Jaguar working on an all-wheel drive (AWD) version of the XJ saloon

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 5, 2011

Jaguar said that it is developing a new small saloon that slots below the XF. When it arrives in showrooms, the new model will be priced at about £28,000. According to Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director, the sub-£30,000 premium car market is four times bigger than the market for saloons that are priced higher than £30,000.

Sources said that the new car is sized smaller than the current XF saloon but it is still sufficiently large to carry five grownups. It’s uncertain if the car will be built on an aluminum platform. It’s very possible that the XF replacement will be made from aluminum.

It will also be bigger and it is expected to be positioned further upmarket. Jaguar insiders confirmed that the company is developing an all-wheel drive version of the XJ saloon that will be launched in less than 2 years.

It’s even likely that it will coincide with a slight enhancement of Jaguar’s flagship saloon. Sources said that even if only 20% of all road cars sold in the US feature all-wheel drive, this number goes up to as high as 70% in the Northern ‘snowbelt States’ where Jaguar typically records its highest sales.

Jaguar initiated these projects for its presence to be felt in several of the most significant niches in the premium market. For example, the launch of the four-cylinder diesel XF saloon is expected to boost the car’s potential in a market where four cylinder diesel models comprise 49%.

Notably, four-cylinder diesel models comprise 60% of the total sales of 5-series models. Jaguar’s executives emphasized that Jaguar owns 16% of the premium car market in the UK but it only holds 5% in the US market. Meanwhile, it only accounts for 2% of sales on the wider EU and it only holds 1% in China.

It isn’t trivial at all in the brand’s history to know that the first XJ was the last vehicle conceived and designed by Jaguar Sir William Lyons. Now, the carmaker has made sure that the latest iteration of the Jaguar XJ is as visually awesome and appealing as the original model. Indeed, the new Jaguar XJ is a revolutionary vehicle that serves as a definite indication of the purpose behind the vision of Design Director Ian Callum for the future of brand.

This newest product from Jaguar still boasts of sleek coupé-like profile and nimble stance typical of the brand’s vehicle. Despite that, the new Jaguar XJ offers a roomy interior made more dazzling by a distinct full-length panoramic glass roof. Thanks to Jaguar’s remarkable construction techniques, the new XJ is underpinned by a lightweight aluminum architecture, of which 50 percent is made from recycled materials.

Not only that, the lightweight nature of this platform helps lower both fuel consumption and emissions. Truly, Jaguar’s considerable progress in terms of design and manufacturing has allowed the Jaguar XJ to minimize its carbon footprint. Employing aluminum has allowed the brand to shed off considerable weight – by an average of 150 kilograms compared to rival vehicles – helping the XJ to become better in terms of performance and agility.

Of course, Jaguar has able to improve the XJ’s performance by employing the most advanced, most powerful and most efficient powertrains it has. For the 2012 model year, Jaguar is offering a 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine for a specific market.

All of the available engines are mated to a shift-by-wire, six-speed automatic transmission that could be controlled through JaguarDrive Selector or steering wheel-mounted paddles. Like any Jaguar vehicle before it, the new Jaguar XJ offers a cabin that is not stylishly elegant and modern, but one that is also luxurious and comfortable. The interior is laden with meticulously crafted leather and wood veneer surfaces as accentuated by chrome and piano black detailing.

The new Jaguar XJ is also available with a long-wheelbase version, which should provide rear passengers with a more comfortable and more spacious rear compartment. Jaguar has also employed an array of technological features to ensure passenger entertainment and convenience.

For instance, it has specified the new Jaguar XJ with 12.3-inch high-definition virtual instruments as well as a Dual-view 8-inch Touch-screen that passengers could use to view DVD movies or TV programs. Drivers, meanwhile, are treated to a certain assortment of vehicle functions or satellite-navigation directions.

Topics: jaguar, jaguar xj, awd

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