Oh yes, it’s good to be bad, herald three of Hollywood’s finest gentlemen villains as they tear around London in Jaguar’s latest line-up. Even the baddies in James Bond choose Britain’s finest. No more stuffy image, Jaguar has finally embraced their cinematic heritage of the car of choice for the distinguished among the naughty.
Enter the upgrade to their flagship car, the XJ. With the reveal of a brand new BMW 7 series and Mercedes getting their new S class ready, will a facelift be enough to keep the XJs coveted customers loyal?
When the new design for the XJ was released in 2010 the stuffy old cat was replaced with something more daring. My my, did Ian Callum design a beautiful car. The new 2016 XJs styling has stayed true to this design and received only a few subtle refinements. Jaguar added a new imposing front grill and J-style tail lamps to further strengthen the unique signature of the car.
The XJ has maintained its poised yet sharp drive that was such a welcome change from the old XJ. The flagship feline comes with an uprated engine. Jag’s 3 litre diesel has the biggest stable of horses when compared to its rivals… A sufficient number to brag about in the bar. The Germans have however managed to translate this power to the tarmac more effectively, resulting in faster 0-100 times. At the same time, both Mercedes and BMW have been better able to limit the drinking problem these heavy saloons tend to have.
The Jag has also gotten smarter. The XJs new InControl Touch Pro system carries an intelligent navigation system that integrates with your smartphone. It even recommends available parking. Jaguar has also gone for a virtual instrument panel, giving more flexibility to tailor the driver’s visual aids.
This is all very lovely, but let’s face it, XJs are not bought because they’re the fastest, or the most eco-friendly, or resemble the latest iPhone.
No, it’s when we get inside we see where the magic happens. While the outside looks and sharper drive takes care of the ‘naughty’, the inside has been carefully honed to cater to the ‘distinguished’. Jaguar went full royal family on the interior, with diamond quilted stitched leather seats that carry names worthy of their own title. And can it really get more posh than choosing finishings such as satin rosewood veneer and truffle carpets? Exactly.
Jaguar also felt that their previous 17-speaker unit wasn’t quite up to par, so added an option to fit an impressive 26 speakers which they say produces a lifelike sound experience.
Now we’re talking. You couldn’t imagine a more comfortable place for a Bond villain to coordinate global chaos.
Jaguar managed to further accentuate the features that make the XJ a true flagship of its intimate dance of balancing sophisticated and naughty. Yes, the new 7-series and much admired S-class will sell higher numbers, and none of the 2016 XJs new features will change this. But for those that are looking for a car with its own unique signature, a car to hint towards that inner gentlemen-villain in you, you won’t be disappointed.
(Ps. If you feel the XJ in the photo looks a lot like an E-type… you’re right. Long story…)