News : Jaguar XJ gets Ultimate treatment

Keith Adams

Jaguar XJ Ultimate edition
Jaguar XJ Ultimate edition

Jaguar has launched its most luxurious and expensive XJ ever, the Ultimate edition. As it’s been unveiled in China, it’s also the right venue to announce the new 3-litre V6 powertrain, that’s set to power the F-Type when it’s launched in 2013, has been added to the range – expanding the big cat’s appeal in luxury-tax, petrol-loving China.

The new range-topper enjoys some serious luxury for market it’s aimed at, with individually tailored rear seats, which have a Champagne chiller and aluminium billet drinks tray between them. Rear passengers benefit from integrated iPads and additional viewing screens in the rear of the front head restraints. Meridian Audio of Huntingdon has produced an audio system befitting this car’s anticipated £100,000-plus price tag.

Outside, the Ultimate has new 20-spoke alloy wheels, chrome air intakes and stainless steel oval exhausts. The car comes with the option of the supercharged V6, available in 335 and 375bhp form (it’s a China-friendly tax-option), and the familiar 5-litre V8 and 3-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel.

According to Bob Grace, JLR’s chief in China, sales of the XJ have grown ten-fold in the last year and China is set to become the company’s largest market during 2013. The Ultimate was revealed to the press during the opening of Beijing’s new JLR dealership, which becomes the company’s largest sales facility in the world. The dealership, which boasts a restaurant, massage seats and a test track for its customers expects to sell 1800 cars in its first year alone…


Keith Adams


  1. A great concept that pushes the boundaries of the Jaguar XJ and its level of desirability onwards and upwards. I, too, agree that hopefully this will one day lead to a new Daimler emerging based on the XJ’s platform, but with its own distinctive body design and interior.

    The Engineered To Order (ETO) division of Jaguar Land Rover is certainly producing some inspiring bespoke ‘halo’ additions for both manufacturers. Just a shame the name ETO division doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as say Land Rover Special Vehicles, Rover Special Projects or Mulliner Park Ward. Despite this, I do like what they are doing!

  2. There you go, you can forget all those down beat stories about Jaguar sales in Europe. This is where the money is and a 10 fold increase in sales of its flagship model is a cracking result for Jaguar.

  3. Imagine at the drive thru.

    “Do you need a cupholder for that?”

    “No just fill up my champagne flute. Ta.”


  4. A V6 turbocharged certainly could be more economical to run than a V8, but what about reliability? Same fear I have about 1400cc and 1600cc turbo powered cars instead usual 2000cc16v

    Honestly, as I’m very ignorant about engineering, I would like that someone explain me the advantages of these downsized engines and if they could last as long as the oldie but goodie AJ6 for instance.

  5. ” agree that hopefully this will one day lead to a new Daimler emerging based on the XJ’s platform, but with its own distinctive body design and interior.”

    So long as they don’t sell black estate versions to the Co-Op again….

  6. It’s a supercharged V6 not Turbocharged as the diesels are, its based on the 5L v8. So has a robust background as the V8’s Jaguar make are bullet proof.

    Love what Jaguar are doing at the moment

  7. The move to smaller, turbocharged petrol engines is linked to the drive to bring down CO2.

    Turbos aren’t new -diesels have been using them in great numbers for years. Ford are going to replace all 1.6L and smaller engines with a 1.0 turbo triple. that’s a lot of engines and you would have expected them to get reliability issues sorted, otherwise they’d be in BIG trouble globally.

    Me personally? I like a bit of turbo grunt and a wave of torque. I never understood why you need to rev an engine.

    like the new Jag. As I get older, the thought of being chaufferd around gets more appealing. foreget the lottery win garage, here comes the lotter win limo back seat!

  8. Smaller engines mean less weight, and with turbos they can mimick the performance of the larger engine – however the downsize is the lifetime of the engine. The smaller engine is taking more pressure and strain when performing at the higher pressures (and the increased torques) needed to get the performance, and as such will have a shorter life than a normal aspirated larger engine. However as fuel is running out and costing a bomb the manufacturers probably believe no one will get to the past it date of the engine. If you have read the reviews for the Focus’ 1.0 they say it is impressive but still lacks the punch of the bigger engine and the claimed figures were a bit off.

  9. I think the thinking behind downsizing engines is sound- its something that’s already well proven in large vans. Most Mercedes Sprinters use the relatively small 2.2 diesel with one or two turbos, depending on version. Its distant grandfather, the Mercedes T1, I think mostly used a 2.9 diesel (I may be corrected on this). As an ex- White Van Man, driving overloaded Sprinters full of white goods around the South of England and Wales, I can tell you that the engines don’t ‘alf take a pounding, yet the version I drove had over 250,000 miles on it with almost no maintainance (and a hole in the windscreen the size of a 50p piece plugged with bathroom silicone- thanks Boss). And many Sprinters have done far higher milages.

    Its sister model the VW Crafter now makes do with an even smaller 2 litre (down from 2.5).

    If vans, which are rarely driven kindly can cope with an apparently undersized and over-stressed engine and yet prove reliable, I don’t see why the same shouldn’t be true for cars, providing that the engines are very well developed. It wasn’t all that many years ago when cars were considered to be ‘passed it’ when they’d done only 60,000 miles!

  10. This new petrol V6 is a very significant development. I know that Jaguar’s and Land Rover’s sales in North America have been severely curtailed by their lack of an economical alternative to their gas-guzzling V8s. It was all the more unfortunate considering that until the 1990s Jaguar didn’t have a V8 engine and relied solely on the high-powered six cylinder engines that are now all the rage.

    A supercharged V6 finally gives JLR a chance to compete head-on with BMW, Audi and M-B in the petrol-loving countries of Asia and the Americas.

  11. It is so nice to see Jaguar are doing so well again and people want their products. Perhaps this is THE happy ending to come out of the long running British Leyland/ Rover saga.

  12. I understand we’re to expect a 2.0 Turbo 4 pot in the XF and XJ soon, to replace the standard V6. My concern with this isn’t reliability, it’s the lack of torque. I just doubt it’ll be as refined as a bigger NASP unit.

  13. @13- Sam Skelton- I doubt they’d ever put a 4 pot in an XF or XJ- at least not for the European market, as such a motor just wouldn’t appeal to Jaguar buyers- the X Type wasn’t a huge success as it diluted the aspirational aspect of the marque- it was considered to be nothing more than a Mondeo in a fancier frock (rather unfairly- as the Mondeo was a bloody good car, and nobody seems to say the same about Audi’s being Skoda under the skin). I don’t think they’d make the same mistake with the brand’s image again by installing a 4 cylinder.

    A high-output twin-turboed 5 pot with maybe 2.3 litres on the other hand would be an interesting proposition if they could get it to sound characterful without being coarse…

  14. Re 2: The current ETO is the result of the amalgamation of the former Land Rover and Jaguar SVO groups. Jaguar management always (inexplicably) refused to allow the use of the SVO name on products. This went to the extent of a lot of harsh words being used when ‘Autocar’ reported on an XKR ‘SVO’ car (it had our handling pack, brakes, and big wheels). We got a complete refusal when we asked if we could have our own logo – so we designed one anyway, and had it on shirts (that we paid for ourselves).

    We used to do a lot of good work – XKRR – XK180 – Corsica – and lots of other things. Much of it found it’s way on to cars as ‘R-Performance’ options. We always thought this was a wasted opportunity, when we could have been Jaguar’s version of AMG or M.

  15. 4 cyl versions will come, BMW offer this and there are few complaints with those engines so expect Jabguar to follow. JLR will be huge trouble if it doesn’t reduce it’s average CO2 so needs smaller engines to do this.

  16. @ #1 & #5. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Daimler is due to return. I was able to ask that very question to the Jaguar marketing chief and he said that JLR were concentrating on supporting the Jaguar, Land Rover & Range Rover brands and did not see an immediate future for a Daimler branded car. The Daimler name, owned by JLR, has been permitted to be used by Daimler AG, makers of Mercedes Benz but can not be used on their vehicles.

    I would like to see, one day, a car from JLR called a Daimler.

  17. Re 19: One of the biggest obstacles to using the Daimler badge is that Jaguar only had rights to the name in Europe. They were never able to market cars as Daimler in the US, since demise of the Dart. Since this is traditionally, the bulk of their market, Jaguar paid little attention to the name.

  18. @ The Rockabilly Red:

    I think I am right in my knowledge that what the Daimler models for North America in the 1980s and 1990s were instead badged as the Jaguar Vanden Plas?

    Re: Your previous comment on ETO:

    I agree, the use of the SVO identity on products would have been a good idea that, unlike R Performance, would not have necessarily been restricted to just very high performance ‘halo’ variants. Personally I think SVE (special vehicles engineering) would have more of a ring to it than ETO, although this is just my humble oppinion.

  19. # 19. I understand that Jaguar CHOSE not to sell cars in the US with the Daimler name because most people there assiciated that name with trucks, not luxury cars; it had nothing to do with ownership of the name.

    # 16. As far as I’m aware, SVO/ETO have nothing like the capability of BMW’s M division or Merc’s AMG (which used to be a stand-alone, independant company).

  20. Re 22: No. Simply untrue. Especially as the only Daimlers marketed in the US were cars.

    Jaguar SVO had a great deal of capability – far more of the department’s output was used than is commonly realised. Ford simply refused to allow real performance Jaguars to be marketed, because it viewed Aston Martin as it’s ‘super-performance’ brand. For example, the XKRR was SVO designed and engineered for volume. However, it was capable of blowing the doors of the (then) upcoming Vantage. Ford refused to sign off the money and that was that. (For those that don’t know, the XKRR had a 6-speed manual box, 25% over-driven super charger, new rear subframe, multi-link rear suspension, and a body structure that was completly new from the B post back. Two road-legal cars were built. Only one is left now – X100 SVO – in the JDHT museum.)

  21. #23 I dispute that. Jaguar had stopped promoting Daimler Cars in the US since 1967 but Daimler-Benz had been selling trucks in the USA for years after that and many confused the Daimler Cars brand with Daimler-Benz.

    The 25% over-driven supercharger was just a pulley change; not rocket science. However, Eaton wouldn’t honour a warranty at anything above the standard production output. The “new” rear subframe was just one from an S-Type.

  22. Re 24: 1) The trucks you refer to were marketed as ‘MAN’ products, not Daimler.

    2) The supercharger change involved considerably more than just a pulley change. For example, the single intake tract was deleted and replaced with twin intakes, from both right and left sides of the cars. This inturn, meant a recalibration of the entire fueling system.

    3) The rear subframe was not an S-Type item. We could not use a carryover subframe because of the large difference in rear wheel track, between the X100 and X200. In addition, the totaly different underframe geometry prevented the fitting of a simple carryover frame. The S-Type subframe and the body were mutually exclusive. The entire rear of the car – body, chassis, even fuel tank – were unique, fron the B-post back.

    How do I know? I’m sorry to brag, but I was the design engineer responsible for the XKRR body.

  23. These will surely have been Mercedes trucks under the Daimler-Benz brand… MAN trucks has next to no connection to Daimler-Benz. Since then Daimler-Benz was renamed DaimlerChrysler and now only Daimler. Cars produced by Daimler-Benz have not been branded with Daimler since the early days, since the Daimler company sold rights to engines and brand name to companies outside Germany before merging with Benz motor cars – hence they’ve all been branded Mercedes or Mercedes-Benz.

  24. That is a great looking car,I seen one not long ago,stunning.
    Looks like exciting times for JLR, this new department looks very interesting,ETO seem to be putting a lot of vehicles out which you think are mainstream JLR until you read the small print…

    SVO -they were the legendary guys that were never let out the box but developed some amazing cars -what were Jag thinking to hold then back???
    Where can I get and SVO T-shirt and who in Jag gave permission to get a secret logo done -he should be awarded a pedal, that must have took balls!

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