News : Jaguar saloons to get AWD

Sam Skelton

The XF and XJ are soon to get AWD

The CX-16 was not the only exciting news from Jaguar at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The marque’s brand director, Adrian Hallmark, has announced that the XF and XJ ranges are shortly to be fitted with all-wheel-drive in order to maintain the impressive sales of their saloon ranges.

The technology is already available upon rival products, and it is felt that Jaguar’s sales are being affected by their current RWD-only range in markets with a great demand for all-wheel-drive products. In many markets, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes currently offer all their large saloons with the option of all-wheel-drive.

It has been acknowledged that such a move will not be cost effective – ‘You might even say it’s cost prohibitive,’ Hallmark acknowledged, ‘but it has to be done’.

Jaguar’s aim is to offer the XJ and XF with all-wheel-drive by 2014. The last all-wheel-drive Jaguar, the X-Type, was not as strong a seller for Jaguar as had been hoped in key markets such as the USA. It is hoped that the fitment of the technology on Jaguar’s larger products has the opposite effect.


  1. Interesting and hopefully useful news. Of course the former X Type was also available with AWD. Hopefully Jag will (at some point) bring out a new X Type successor.

  2. Once again I fear Jaguar may be losing the plot, just as it seemed that they have very much found it. Why go to the effort of developing an aluminium monocoque, then lose all the benefit by schlepping around largely unnecessary differentials and driveshafts?

    BMW don’t recommend you go for the AWD option on their mainstream cars unless you live half way up an Alp, because it compromises the original design.

    If Jaguar do go ahead with this, let’s only hope they have learned some lessons from the X Type experiences – such as the transfer box problem, which as far as I’m aware still has no effective remedy.

  3. OK as an option I would have thought, for those markets that need it. Not clear from this whether the inention is to fit it as standard, but if so I really wonder whether its necessary to carry all that extra weight around – I agree with Robert Leitch on that.

  4. Simple fact is AWD adds weight and parasitic drag to the drivetrain. So it reduces fuel economy.

    Tyre choice makes more of a difference than which wheels do the driving, many farmers get around muddy fields quite happily with an escort van and appropriate tyres. Back in the snow many BMW X-series drivers found they were driving the “ultimate sliding machine” purely because they all come with low profile summer pure road tyres, so they just get 4 wheels spinning rather than 2.

  5. Although not everyone is in favour of this technology on Jaguar saloons, it does demonstrate that Jaguar Cars Ltd is looking to attract new buyers to the Jaguar brand by furthering its engineering prowess. In other words, as with the styling of its XF and XJ models, Jaguar Cars Ltd does not want to be seen to be resting on its laurels or stuck in an engineering rut (no pun intended).

    In the short term the technology might be “cost prohibitive”, but in the medium to long term where new generation of Jaguar saloons and Land Rover vehicles are going to be sharing platforms with a common design relationship, it might prove to be more cost effective.

  6. I gather this has been a real barrier to sales in the more nothern states in the US, where 4wd really is useful for a good couple of months of the year.

  7. Its not that big a deal Jaguar going AWD ON XF and XJ models. Look at Audi as we all know keep doing it for years on other models since the Quattro coupe appeared, the only difference its well known more that a AWD V8 or A8 Audi ever did in its lifetime.

    As I see it Jaguars playing catch up to date under its new owners are able too develop and make the technology going forward with its model line up because 20 or 30 years ago AWD and new car shapes were the stuff of dreams back during its long history.

  8. will101 – I may be wrong but I think that Audi originally went AWD against BMW & Mercedes for two reasons:

    1)To build on the success of the Quattro
    2)Primarily because of the lack of a RWD platform within VW (as was the case with the x-type)

    Audi is now established in the market with FWD/AWD and has a successful formula, I can’t help feeling that if BMW or Mercedes had Bentley then the Continental GT would NOT have had AWD (It being a big Audi/VW in a posh frock after all!)

  9. the technology is now so fully integrated between Jaguar and Land Rover now, this setup is effectively a no-brainer and an avenue that would have been fully expected to be opened and exploited. Why the negativity I don’t understand but it will certainly expand the appeal in certain markets that might demand it. Jaguar especially is playing catch up remember. Given proper management JLR is likely to be a rather large company on the scale of BMW if it carries on in the right direction.

    What surprises me is that there is no estate XF and no XJ Coupe……

  10. Good to see the British motor industry understanding its markets, realising where the barriers to sales are and actually doing something about it.

  11. Jaguar do seem stretched, you read plenty of these stories, about new product developments, and then wait for years to see them get into production.

    How long did it take to get the XF 2.2 diesel
    We’re still waiting for the XF estate?
    2014 for 4wd? Won’t the XF be replaced by then?

    In the meantime, the Germans keep bringing out new variants, coupe, hatchbacks, 4 door coupes, coupe SUVs…

  12. At last, a way to make an XJ heavier than an A8.

    Keith B, I heard the VW Phaeton was ONLY built to provide a platform for Bentleys. The Phaeton was a little underpowered with the 3.2 engine – a colleague had one as a loaner while his Boxster was being serviced – he got 17mpg!

  13. I can see why the marketing department wants it in the must have to compete with selling Audi’s etc. But the reality is that with the ultra-low profile tyres these high end Jags run they will still be utterly useless in the snow 4 wheel drive or not. Driving in Moscow I find the quickest cars in the snow and ice are not the SUV’s etc which are far too heavy and cumbersome, but the front wheel drive Ford Focus’s with snow tyres. Relatively light weight, good handling, mechanical grip and adequate amount of poke make them about the fastest thing, and quite capable of embarrassing over powered Imprezza let alone big heavy Audi’s. Of course a lot of this also has to do with the no fear impulsive approach to driving the Russians take.

    Far better solution for the UK market is a dealer service package that includes a switch to all weather tyres in the winter and a few tweaks to the chassis control systems to make the best use of the grip available in snow and ice with these tyres.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.