There’s not a whole lot new with the 2013 Jaguar XJ that we didn’t already learn about earlier this year, but that’s not saying the brand’s flagship luxury sedan is devoid of changes. In fact, in addition to a new ultra-luxury XJL Ultimate edition, the 2013 XJ gains one new engine offering and an optional all-wheel-drive system.
Let’s start with that engine offering: it’s an all-aluminum, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, the same engine found in the revised 2013 XF lineup, and the same engine destined for the forthcoming F-Type sports car, due in mid-2013.
With the exception of the 2013 XJL Portfolio, the 3.0-liter replaces the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8, which presently serves as the base engine in the 2012 XJ range. That’s not surprising, considering its output – 340 hp, 332 lb-ft of torque – isn’t that much less than the non-supercharged 5.0-liter (385 hp, 380 lb-ft of torque). Its fuel consumption, however, certainly is. Not only is this engine mated with a start/stop system, but six-cylinder models – like all 2013 XJs – are equipped with a new ZF eight-speed automatic. As such, Jaguar expect s a base 2013 XJ to return 18/28 mpg (city/highway), which is a solid improvement over the base 2012 XJ, which is rated at 16/23 mpg.
Pricing for the base 2013 XJ starts at $74,075 (including $875 in destination fees), which is roughly $500 less than a base 2012 XJ.
The new supercharged-six is also the only XJ engine variant available with a new all-wheel-drive system. In most instances, power is sent primarily to the rear wheels, but when slip is detected, the system can send up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the front wheels. Jaguar also says the system pre-loads the front wheels on launch to combat wheelspin, and this effect is amplified when the driver selects a winter mode from within the car.
All-wheel-drive is available on both the standard-wheelbase XJ ($77,575) and the long-wheelbase, upscale XJL Portfolio ($84,575). Interestingly, the all-wheel-drive XJL Portfolio is the only six-cylinder XJL Portfolio available, as the rear-wheel-drive variant ($82,075) retains the 385-hp, naturally aspirated V-8.
V-8 Power? Think Supercharged
The rear-drive XJL Portfolio is also the only 2013 XJ model offered with that particular engine, as every other eight-cylinder XJ makes do with Jaguar’s direct-injected, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. In the XJ and XJL Supercharged ($90,475 and $93,475 respectively), the engine cranks out 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. In the 2013 XJ and XJL Supersport ($113,475 and $119,975, respectively, the engine produces 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, though a new speed pack for the XJ and XJL Supersports bumps that figure to 174 mph while adding a few aerodynamic improvements.
The Ultimate Jaguar
Jaguar first showcased the ultra-luxurious XJL Ultimate at last year’s Beijing Motor Show, but has now confirmed the high-end model will be sold in our market. Not only is it the most expensive model in Jaguar’s lineup ($155,875), it’s also the most exclusive: only 30 examples will be sold in the U.S. this year, and each will be painted in a Black Amethyst hue.
As we previously reported, the XJL Ultimate is packed with virtually every luxury item conceivable. Jaguar dubs the Ultimate a “private jet for the road,” and that’s not far from the truth: rear-seat passengers are given discrete power bucket seats, trimmed in semi-aniline natural leather and equipped with massage, heating, and ventilated functions. A beverage cooler placed between the rear seats contains its own glassware, while a power-operated rear table can be deployed from the center console Two iPads are included with each Ultimate, and are given docks embedded in the front seatbacks. If that’s not enough distraction, two eight-inch screens placed in the back of the front headrests, can play video from a number of sources, including a DVD player or an external media device.
Other revisions applied to the 2013 Jaguar XJ lineup are fairly limited. Audio systems – including an incredible 825-watt, 20-speaker system in the Ultimate – are now sourced from Madrigal instead of Bowers and Wilkins. Jaguar also overhauled its navigation system, adding visual lane guidance functions and the ability to upload points of interest from a personal USB drive.
Expect further details – especially tied to content structure and options pricing – to emerge closer to the 2013 XJ’s on-sale date. Expect early example to arrive at showrooms nationwide this winter.