2011 Jaguar XJ L--Video Test Drive with Chris Moran from Chicago Motor Cars

http://www.SupercarNetwork.com The incredible new Jaguar XJ, in long-wheelbase L model form. A new standard in supreme luxury. Presented by Chris Moran from Chicago Motor Cars Above all things, Jaguar desires to be different. That's why the new 2011 XJ flagship has the flamboyant lines of an Italian torpedo and the driving manners of a German autobahn cruiser and is tuned for Buckingham Palace fleet duty. Cultures collide in spectacular ways in this luxury limo. The XJ is a cab-rearward design and is incredibly riveting to stare at as it sits back on its haunches with as much cool as James Bond lighting a Chesterfield. In black, with the big-dish 20-inch wheels, the car is sinister enough to warrant its own RICO investigation. Jaguar Cars managing director Mike O'Driscoll, who's peddled more than his share of schlock over a 35-year career with the company, is smiling more lately. He says the mission was to recapture the uniqueness of the original 1968 XJ but in a modern form. They looked at the class stalwarts—the Mercedes-Benz S-class, the BMW 7-series, and the Audi A8—and the more driver-oriented oddballs, including the Maserati Quattroporte and Porsche Panamera, and decided to shoot for a middle ground. Passion—but with typical British reserve. If you focus on those front three-quarter shots, you'll wrongly dismiss the 2011 XJ as just an XF with a pituitary run amok. Skip down to the side and rear profiles to capture the XJ's more exotic stance. The beltline is pulled way up, the side glass is pinched narrow, and the flowing taffy stretch of aluminum sheetmetal ends in a high, short trunk. The C-pillars are clad in wonky glossy black panels that bridge the side glass with the backlight. Styling head Ian Callum—who gave us all of our current Jaguars and a few Aston Martins—demanded it and got his way. You don't hear odes to the Jensen Interceptor very often, but Callum is fascinated with the way that car's rear glass wrapped around the body sides to isolate the roof. He wanted to create an unbroken black band around the car's cranium, like the Lone Ranger's mask. On lighter colors the effect is more pronounced—and a little forced, frankly—but it's definitely not something Jaguar's competitors would ever do. On sale now, this XJ arrives stateside with two wheelbases and three engines, the latter shared with the smaller XF. The base short XJ with a direct-injection 385-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 starts at $72,500. The XJ Supercharged uses forced air to attain 470 hp and costs an additional $15,000. Both engines are also available in a size-XL (extra long) version that pulls the wheelbase out another 4.9 inches. The base XJL starts at $79,500 and is expected to be the volume player in the U.S., with about half the sales. The XJL Supercharged is $90,500. Finally, by special order only, there's the XJ Supersport with 510 hp, thanks to revised engine maps similar to those of the XFR. Price: $112,000 in short form, $115,000 with the stretch. Europe also gets a tugboat-ready 3.0-liter turbo-diesel from Peugeot that is unfortunately considered a bit too, uh, European for America. Lately, the market's air has been pretty thin at the XJ's price point—the company sold just 1161 of the big cats in the U.S. last year, 2452 in 2008—so you can't blame Jaguar for leaning on existing components where possible. Unexpectedly, it's the Jaguar XFR that donates the most gear, including its suspension, steering rack, and, in the Supersports, the active electronic differential with few modifications. The riveted and glue-bonded aluminum unibody shares DNA with the previous XJ, but thanks to a learning curve and a change in priorities, there are substantial changes. Besides the graceful sheetmetal, there are more cast nodes in the new XJ's skeleton, helping to drive up torsional rigidity by a claimed 11 percent, and the front subframe is now solidly mounted. In the past, Jaguar used rubber isolation bushings, something it found only negatively affected handling while supplying little isolation benefit. Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars, Chicago Motor Cars.chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars chicago motor cars www.chicagomotorcars.com

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