2 minute read
19 Feb 2014
3:00 pm

Grace, space, pace – that’s the XJR flagship

The 14MY "R" version of the XJ incorporates bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments to create the most focused, agile and responsive XJR ever. Seamless performance from its 405kW/680Nm, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine makes the XJR capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 280km/h, it is claimed.

The epitome of stately luxury since the nameplate was first rolled out in 1968, the fastest XJ derivative provides an iron fist in a velvet glove style of performance motoring. Maximising the benefit of the engine calibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission, which brings out the performance of the XJ while still maintaining the car’s composure in town and in low-speed situations.

When in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road- load and kickdown request.

On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressive and move the shift-up point higher in the rev range. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles give the driver higher levels of control.

The XJR can be easily identified as a performance model and wears distinctive five-spoke 20 inch Farallon forged alloy wheels shod with bespoke low-profile tyres to maximise grip and lend the car a dynamic, muscular stance. A new front splitter and aerodynamic sill section combined with an additional rear spoiler and unique “R” bonnet louvres give the car optimum levels of high-speed stability and an assertive appearance. The Sport grille gives the car unmistakeable overtaking presence.

Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system actively controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates through the use of continuously variable dampers – which along with the springs have also been revised for this application. The system monitors driver inputs and the road conditions, adjusting damper rates in response up to 500 times a second to optimise stability and agility. Finally, Electronic Active Differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems have been calibrated to enhance handling characteristics, allowing the driver to fully exploit the XJR’s true capability.

The 14MY XJ continues to offer Jaguar’s Intelligent stop-start system on all V-type petrol engines and uses a twin solenoid starter to shut down the engine when the car comes to a halt, and restart it in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move from the brake to the accelerator.

Finally, the 14MY XJ also features soft closing door technology which ensures that the doors of the XJ are securely closed with minimum exertion and undue noise. When the door is within approximately 6mm of the lock, a sensor activates an electric motor which squeezes the door shut.

Extraordinary luxury indeed, and in the case of the XJR it comes with one of the quickest four-door luxury saloons attached at a price of a heady R1 890 600.

Own Correspondent