Jaguar XJR
Jaguar XJR | $ 75,000
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Jaguar XJR

Jaguar XJR

Jaguar recently unveiled the seventh generation 'XJR', based on an aluminum monocoque structure that was constructed at the marquee’s Castle Bromwich factory, the same place where Spitfire aircrafts were produced in large numbers during the World War II. Ever since then, quite unsurprisingly, the XJs were being built using aerospace technologies like bonded and fastened sheet-metal with cast out aluminum structural facets, instead of wrap around space-frame concept used in the Audi A8’s which was found to be unnecessarily intricate. As a result, the new XJ-series is a healthy 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor and comes with a 20 per cent bigger and 60 percent stiffer interiors. For a car whose engine dishes out more than 400 horse power, having a lighter yet stiffer body-frame always holds good for the suspension and powertrain to perform effectively. Starting at a base price of $75,000, the Jaguar XJ-series is poised to give stiff competition to the entry level Mercedes S class models and BMW’s 760 Li. The 2012 XJR employs Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) system that continuously adjusts the car’s driving capability from firm to soft in milliseconds, to match the varying driving terrains, optimizing both handling and riding performances.

Interior

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On the inside, the first thing that can be noticed is a curious dash that has been positioned two inches below windshield’s base aimed at lending the cabin an extra measure of breeziness. Impeccably stitched cow skins abound the car’s upholstery and blurred wood was used as door inserts. The headliner, sun visors and pillars have been clothed in creamy artificial suede making it hard to resist the feeling of its softness. What principally marred the overall look of the interiors is the attention-grabbing, thin-filmed transistor LCD gauges, that changes colors and shines as a white spotlight on current speeds and revs and sometimes disappears altogether to warn of lower washer fluids. Rear-seat occupants will enjoy the generous headroom, knee­-room, corner augmentation, and thigh support. Double headrest-mounted DVD screens for in-house entertainment needs a bit of learning to operate but provides high quality of entertainment experience. The sophisticated adaptive cruise-control system is flawless and maintains set distances as requested and every time the car whizzes past another, it would automatically reduce the speed to maintain the gap and in case another whizzes past, it would promptly sound a warning and apply the brakes.

Exterior

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The XJ has a retro design and it is incredibly enthralling to view the rear portion as it sits back on its haunches with the 20-inch big dish alloy wheels in full. The challenge for the XJR engineers was to recapture the old school charms of the original 1968 XJ but in a contemporary form. Hence, a lot of inspiration was sought by Jaguar engineers from the styling cues of available marquees like Mercedes Benz S-class, BMW 7-series and the Audi A8’s, ultimately deciding to seek middle ground by not striving to build anything too flashy keeping British sensibilities in mind.

The three-quarter front shoots of the XJ heavily resemble the XF but on a closer look across the sides and rear end of the vehicle, make the XJ’s striking stance abundantly clear. The riveted and glue-bonded aluminum unified body shares legacy with the previous XJ, but thanks to a change in priorities, there are substantial changes. In addition to the polished sheet-metal, there are quite a few nodes cast in the new XJ’s skeleton, enabling torsional rigidity by a whopping 11 percent.

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