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Beijing show: Jaguar unleashes Ultimate XJ

Opulent: Jaguar’s XJ Ultimate presents rear occupants with high levels of luxury, including a champagne chiller, electric-powered laptop table and twin seat-mounted iPads.

Top-flight Jaguar XJ unveiled with efficient new supercharged V6 in Beijing

Jaguar logo24 Apr 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

JAGUAR unveiled a new flagship variant of its long-wheelbase XJ limousine at this week’s Beijing motor show, called the Ultimate.

Like the Vogue Ultimate Edition unveiled by Jaguar’s sister brand Range Rover at the 2011 Geneva motor show, the top-flight XJ offers new levels of opulence for rear passengers, including twin built-in iPads.

Jaguar Australia brand manager Kevin Goult told GoAuto the XJ Ultimate will be offered Down Under on a special order basis and that, as a MY2013 model, it is expected to be available by November this year.

However, he said customers could order one today and dealers “would do everything to make it possible”.

Most of the added luxury is focussed on rear-seat passengers, including more compliant rear suspension settings and two individually tailored adjustable seats with recline, massage and climate-control functions.

Between the seats is an extension of the centre console, trimmed in leather with blue phosphor lighting and featuring controls for the seats, climate-control and multimedia system plus storage areas and a machined aluminium laptop table that electrically moves into position at the touch of a button.

Beneath the table is a flock-finished storage compartment for champagne flutes to go with the champagne chiller located at shoulder height between the seats, which automatically presents the bottle when the hatch is opened.

In addition to multimedia monitors with wireless headphones located in the rear of the front headrests is a pair of third-generation iPads built into special leather-trimmed units mounted on the front-seat backrests.

The iPads, hidden by roller doors when not in use, also come with wireless keyboards and are automatically charged when the car’s ignition is on.

A top-spec Meridian surround sound system finishes off the technological highlights, its 15-channel amplifier feeding 20 speakers via a digital sound processor claimed to create an all-enveloping field of sound that makes each occupant feel as though the audio is directly focussed on them.

The Ultimate’s interior features unique ebony wood veneer trim with the grains arranged in opposing directions to form a herringbone pattern, separated by a strip of piano-black veneer.

6 center imageAlmost every surface is coated in leather as standard, available in three colour combinations, but Mr Goult said the car can be customised according to the buyer’s taste.

“It will be a bespoke, personal experience, not something where we will publish a price as such,” he said.

“There are various amounts of personalisation that can be done – it is something we want to make the ultimate experience of XJ, hence the name.”

Externally, the Ultimate is identified by its unique 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels, reshaped chrome-trimmed lower air intakes on the front bumper, and oval exhaust tips, while Ultimate badges are applied to the bootlid and air vents on the front wings.

The first 20 examples will be painted black and the supplied images show it in white, but customers are able to order the car in any colour as Jaguar can match the paint to any suitable sample provided.

The XJ Ultimate is one of the first Jaguar models confirmed to receive the company’s new supercharged 3.0-litre petrol engine, which produces 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque and will replace the naturally-aspirated 285kW/515Nm V8 as a more fuel-efficient choice – especially as it comes standard with idle-stop.

Also offered under the bonnet will be the flagship 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, developing 375kW and 625Nm, or the frugal 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, with 292kW and 600Nm and fuel consumption of 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres.

All engine choices drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jaguar had a strong first quarter in Australia, with sales up 53.1 per cent thanks to a 62.4 per cent leap in XF sedan sales and XK sportscar sales growing 170 per cent.

It marks a significant turnaround for the brand here after last year, when sales plummeted 20 per cent.

Mr Goult told GoAuto the arrival of a new four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine in the XF later this year should enable Jaguar to get another product under the luxury car tax threshold, opening the brand up to more customers.

“This is another string to our bow to help us (compete with the Germans)”, he said.

“We are aware there are customers who have a certain price range and this is going to help us operate within that. We will see some new customers and non-traditional customers coming to the Jaguar brand.”

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