AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
When Size Matters
Large and in charge. Big is beautiful. Size matters. Yes, there are endless clichés to support the notion that the bigger something is, the better it is. In the automotive kingdom, some vehicles not only adhere to this philosophy, but redefine it. We aren’t talking the puny realm of offerings like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or even Dodge Charger. No, this is for the serious four wheeled hippos. The cars where it is more fun to be in the backseat than the front seat.
If you have more money to burn than the average NFL Quarterback, then there are some serious vehicles you can buy that are seriously long. How about the 220.9-inch Phantom Coupe? Not long enough for you? You could upsize to the 239.8-inch Phantom extended-wheelbase sedan, or maybe the 242.7-inch Maybach 62?
But for the rest of us mere mortals, there are some sizable vehicles out there under $100,000. Heck, two of the top ten are even under $30,000. So we will now present to you the top ten vehicles that are longer than The Hobbit.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
Run-of-the-mill Jaguar XJ not good enough for you? Not even the $111,000 Supersport version? Better dig deep into your pockets for the XJ Ultimate Edition.
Last year Range Rover introduced its Autobiography Ultimate Edition which became the most expensive Land Rover made. Even though official pricing hasn’t been announced, we expect the XJ Ultimate Edition to follow a similar path, possibly boasting a price tag upwards of $175,000.
Despite the Land Rover boasting such an exorbitant price tag, it quickly sold out and clearly the success has allowed the British automaker to do the same with its XJ model. Among the car’s luxury features, there are two separate, fully-reclining seats in the rear along with aluminum folding tables and space to serve your favorite champagne.
Embedded behind the seats are built-in Apple iPads, similar to what was in the Range Rover Ultimate, to provide entertainment. If Apple’s tablet isn’t good enough, passengers can also watch entertainment on the TVs in the headrests. Since the XJ Ultimate Edition is clearly intended for transporting passengers, the suspension has been modified to give a more comfortable, softer ride. Engine choices will, however, be the same as the standard XJ model.
GALLERY: Jaguar XJ Ultimate Edition
Jaguar has announced two different packages for the XJ, adding some sport and speed to the luxury sedan. The sport package focuses on the aesthetics, adding an aerodynamic package to the XJ with new front and rear bumpers, 20-inch wheels and red brake calipers.
On the inside, the sport package outfits the interior with sport bucket seats up front and new cabin trim options. On the other end of the spectrum, the speed package simply changes the top speed of the XJ, altering the electronic speed limiter from 155-mph to 174-mph. The two packages will be available in the UK first, but should make its way to Stateside shortly. No pricing was announced.
GALLERY: Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed Packages
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.
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.
Jaguar is set to unveil its new 2010 XJ model later today, but in case you can’t wait (which we suspect you can’t) take a gander at these photos of the new flagship saloon which have leaked out.
As the pictures show, the new car certainly is a big change from the classic XJ stylings of the past several decades. And what’s underneath is equally as different. To help make the new flagship a more dynamic performer, the XJ will make use of a lightweight aluminum chassis.
Power will come from a selection of engines, including a 275hp 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel, a 5.0-liter V8 and a range-topping supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with at least 510hp.
GALLERY: 2010 Jaguar XJ
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
At the Shanghai Auto Show Jaguar teased the press with a short video (above) of the upcoming XJ flagship model, which will officially debut in July.
While the video certainly doesn’t show much, Jaguar Managing Director Mike O’Driscoll did have some interesting news to report. The 2010 XJ will be significantly lighter than past models due to a new all-aluminum chassis.
Jaguar’s entire lineup of engines will also be offered including the 510hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8 and the economical diesel V6. Both a standard and long wheelbase model will be offered.
As for design highlights, O’Driscoll did say that the car will come with a panoramic glass roof, however, he did not comment on the XF-inspired styling that he spoke of previously.
For more information visit:
Official release after the jump:
The next generation Jaguar XJ will break with tradition, opting for slightly more revolution, compared to the slow evolution that the model has followed until this point.
Jaguar managing director Mike O’Driscoll told staff at AutoBlog that the 2010 XJ will debut in July with sales starting almost immediately afterward.
Apparently the all-new XJ will be more all-new than ever before thanks to a redesigned exterior that will borrow design elements from the new XF. Inside the cockpit will also move into the 21st century thanks to the inclusion of the company’s “Jaguar Drive” transmission knob.
Other big changes will be made to the chassis and engine. An all aluminum architecture is expected to significantly reduce curb weight, with Jag’s new 5.0-liter V8 engine being offered initially and a supercharged 500-plus horsepower XJR variant due out the following year.
We’ll await further news on one of the most timeless vehicle designs of all time and pray the facelift befits such a noble luxury sedan.