THE L IS FOR LOVE
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Thu, Jun 2, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
When Robert Plant is singing “Whole Lotta Love,” could he be referring to the Jaguar XJ L? With five extra inches of wheelbase and total length, the XJ-L gives you every bit of the non L XJ’s sporting luxury, but with far greater comfort and space. It’s Jaguar’s version of the proverbial automotive love machine. Harvey Schwartz reports. By Harvey Schwartz With the introduction of the all-new 2011 Jaguar XJ L (long wheelbase), the Jaguar lineup of luxury performance vehicles is now complete. We are impressed with the longer, sleeker styling, the luxurious features inside and the smooth, refined ride. With five extra inches of wheelbase and total length, the XJ L is more versatile than the regular XJ. By more versatile we mean that the XJ L seats three in the rear more comfortably, and it can be driven by your personal chauffer when you have a busy schedule and can’t spend time looking for a parking space. You can also take care of your business in the rear using the fold-down wooden table for your laptop, phone or other electronic devices. The new XJ L brings new standards of sustainability to the luxury vehicle segment. Its lightweight aluminum structure makes it at least 300 lbs. lighter than steel body construction, and is made of 50 percent recycled material, allowing the XJ L to minimize its carbon footprint and create a potential savings of three tons of CO2 per vehicle. These aerospace-inspired aluminum body technologies also provide benefits to performance, handling and fuel economy, while delivering increased strength, refinement and safety.
The first impression you get is its visual assertiveness. The XJ L’s sleek lines are complemented by a taut waistline, which further accentuates its extra length and elegance, and creates a natural tension as it fades from the front into the middle section of the car before reappearing as a strong haunch towards the rear. The new XJ L offers a modern interpretation of a number of key XJ design cues while maintaining the highest standard of personal luxury. This is evident in how the strong, muscular lower half of the car contrasts with the slim and graceful quality of the roofline-a nod to the original 1968 XJ sedan. A standard panoramic glass sunroof is an integral part of the all new XJ L’s design, enabling the car to have a lower, more streamlined roofline, while dramatically enhancing the feeling of light and space when inside. The LED light clusters wrap stylishly over the rear fenders, and feature three dramatic red vertical strips and the elongated teardrop shape of the side windows establish the car’s sexy and luxurious silhouette.
The rear is notable for its pure, sculpted shape with a conscious absence of ornamentation, as it only features a single leaping Jaguar, the XJ L badge and a chrome strip in the center of the bumper. . The face of the all-new 2011 XJ L is confident, with a wide front track, low stance and short overhang.. The nose of the car follows Jaguar’s new design language with a bold and assertive treatment-the powerful upper and lower mesh grilles with the Jaguar face including slim Xenon headlights with lower LED horizontal running lights, create a strong road presence while the wrap-around rear screen reduces the visual weight of the pillars and gives the impression of an exotic ‘floating roof. The sleek design and refined luxury is continued inside the all-new XJ L by mixing advanced technologies and contemporary design to create an environment more akin to a state-of-the-art living space than a car cabin. The overriding impression from the interior is a sense of personal space that is enhanced by the clean, simple form of the leather-wrapped instrument panel anchored by the spun metal face of the analog clock.
The all-new XJ L’s cabin is a marvel in its own right, blending elegant, contemporary design with the comfort, luxury and unmistakable sporting style of a Jaguar. Chrome and piano black detailing provide an eye-catching contrast to the beautifully crafted leather and satin elm veneer surfaces. To further complement the cabin design is a level of choice of color, veneers, and leathers not seen before in a Jaguar. Our XJ L test model came with a leather headliner, semi-aniline leather seats and veneers with laser inlays. A stunning 12.3-inch high-definition Virtual Instruments complement an innovative 8-inch Touch-Screen that displays vehicle functions ranging from audio and video to navigation and climate control. Premium surround sound options include the top-of-the-range 1200-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system that my test model came with and it is superb in all respects. Advanced infotainment features also include hard-drive based audio and navigation systems, and comprehensive connectivity for portable audio and video devices via the power Media Hub. The Jaguar XJ L’s beauty is much more than skin deep. You have a choice of three engines-a 5.0 liter 385hp naturally aspirated V8, that I tested, a 5.0 liter 470 horsepower supercharged V8 and a 5.0 liter 510 horsepower supercharged V8. In naturally aspirated form, the XJ L’s engine develops 380lb.ft. or torque, enough torque to rocket the car to 60mph from 0mph in just 5.4 sec., both supercharged V8s develop 424 pound-feet of torque that launches each to 60 mph from 0 mph in just 4.7 seconds. All three engines combine deft performance, and have a classic Jaguar blend of strength and precision. All engines transmit their power and torque through an enhanced version of Jaguar’s electronically controlled, six-speed automatic transmission. This system has a fully-adaptive shift system that delivers smooth gear changes and works to balance performance and fuel economy. When the time and place is right you can turn the chrome shift dial to S (sport) to increase the reaction time to your inputs, increase rpm’s, and increase the tension of the dynamic adaptive shocks. You can make gear changes yourself by using the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and instantly change gears up or down as needed to quicken your pulse.
With the XJ L, proven Jaguar dynamic technologies are taken to a higher level. Features such as air suspension Adaptive Dynamics (continuously variable shock absorbers), and quick-ratio power steering deliver the blend of responsive, sporting, dynamic handling and a refined, supple ride expected of Jaguar. To elaborate, the all-new, fully independent suspension system features double-wishbones, coil springs, dynamic adaptive real-time shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar up front. The rear independent multi-link setup features self-leveling air springs, dynamic adaptive real-time shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. Front and rear suspension isolated cradles increase handling performance and lessen noise, vibration and harshness. The ride and handling is incredible for a long wheelbase sedan, we loved every minute spent behind the wheel. Braking is also superb with large vented steel disc brakes at each corner. Up front are 14.2-inch discs clamped with four-piston calipers, while the rear setup features 13.2-inch rotors clamped with single-piston calipers. Braking control and power are enhanced with standard ABS, EBD, BA, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control.
The all-new XJ L rides on 19X8.5 front and 19X9.5 rear, double-five spoke alloy wheels wrapped with Pirelli 245/45R19 front, and 275.40R19 rear low-profile, high performance P Zero Nero tires for added traction and a more compliant ride. Standard equipment in the XJ L includes everything that one expects in a luxury car, along with some things that you probably never would have thought of. This Jaguar comes standard with a CD/DVD player, HD radio, and SIRIUS satellite radio receiver. In addition, the Media Hub provides flexible connectivity through two (one front/one rear) USB ports, Bluetooth audio streaming and an auxiliary input (rear) which allows the user to connect with iPods, iPhones, laptops and Blackberrys. The new 2011 Jaguar XJ L is one of the finest luxury performance long wheelbase sedans on the market today. It’s sleek, elegant, very comfortable, luxurious, powerful, and high performing in more ways than one. . © Words supra and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SUMMARY JUDGMENT We have a whole lotta love for this Jaguar. For more information about Jaguar products, go to jaguar.com/us/en For more information about Harvey’s photography, click here
SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2011 Jaguar XJ L Price: $79,700.00-base/$83,225.00 as tested EPA mileage: 15mpg/city, 22mpg/highway Engine: 5.0 liter, DOHC, VVT, all-aluminum V8 Horsepower: 385hp at 6,500rpm Torque: 380lb.ft. at 3,500rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel drive Transmission: Jaguar 6-speed automatic with fully-adaptive shift system utilizing paddle shifter on the steering column. Front suspension: Independent, double-wishbones, coil springs, adaptive/dynamic real-time shocks, stabilizer bar Rear suspension: Independent, multi-link, air-springs, adaptive/dynamic real-time shocks, rear leveling, stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: 19X8 front/19X9in. front aluminum alloy wheels 245/45ZR19 front/275/40ZR19in. Michelin P Zero Nero low-profile high-performance tires Brakes: Front-14.2in. vented with six-piston calipers Rear: 31.3in. vented with dual-piston calipers ABS, EBD, BA, electronic stability control/traction control standard Total length: 206.6in. Total width: 74.6in. Total height: 57in. Curb weight: 4,131 lbs.