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After confirming that there would be an all-wheel drive version of the Jaguar XJ, CEO Adrian Hallmark also confirmed future product plans, including a smaller sedan and a hotter version of the XFR.
Jaguar hasn’t elaborated on their plans for a new small car, but such a vehicle will be crucial for them to expand and take on other European luxury marques, as well as provide an entry point for younger, less affluent customers.
Jaguar is also planning on an XFR-S, similar to the XKR-S supercar, while a 4-cylinder diesel XF and a 6-cylinder XJ are being developed to cater to the other end of the market. The two economical engine choices will open up new markets for the XF in Europe and the XJ in China (where the 6-cylinder configuration will help the car skirt hefty import taxes).
Jaguar is apparently readying an all-wheel drive version of their XJ sedan and the car should be on the market within 2 years. Jaguar is looking to combat their German rivals, each of which offer an AWD variant of their large sedans.
While only a 20 percent of cars in the United States are sold with AWD, that number skyrockets to 70 percent in the Northeast, which has traditionally been Jaguar’s strongest market. Lexus also offers an AWD variant of the LS460 and Audi’s A8 comes standard with the brand’s quattro system.
StarTech, a division of Brabus, is bringing performance and design options for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles this side of the Atlantic. And if parent company Brabus is any indication, the results will be wild.
Or, maybe not as much. So far StarTech’s available packages are larger wheels, suspension lowering and interior trim. The company has just established itself in Irvine, CA, and already has appearance packages for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, including the company’s signature Monostar IV alloy wheels, full leather interiors, and custom luggage.
There are no twin-turbo 700-horsepower V12 Rockets just yet for the British marques. But StarTech plans to unveil a customized Jaguar XJ at the Geneva show next month which may have some surprises.
Each spring, a jury of 66 automotive journalists from around the globe get together to pick a winner for the World Car of the Year title. The journalists are asked to vote by secret ballot, selecting the winner from 10 cars that have made the final cut.
For the 2011 awards, those finalists have now been announced. They are: Audi A1, Audi A8, BMW 5-Series, BMW X3, Jaguar XJ, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (shown above), Nissan LEAF, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo S60/V60.
And yes, the much hyped Chevrolet Volt didn’t make the cut this time around, perhaps next year when it becomes more widely available.
Now that the finalists for this year’s awards have been announced, the jurors will ‘re-evaluate’ each vehicle on merit, value, safety, emotional appeal, significance and environmental impact. Once the findings of these evaluations have been tabulated, the shortlist will be whittled down to three vehicles, which will be announced at the Geneva Auto Show next month. The actual World Car of Year winner, will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 21st; the final ballots being tabulated by international accounting firm KPMG.
The World Car Awards were first instigated in 2003 to reflect a more global automotive landscape and complement existing national and regional Car of the Year award programs.
Past WCOTY winners have generally been cars that have proved popular in many countries around the world. The first car to actually win the accolade, back in 2005, was the Audi A6, while past winners have included other top selling cars such as the BMW 3-Series; Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Golf.
A fascinating interview with Jaguar‘s Adrian Hallmark, that appeared in Automobile Magazine, gave some key insights into Jaguar’s future, and the rapid changes in the auto industry that have taken place in the latter half of the 2000′s.
Hallmark, formerly of the VW Group (where he was posted at Bentley) and Saab, discusses not only Jaguar product plans for the future, but companies that he sees as successful at transitioning from the old market place, where the U.S. was the key market and niche products reigned supreme, to a new model where crossovers and sedans must co-exist and the needs of emerging markets like China have to be met to ensure corporate survival.
The meat and potatoes of Jag’s lineup will remain, but some enticing new additions are set to appear. Look for a new XJ Coupe, featuring a short wheel-base, no B-pillar and unique styling, something that Hallmark says is “much more dynamic and emotional than a Mercedes CL.”
Hallmark would like a small sports car, but claims it wouldn’t be produced in sufficient volumes, so a smaller, more accesible Jag is in the cars – but fear not, as it won’t be a return to the declasse X-Type. “Not many 35-year-olds can afford a long-wheelbase XJ,” he says. ”So we’ve got to bring in cars that are more affordable to younger buyers, but believe me we are not looking at the lowest-price BMW 3-series or Audi A4. We’ll have premium products at the very top of each segment we operate in.” Furthermore, Hallmark says that markets like China and India still like sedans more than crossovers, but that doesn’t mean the idea of a Jag SUV is dead. Far from it. Hallmark views Porsche as a model for success, and the way they were able to take advantage of VW’s Touraeg architecture (a concept he elaborates on in-depth) means that Jaguar will likely consult with Land Rover when the time comes.
[Source: Automobile Magazine]
Jaguar is set to recall 6,475 XJ sedans due to a problem with the windshield wipers. The malfunction may occur due to the windshield wipers losing synchronization and possibly hitting each other while activated.
Dealers will begin sending notifications out on December 13th, and owners can contact Jaguar at 800-452-4827 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hot line at 888-327-4236.
Luckily, the problem is easily corrected, although it is remincisent of Jaguar’s old days when electrical problems came standard at no additional charge.
Jaguar is hoping to capitalize on the success of their new XJ sedan by facelifting their XF mid-size sedan to incorporate a similar fascia to the XJ (pictured above), which will also resemble the C-XF concept car that was the genesis for the XF.
The XF will retain its current shape, and won’t adopt the XJ’s dramatic rear profile, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to see a melding of the two cars shapes when the next generation rolls around. No mechanical changes are expected for the facelift.
Jaguar‘s sleek new XJ flagship has been declared Car of the Year by Professional Driver Magazine. The buff book for livery drivers chose the XJL 3.0 diesel, as “judges loved the XJ’s looks, its beautiful and distinctive interior and outstanding driving dynamics.”
The XJ bested perennial favorites like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the competition, which carries significant weight due to the fact that most large luxury sedans are purchased by car services.
Jaguar offers substantial support for chauffeurs and other livery drivers in the UK, with insurance programs and the promise of a similar vehicle when their main car is in for servicing.
Jaguar has just released the XJ Sentinel fully armored vehicle, protecting its passengers up to B7 levels of ballistics. We don’t even know what B7 levels of ballistics are, but we’re guessing that’s pretty hardcore.
The Sentinel is based on the new XJ and is powered by the naturally aspirated 5.0L V8. But here come the real specs – the vehicle is reinforced by an armored inner cell made of Kevlar-backed high strength steel to repel gunfire and up to (drum roll please) 15kg of TNT explosives if they so happen to be detonated close to the car. Oh, and what about those pesky grenades? The Sentinel’s floor is reinforced to protect against those too.
Obviously the car is now much slower carrying all that excess weight which is interesting that Jaguar would compromise getting the hell out of danger faster for more protection. But hey, what do we know – we still think Skynet is quite a few years off and don’t see an immediate use for this.
India’s Tata Motors is back in the black after rising demand for the Land Rover and Jaguar cars, as well demand in India for Tata products. The Tata group posted an overall profit of $543 million, compared to last year’s loss of $535 million. Tata was able to beat analyst expectations of a $321 million profit, thanks in part to Jaguar and Land Rover raking in their own profit of $46 million.
Land Rover recently fired 2,200 workers and hired a new manager away from General Motors Europe to help them back on the road to profitability. However, analysts are still skeptical about the economic conditions in Europe, and whether they are conducive to a recovery for the British luxury maker.
“Europe is in doldrums and that is a big worry for Tata Motors since it is a big market for Jaguar Land Rover,” said Umesh Karne, an analyst at BRICS Securities Ltd in Mumbai. “Until Europe stabilizes, Jaguar Land Rover will be under pressure.”
[Source: Automotive News]
Startech has developed their brand around German-styling for American vehicles. A division of Brabus, (arguably the most prestigious Mercedes-Benz tuner in the world), Startech offers several tuning programs for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Land Rover. Most recently however, the new Jaguar XJ attracted Startech’s attention, prompting the company to develop a tuning program for Jaguar’s newest model.
The Jaguar XJ is getting a lot of praise as being a sporty luxury sedan. Sleek bodylines and elegant styling have been further enhanced with Startech’s body kit with an add-on front fascia equipped with LED daytime running lights. The front end modifications doesn’t end there, however, with Startech designing new fenders fully equipped with vents. In the rear things get a little more subtle with a new rear apron and diffuser plus add-on tips to the stock exhaust system. Possibly the best accent to the entire kit is the conservative lip spoiler on the trunk.
A staggered set of 21-inch wheels are seen with 21×9.5-inch in the front and 21×11-inch in the rear. These 21-inch rollers fit the wheel wells nicely and sit perfectly on the fenders with Startech’s 30-mm lowering kit, which works with the XJ’s adaptive suspension. Interior amenities are mostly personal preference with several options available to the consumer from custom leather and Alcantara seats to custom wood trim to color-matched floor mats.
GALLERY: Startech Jaguar XJ
Check out the full release after the break.