2005 Jaguar XJ Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

When’s the last time you slipped into a size-larger shirt and looked more dashing for the change?

That’s the mean feat Jaguar has accomplished with its new trio of long-wheelbase XJ8 sedans. Five inches longer than the shorties they follow onto the market by a year, the “LWB” models also sit slightly taller and just 53 pounds more than the stock short-wheelbase XJs. Yes, they’re bigger, but amazingly their new size comes virtually penalty-free.

The plus-sized XJ lineup includes three models. The XJ8 long-wheelbase is $63,495, priced just $2000 more than the standard XJ8 and, Jaguar points out, $10,500 cheaper than BMW’s V-8, long-wheelbase 745Li. Powered by the 294-hp Jaguar 4.2-liter V-8 and hitched to a creamy six-speed automatic gearbox, the XJ8 L wears 18-inch wheels and a new grille insert so you can tell the difference between it and the shorter car.

On this and all the LWB models, the five additional inches and four-tenths of an inch gain in height seems seamless, but compared side-by-side, give the XJ a longer, more elegant silhouette and scads more rear-seat room. If you care to opt up to the $70,995 Vanden Plas, you’ll get the same powertrain but graceful touches like Rapier-style wheels (19-inchers are optional), heated steering wheel and wood-and-chrome business trays built into the front seatbacks.

The $89,995 Super V8 is the long-wheelbase stunner: in addition to its 390-hp supercharged engine, it boasts 19-inch wheels, a handsome mesh grille, a power-reclining rear seat, xenon headlamps, a multimedia system with twin screens mounted in the front-seat headrests, and adaptive cruise control. Jaguar proudly points out that the Super V8 sold in the States will retail for $10,500 less than BMW’s 745Li.

Lengthy and weighty discussion

2005 Jaguar XJ Super V8

2005 Jaguar XJ Super V8

Enlarge Photo
Jaguar’s decision to craft the new XJ from aluminum reaps big benefits in its biggest sedan — and strikes a marked contrast with its aluminum kindred. At just 53 pounds heavier than the standard XJ8, the 3777-lb XJ8 L is substantially lighter than the 4399-lb Audi A8L, and predictably, the steel-bodied, 4872-lb BMW 760Li.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016
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