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Jaguar XJ gets more power and tech

The coolest limo on sale sharpens up, with more power and a bonkers stereo

Published: 15 Jun 2015

Ladies, gents and wannabe high-end crims: this is your new Jaguar XJ.

Jag’s largest saloon has had its biggest update since its 2010 introduction, with more of the good stuff, namely power and technology.
Cosmetic changes have been limited to fancy new LED light patterns, which is good: to our eyes at least, this is the best and boldest looking limo-saloon on sale, even after five years on sale.
The tech highlights of the new car include updated infotainment controls – righting one of the XJ’s most offensive wrongs – which sit at the human finger end of a 1,300 watt, 26-speaker stereo. Quite where 26 speakers fit and how necessary they all are is surely trivialised by what exceedingly good golf club bragging rights they serve up.
‘All-Surface Progress Control’ is a clunky name for some useful, Land Rover developed tech that should ensure un-crashy progress on icy surfaces, the car taking care of power and braking and only asking for steering inputs from the driver below 18mph.
Four-wheel drive is optional with some engines, while electric power steering is standard on all XJs. The replacement of feelsome old hydraulic racks with light, efficient electric alternatives has upset purists in many a car of late, but in something big like the XJ, it ought to be less of an issue.
This has always been the most fun and agile car in its class, mind, with far more encouragement to sit up front than the rest of its limo rivals. All the better for enjoying the additional power bequeathed upon the 3-litre V6 diesel version, the one most people will buy.
With 296bhp, it’s up 25bhp, yet it’s cleaner, too, its 149g/km emissions and 49.6mpg more in line with small hot hatches than big barges. It’s also the engine that kicks off the XJ range at £58,690, a couple of grand more than before.
You’re reading Top Gear, though, so the one you really want is the XJR (above, white). Only available in short rather than long wheelbase trim, and with an engine tried-and-tested elsewhere rather than all-new, it doesn’t make headlines as the XJ gets a rejig.
But with its 542bhp supercharged petrol V8 nabbed from the F-Type R, it’s the naughtiest XJ by far, gargling away enough to satisfy even the most lavish getaway driver fantasies.
It costs £92,405, though with the poshest LWB XJs topping £100k, it’s not the biggest pile of (possibly stolen) cash you can throw at a big Jag.
We’re big fans, but do you agree? Is this the car that would fill the big posh bus space in your lottery-win lock-up, or is the new BMW 7-Series more your thing?

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