Future Cars

2009 Sneak Preview: New and Future Jaguar Cars

Just like you, we always want to know what’s coming next from Detroit, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Munich, Los Angeles, and all the other places where automotive engineers and designers dream and scheme on our behalf. Car companies, of course, are loath to share information on new products lest their competitors try to copy them–or you decide not to buy the cars they already have on dealer lots. Car companies, though, are simply groups of people, and some of them have a hard time keeping secrets. So, we poke, we prod, we cajole, and we uncover information that becomes the basis for our annual Sneak Preview issue. As always, some of our information is educated guesswork based on hints, insinuations, hunches. Make no mistake, though, these cars are on their way, even though details may change. Ladies and gentlemen: our list of 136 cars coming over the next few years…

2010 Jaguar XFR

At last, Jaguar has a true competitor to the , the , the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and the -V. Yes, there’s already a supercharged XF, but the XFR uses the latest version of Jaguar’s AJ-V8, which has grown from 4.2 to 5.0 liters (without an increase in fuel consumption). In the all-new XFR, it’s supercharged to 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. What’s better, the XF’s magical combination of ride and handling carries over, even though spring rates are some 30 percent stiffer. A black-mesh lower grille and new twenty-inch wheels help distinguish the XFR from other XF models.

ALL THAT EXTRA POWER COMES AT A PRICE: Jaguar is boldly pricing the XFR at an even $80,000 rather than affixing a $79,995 sticker to it. That says something about the company’s confidence.

2010 Jaguar XJ

The current XJ sedan might look old, but under the skin it is completely modern, built with an aluminum unibody that gives it a decided weight advantage over other luxury sedans. With a remarkably well-tuned chassis, it is also great to drive. The market has reacted with utter indifference, though, due to the carryover styling. That should change when the new XJ goes on sale at the end of the year. Jaguar design boss Ian Callum and managing director Mike O’Driscoll have been forthright in stating that the new car is a 180-degree turnaround from the outgoing XJ. It’s safe to assume that the new generation of the Jaguar AJ-V8 engine, in both normally aspirated and supercharged form, will be offered in the States.

THE XJ’S NEW CLOTHES: If Callum delivers, the new XJ promises to be akin to Burberry, the famous fashion brand that has recently taken on a decidedly modern tone while retaining its own distinct British style. We can only hope.

2010 Jaguar XK & XKR

Like the XFR sedan, the XK coupe and convertible receive a new version of Jaguar’s AJ-V8 engine for 2010. Displacement rises from 4.2 to 5.0 liters, and in normally aspirated form, power is up from 300 hp to 385 hp while torque increases by 70 lb-ft, to 380 lb-ft. All versions of the XK also now get the JaguarDrive gear selector – the rising and rotating knob that debuted in the XF – among other aesthetic and mechanical improvements. The XKR models also add hood scoops with the word “supercharged” scripted along the aperture, plus more aggressive grilles and front air scoops and special interior trim. With 510 hp, a broad torque curve, and a new electronically controlled limited-slip differential, the XKR has been transformed into a seriously fast grand tourer that is far easier to drive day-to-day than the and is decidedly sexier than the AMG versions of Mercedes-Benz‘s CL coupe and SL roadster.