The 2008 Jaguar XJ sedan is available with two engines, in two different lengths--short wheelbase (SWB) and long wheelbase (LWB)--in a total of five models. LWB models are stretched by five inches between the front and rear wheels compared to the SWB models, yielding 4.5 inches more rear legroom while having the same trunk space.
The base XJ8 has a 300-horsepower, 4.2L V8 and the SWB body style; the XJ8 L keeps the same equipment but adds the LWB body style, with its expanded back-seat space. Next up is the luxurious Vanden Plas, which also uses the 300-horsepower engine and the LWB body style. The Super V8 is equipped in a similarly opulent fashion, but comes with a 400-horsepower, supercharged version of the 4.2L V8. The supercharged engine is also offered on the sporty XJR model, which uses the shorter body.
Both engines have aluminum construction with chain-driven overhead camshafts, and include a six-speed automatic transmission. The supercharged engine gets two high-efficiency intercoolers, a twin-pump fuel system, and forged, oil-cooled pistons to handle the extra forces. The supercharged models can accelerate to 60 mph in only 5.0 seconds. Yet the XJ has better fuel economy than most other cars in its class, with EPA estimates of 16 city, 25 highway.
Aluminum alloys are also used extensively throughout the XJ's body construction, which enables it to be significantly lighter than most other vehicles its size. It's strong as well; Jaguar says that the aluminum front structure can withstand impacts of up to 10 mph with no damage to the main bodyshell. The sheetmetal is also designed for easy collision repair.
The interior is especially roomy in LWB models, where back-seat occupants have picnic trays that fold down from the back of the front seats. With optional equipment, rear-seat occupants can also have dual entertainment screens and individual audio inputs. In the Super V8, there's full four-way power adjustment for outboard back-seat occupants, and the climate-control system has four zones.
Supercharged models get a number of upgrades to manage the increased power, including larger performance disc brakes on all four wheels and revised suspension settings. Across the line, the Enhanced Computer Active Suspension Technology (ECATS) system controls damping characteristics to assure both a smooth ride and crisp handling.
Materials vary depending on the model. Standard XJ8 and XJ8 L models get soft-grain leather trim with piping in a range of colors, and Burl Walnut veneers are included. Vanden Plas and Super V8 models get Peruvian boxwood or optional Elm veneers. The supercharged XJR gets aluminum exterior finish details, rather than the chrome embellishments found on other models.
All XJ models come very well equipped, but top features in the line include radar-based adaptive cruise control, front park control, a 320-watt Alpine sound system, a voice-activated navigation system, and a rear DVD entertainment system with dual screens.
Jaguar's big XJ luxury sedan gets a number of cosmetic changes inside and out for 2008. The front end has been revised, there's a new rear aero spoiler, a rear chrome strip, and a restyled rear bumper, and there are new "power vents" gracing the car's sides. The standard wheel size has been increased to 19 inches, and three new exterior colors are added to the lineup.
Inside, all models get a new seat design with "sew-style" trim and a standard heated function with optional cooling, along with the advantage of increased rear legroom. Also, the Bluetooth hands-free interface can now pair up to five phones.