Before the 2011 Jaguar XJ arrived, its previous generations were known most for their dowdy, old-world styling. In a segment where buyers like to stand out, it’s not surprising that the older XJs were hardly ever seen let alone cross-shopped by anyone looking for a full-size luxury sedan.
Jaguar learned from its mistakes so when designing the new XJ decided to give it a totally revamped look, modern interior and a range of powerful engines.
A low, sloping roof gives the XJ a distinctive sports sedan design that also makes the car look a lot smaller than it actually is. There’s also a hint of the Aston Martin Rapide in its lines, though the XJ's length and expansive profile are unique enough to set the car apart at a glance.
But it’s not just about good looks. The car comes in six different trim lines, all of them with V-8 engines. Even the base engine has a generous 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than enough for most of the buyers in this segment.
However, if this is not enough, Jaguar also offers a XJ Supercharged, which comes with 470 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque.
You’d think this would be enough, but there’s yet one more power level on offer. The range-topper is the XJ Supersport, which gets the same high-performance supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 found in Jaguar’s XKR and XFR models. This bad boy offers 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than anyone could ever want in a full-size luxury sedan.
The car also comes in either standard or long-wheelbase trims, the latter going by the name XJL. However, there’s no all-wheel drive option, which means buyers in northern climates would be safer going with a 4Matic Mercedes-Benz or xDrive BMW 7-Series. There is a switchable “winter” mode for the car, however.
The Jaguar also only gets a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission while some of its rivals, like the latest BMW 7-Series and Audi A8, have eight-speed automatics. Nevertheless, when it comes time to hustle, the Jaguar XJ Supersport will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.
One ace the Jaguar does have up its sleeve is its aluminum construction. This makes it a lot lighter than its rivals, most of which are made of steel, aiding handling and fuel economy.
For a complete look at the 2011 Jaguar XJ’s styling, performance, quality and safety, head over to TheCarConnection
for a more in-depth report.