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Old 08-17-2004, 06:40   #1 (permalink)
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Jaguar stretches XJ flagship with long-wheelbase version


The XJ8L will be priced $2,000 more than the standard XJ8

Jaguar stretches XJ flagship with long-wheelbase version

MARK RECHTIN | Automotive News

SAN FRANCISCO - Jaguar Cars North America will roll out a long-wheelbase version of its XJ8 flagship for the 2005 model year.

Jaguar stretched the wheelbase and overall length of the sedan by five inches - all of which is from the B-pillar back. The height of the roofline was increased by one-quarter of an inch. That keeps the proportions of the longer car to scale with the base sedan, Mick Mohan, chief program engineer, said at the media introduction here.

The Jaguar XJ8L's extended-wheelbase version is 205.3 inches long, compared with 200.3 inches for the standard-wheelbase XJ8. The height is 57.3 inches, compared with 57 inches for the standard model.

The Jaguar XJ8L weighs 3,777 pounds, 53 pounds more than the standard version. Despite its aluminum structure, Mohan says the longer car also will have the same torsional rigidity.

With the added length, the XJ8L's rear seat room is equal to long-wheelbase versions of the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 series.

Jaguar and BMW offer standard and long-wheelbase versions of their flagship sedans to U.S. buyers. Mercedes-Benz only sells the long-wheelbase version in the United States. Jaguar expects the long-wheelbase version to account for 75 percent of its U.S. sales.

The XJ8L will be priced $2,000 more than the standard XJ8. The long-wheelbase version sells for $63,495, including destination. The Vanden Plas LWB is priced at $70,995, while the Super 8 long-wheelbase version of the XJR supercharged model will carry a sticker price of $89,995. There will be no standard-wheelbase Vanden Plas edition after the 2004 model year.

Jaguar also announced the launch this fall of a wagon version of its X-Type in the United States in the 2005 model year.

The X-Type Estate will go on sale in November. It will be the first Jaguar wagon to be sold in America. There is only one trim level, which will include a 3.0-liter V-6, five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
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Old 08-23-2004, 05:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Jaguar stretches XJ flagship with long-wheelbase version

UK:Jaguar XJ LWB Super 8

Auto Express
by Marty Padgett

America is the land of supersizing. Whether it's fast food, Hummer SUVs or mega-mansions that sprawl across hillsides, it's not only acceptable to demand more for the dollar, it's expected.

And recently, this has been a problem for Jaguar. The Coventry firm's XJ was received well in the States, yet it lacked that special something to make it an irresistible limousine. However, all that is set to change with the arrival of the new long-wheelbase XJ8 - and Auto Express has driven it first.

Specifically designed for success on the other side of the Atlantic, the latest XJ resembles a mini-Maybach and is priced so competitively, it's hard to justify buying the standard version. But how will the new model fare when it arrives in the UK later this year? Heading the line-up will be the £71,970 Super V8. As well as a supercharged engine, the US version boasts 19-inch alloys and a handsome mesh grille framed by xenon headlights. Yet due to its hi-tech aluminium body, the car is only 24kg heavier than its regular-sized sibling.

What's more, at 1,713kg the 127mm longer XJ is much lighter than the Audi 4.2-litre A8L and BMW's 745Li. That advantage really pays off on long journeys, where the Super can stay on the pace without incurring the fuel penalties of its heavier rivals - it achieves a combined economy figure of 20mpg.

In terms of performance, the newcomer is close to the standard model, and the Super completes the 0-60mph sprint in exactly five seconds. On the move, the XJ's lightness of touch is a delight, in contrast to the hefty feel of the German competition.

The Super V8 is the most thrilling LWB variant. Squeeze the throttle and it overtakes other drivers with supreme ease. The steering and brakes feel equally sharp and, while the competition damps out bumps with military firmness, the XJ uses wheel travel and Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) to glide over them.

Inside, an additional 10mm of height provides class-leading rear headroom, while lavish equipment in all three US trims we sampled comes close to Maybach excess. There are power sockets, DVD players with LCD screens and folding desks in the top two versions. But true business-class seats are missing, and while the Jag is quite roomy in the back, fully reclined front chairs can collide with rear occupants' knees.

As well as air-suspension and CATS, all models get power-adjustable pedals and seats, walnut trim and side curtain airbags. The mid-spec VDP adds boxwood inlays, lambswool rugs, fold-down trays, an electric rear sunshade, plus heated seats and steering wheel.

There is also a 320W Alpine sound system, which is linked to a six-CD autochanger. The awesome flagship Super V8 gets Brembo brakes and front park assist in addition to its go-fast hardware.

First Opinion
The big new XJ is exactly what Jaguar needs if its all-aluminium flagship is to compete on equal terms with its German rivals. Performance is still spot-on, while refinement and cabin comfort are improved. Details of UK trim levels will be confirmed closer to the car's launch date - which is expected to be late autumn.

At a Glance
* New long-wheelbase Jaguar XJ will be priced from £60,370 in UK
* Lightweight aluminium body





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Old 08-23-2004, 05:44   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Jaguar stretches XJ flagship with long-wheelbase version

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