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2010 Jaguar XJ: A Classic Goes Modern

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The brand new 2010 Jaguar XJ has just been unveiled and is on its way to a December release date.  The new styling and bevy of power options securely places the British automaker in the 21st century, and the XJ is guaranteed to turn heads when you drive down the street, and lightweight materials and better aerodynamics mean this Jag won’t be too thirsty at the gas pump.

Under the hood of the new XJ is the 5.0-liter V8 the company has employed on previous models like the XF and XK.  There are a variety of trim levels with different tuning options of the engines.  The base XJ costs $72,500 and has a naturally aspirated V8, pumping out 385 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.  The next level up, the XJ Supercharged ($87,500) has, you guessed it, a supercharger on the engine that puts out 470 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque.  At the top is the $112,000 XJ Supersport, whose engine is tuned to 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft.  All of these trim levels also have a longer wheelbase option that adds 5 inches to the length, which accounts for lots of extra legroom (and costs an extra few thousand), and all trim levels have a six-speed sequential automatic transmission.

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Okay, trim levels and engines aside, let’s get to the really big change:  the exterior.  If you take a look at our coverage of the 2010 Jaguar XFR and XKR, you’ll notice that the front end is more angled, leading into the roof line of the car.  The XJ favors a mix between this sleekness and the boxier Jags of old.  The front grille is nearly vertical (it does lean back a bit), and the hood features more prominent and aggresive styling lines.  The XFR and XKR certainly aren’t bad looking cars, but they almost seemed like they were trying to copy Italian supercars of fellow British brand Aston Martin.  The new styling for the XJ lends the classic Jag heritage, while the sweeping roofline, side line, and from ducts give it a modern flair.

It’s one thing to build a car body that has great style, but quite another to make that style functional, but Jaguar has done it.  The aerodynamic drag coefficient has been reduced for the 2010 XJ, meaning that the engine doesn’t have to work as hard in order to cut through the air.  Also, the body panels are made of aluminum, making the car lighter.  In fact, at least 50% of the panels are composed of recycled materials, and Jaguar has a goal of 75% by the time the XJ reaches full production.  These weight saving measures help the car tip the scales about 4,200 pounds (depending on options and the wheelbase choice).  That may seem heavy, but it’s around 600 pounds lighter than other cars in the class, like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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As you would expect, there are a lot of high-tech options in the cabin.  Four-zone climate control is standard, as is their media hub/interface system that can also provide satellite navigation on an 8-inch, high-definition screen.  The upholstery is a luxurious leather, and there are a wide variety of trim materials available (different wood choices, aluminum, other metals).

The 2010 Jaguar XJ manages to perfectly blend the brand’s classic sensibilities with all the modern technology and power.   It is a superb automobile and a much-welcomed successor to the current XJ, which is a bit lacking in all of the areas where the 2010 model excels.

Jaguar XJ Pictures Gallery

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