From the very first moment we laid eyes on the new 2011 Jaguar XJ it was obvious was the British automaker was planning – to take on “mainstream” competitors like Lexus and Mercedes with a more forward-thinking luxury saloon. Why would Jaguar want to build a luxury sedan to rival those other two? Simple: sales.
Until the debut of the 2010 model, it was hard to tell a 10 year old XJ apart from a brand new one – which is as much of an insult as it is a credit to the timelessness of the car’s design. But now the XJ looks like something younger buyers would want, with an appeal that speaks to more than just the old-money type.
According to a report by Automotive News, Jaguar will launch the new XJ next month and is hoping the car will drive up XJ sales by as much as 50 percent. With broader appeal and a fresh new design that shouldn’t be too hard. Jaguar should also be helped out by the improving economic forecast and that fact that last year’s sales were down 21 percent compared to the year before (which is a better representation of normal Jaguar sales). In total, last year Jag moved just 51,885 and the automaker is looking for closer to 75,000 units moving forward.
Along with a new design, the new XJ also has more to offer in order to compete with the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, et al. Standard XJ models get Jaguar’s new 5.0-liter direct-injection V8 engine, with 385-hp and 380 ft-lbs of torque, while Supercharged versions jump to 470-hp and 424 ft-lbs of torque. The top-level XJ Supersport makes 510hp and 461 ft-lbs of torque from a more potent supercharged 5.0-liter V8, helping it to hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
In the U.S., pricing starts at $72,500 with the high-powered XJL (long wheelbase) Supersport listing at a substantial $115,000.
GALLERY: 2011 Jaguar XJ
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]