand.
The body structure features industry-first use of rivet-bonded joining technology, with self-pierce rivets and aerospace-sourced epoxy adhesive joining together the aluminium pressings, castings and extrusions.
Longer, taller and wider than its predecessor, with a longer wheelbase*, the all-new XJ offers improved headroom, legroom and shoulder-room for all occupants.
With a kerb weight of up to 200kg less than the outgoing XJ, the all-new model enjoys significant performance and fuel economy advantages in addition to highly capable dynamic qualities.
The full range of engines comprises 4.2-litre V8 (supercharged and naturally-aspirated), new 3.5-litre V8 and 3.0-litre V6, all with six-speed automatic transmission.
Self-levelling air suspension is standard on all models, as is Jaguar's CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension system.
Advanced electronic technologies include Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert, and Jaguar's renowned A.R.T.S. Adaptive Restraint Technology System.
The all-new XJ saloon makes its public debut at the Paris Motor Show on 26th September and will go on sale from next spring, dependent on market.
Dimensions for the new XJ: Length 5080mm; Width 1868mm; Height 1448mm; Wheelbase 3034mm.
The new XJ is the seventh generation to wear the XJ badge.
Total XJ production since the first model was introduced in 1968 is now comfortably past 800,000 cars - more than half of all Jaguars ever built.
The car that became the first XJ was originally known by its internal project number, XJ4. The XJ stood for 'eXperimental Jaguar'; there was no particular significance to the number 4.
The original strategy behind the XJ4 project was to replace the E-type with a four-seater GT model, in response to similar cars appearing in Jaguar's important American market.
The initial styling, overseen as ever by Sir William Lyons, featured front and rear ends rather like the E-type and had only two doors. Later, when emphasis switched to development of a new saloon model, rear doors were added and the front and rear ends were cut off. The XJ look was born.
When the XJ6 was launched in 1968, it was powered by a choice of either the proven 4.2-litre XK straight-six or a new 2.8-litre version of the engine. The XJ6 name was chosen simply because the car had six cylinders.
The XJ6 was launched on 26th September 1968. Sir William Lyons himself appeared in the advertisements for the car, declaring it to be the finest saloon Jaguar had ever made.
A basic 2.8-litre model cost just £1,800 and even a 4.2-litre automatic was only £2,400. The 4.2 with a manual gearbox had a top speed of 124mph - nearly 200km/h - and accelerated from 0 to 60mph in a still respectable 8.8 seconds.
The 5.3-litre V12 engine that had made its debut in the E-type Series 3 the previous year was offered in the XJ from July 1972. The XJ12 was born. At this time, the XJ12 and equivalent Daimler Double-Six cars were the only V12-engined saloon cars available across the globe, and with a top speed of 147mph (close to 250km/h) the XJ12 soon captured the title of the fastest saloon car in the world.
The first long wheelbase XJ model was introduced in September 1972, when an extra 4in (102mm) was added between the axles.
The revised Series 2 XJ range was introduced in 1973. Featuring such innovations as side-impact intrusion beams and fibre-optic lighting for the switchgear, it was in many ways ahead of its time. A 3.4-litre model was added to the range in 1975.
The design of the third-generation XJ was entrusted to the famous Italian company Pininfarina. Launched in March 1979, the Series 3 had even more elegant styling and carried on the Jaguar tradition at a difficult and crucial time in the company's history.
With the basic XJ design now well over 10 years old, Jaguar was by the early 1980s developing a replacement under the project code XJ40. This was the last Jaguar production car influenced by Sir William Lyons, who died in 1985 - a year before the new (fourth) generation XJ was unveiled in October 1986.
The XJ40 was more angular than previous Jaguars, and many versions featured large rectangular headlamps, as well as square rear lights. It was also the first Jaguar to feature a quarterlight in the rear pillar, creating a six light style.
Transmission technology was advancing fast, and XJ40 buyers had a choice of a five-speed manual Getrag gearbox - first seen on the XJ-S coupe - or a ZF four-speed automatic with a new shift called the J-gate.
The new generation XJ was an instant success, and a second assembly line was opened in 1987. By 1988, XJ production had increased to a record 41,000 cars per year.
By the early 1990s, the next generation of the XJ was under development, funded by a £200 million investment from Ford after its takeover of Jaguar in 1989. The resultant redesigned XJ40, the X300, was launched in 1994.
At launch, the X300 was offered with a choice of 3.2-litre or 4.0-litre six-cylinder engines and a 6.0-litre V12. Most exciting however was the new supercharged version of the 4.0-litre, which powered the XJR. With a top speed of 155mph (250 km/h), it was just as fast as the twelve-cylinder car, but had even more spectacular acceleration.
In 1997, the six- and twelve-cylinder engines were discontinued and replaced by the new AJ-V8 engine that had made its debut the previous year in the XK8 sports car. The sixth generation of XJ had arrived.
Available in 3.2-litre, 4.0-litre and 4.0-litre supercharged guises, the AJ-V8 engine's arrival meant that the famous XJ6 and XJ12 badges were finally retired - although the former is making a comeback.
With the unveiling of an all-new XJ saloon at the Paris Motor Show, Jaguar opens a new chapter in the story of the car that for many is the definitive Jaguar. The date - 26th September 2002 - is 34 years to the day after the launch of the original XJ6.
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