Jaguar has redesigned its flagship sedan, the XJ, for the 2010 model year, giving it exterior and interior design in the style of the XF sedan, along with the new engines introduced for the 2010 XF. The XJ competes in the full-size luxury class along with the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The 2010 XJ comes in four models: XJ, XJL (long wheelbase), Supercharged and Supersport. Supersport models are available by special order only.
Jaguar has finally given tradition a rest, abandoning the classic four-headlight front-end design that dates back decades — and that had long appeared unchanged to the untrained eye despite a complete redesign in 2004. The 2010's nose is a more balanced execution of the XF's prominent mesh grille and sculpted headlight clusters. The hood is dramatically domed and creased, an apparent trend across the market.
Viewed from the rear, the XJ would be indistinguishable as a Jaguar were it not for the large and perfectly centered chrome "leaper" emblem. The taillights look like someone grabbed a Bentley by the tail and stretched it vertically. The car looks coupe-like in profile, with a gradually sloping roofline, high rear deck and high beltline. It's more Mercedes CLS than 2009 XJ. A notable feature is the blacked-out C-pillars (the pillars that flank the rear window). They give a floating-roof look that's drawn mixed reviews.
The interior also got the full XF treatment, with a more modern design, piano-black and chrome surfaces, the JaguarDrive gear selector that motors up from the center console, and virtual gauges on a 12.3-inch display. Though the tech is high, the gauges still appear as classic analog, though different instruments can be emphasized based on conditions. It's a mix of old and new, which the interior as a whole attempts to accomplish with familiar rich leather, as well as wood trim that runs in a continuous line from the door panels across the top of the dashboard.
Jaguar emphasizes the feeling of light and space inside thanks to a standard panoramic glass roof. The long-wheelbase XJL offers 5 more inches of backseat legroom.
Under the Hood
The XJ and XJL come with a standard 5.0-liter V-8 rated at 385 horsepower. The supercharged version of this 5.0-liter engine makes 470 hp in the Supercharged trim level and 510 hp in the Supersport. Jaguar's claimed zero-to-60 mph times are 5.4, 4.9 and 4.7 seconds, respectively. Though it shares its new direct-injection power plants and six-speed automatic transmission with the XF, Jaguar says the larger XJ's swift sprints come courtesy of a similar aerodynamic drag coefficient and lightweight aluminum construction. The XJ also includes an air-spring suspension and automatically controlled shock absorbers that vary firmness as conditions dictate.
Along with standard safety features like antilock brakes and an electronic stability system, the XJ includes active front seat belts that snug their occupants under heavy braking or aggressive cornering. Conventional seat belt pretensioners do the same thing, only in the event of a collision.