Jaguar's long-standing commitment to creating beautiful, contemporary, fast cars is reinforced once again with the unveiling of the new, special edition 400bhp XJR Portfolio. This supercharged performance saloon continues the evolution of the design cues first seen on the striking Concept Eight show car which starred at the New York International Auto Show in 2004.
The Concept Eight was the first time that Jaguar had shown its new performance styling to the public and the reaction was so positive that many of its key design details, such as the eye-catching polished wheels, side power vents and Satin American Walnut trim, were soon to grace the long-wheelbase XJ Super V8 Portfolio, a special edition XJ produced for the USA and other key European and global markets.
Now, the new XJR Portfolio continues the successful theme of exclusive, sporting saloons with attitude, power and a modern character.
"The Jaguar XJR is one of the most distinguished sporting luxury saloons in the world. The XJR Portfolio enhances this reputation further with its unique exterior and interior styling cues," says Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar Cars, managing director.
XJR Portfolio at-a-glance
- + Special edition standard wheelbase XJR that follows on from the Concept Eight design study and Super V8 Portfolio long-wheelbase special edition
- + Only 100 units for the UK market
- + 400bhp (SAE) supercharged V8 power and six-speed ZF automatic transmission, for unparalleled blend of sporting performance and superb refinement
- + Contemporary, sporting exterior design cues, including sculpted polished aluminium side power vents, bright mesh grille, chrome-finished exhaust system, polished 20-inch Callisto wheels and Midnight black exterior paint
- + Luxury interior combines a contemporary feel with driver-focussed technology such as the facia-mounted Touchscreen, JaguarVoice control and Bluetooth® connectivity
- + New aluminium weave veneer finish for facia, 'R' sports seats, aluminium J-gate surround, chrome and leather gearknob, leather-edged footwell mats
- + All the engineering strengths, performance, safety, economy and dynamic brilliance of the XJR, with advanced aluminium monocoque construction for maximum rigidity with minimum weight - the basis for a great driver's car.
The XJR Portfolio's dramatic styling is a direct evolution of the highly acclaimed 2004 Concept Eight show car. It uses a classically simple mesh grille, flanked by four headlights above a deep front air intake to produce that unmistakeable Jaguar front end. And from the side the sculpted aluminium power vents in its front wings immediately set it apart from any other XJR.
"When we came to design the Portfolio edition we decided to allow the XJR to express itself," explains Jaguar Cars design director Ian Callum. "So we used aluminium and chrome to make parts of the car stand out like jewellery. You won't be able to miss those bold 20-inch alloy wheels or the purposeful side power vents. And inside the cabin the blend of modern materials such as aluminium with classic Jaguar leathers and veneers means we can create a luxurious but contemporary interior."
Indeed, the XJR Portfolio's contemporary, sporting character can be defined by its 20-inch 'Callisto' alloy wheels - with the same highly-polished five-spoke design as the Concept Eight but promising better everyday durability and ride comfort for the production car. Like the show car's wheels they have slim, elegantly curved spokes, and also feature the classic Jaguar script centre badge style - combining heritage with a modern twist. The XJR Portfolio will be available in bold Midnight black paint while its seats are upholstered in Ivory leather. The upper facia is finished in warm charcoal and is matched with an aluminium veneer and door trims. Both front and rear seats have variable heating and the driver's seat includes lumbar and cushion length power adjust with full memory function. To add to that unique performance feel, the XJR Portfolio also sports an aluminium J-gate gearlever surround and chrome and leather gearknob.
In-car entertainment is provided by the 12-speaker Jaguar Alpine Premium sound system - including 320 watt amplifier, subwoofers and CD changer. Bluetooth® connectivity for in-car mobile phone usage is also standard.
The all-aluminium construction methods that Jaguar introduced with the latest generation XJ saloon in 2003 broke new ground in the volume automotive industry. Unlike other aluminium-bodied cars, the XJ family uses full stressed-skin monocoque construction and its entire body structure, including all the outer panels, is manufactured from aluminium.
As well as sheet material, many parts of the XJ are produced by the latest forming, casting, extrusion and machining processes. Magnesium is also used in specific areas to reduce weight. Many of these very advanced assembly techniques have been adopted from the aerospace industry, including adhesive bonding and self-piercing rivets - in effect replicating the use of seam welding and spot welding on a conventional steel monocoque, but with a huge saving in weight, and massive gains in strength and torsional stiffness.
As a result, the XJR Portfolio is around 200kg lighter than the equivalent model from five years ago, with significant benefits in performance, safety, economy and emissions performance. It also offers exceptional corrosion resistance (allowing a six-year anti-corrosion warranty) and easier repairs following minor impacts.
The XJR Portfolio's immense performance capabilities stem not just from its lightweight body but from its renowned 400bhp (SAE) supercharged 4.2-litre V8 engine, which also has 408lb ft of torque at only 3,500 rpm - with at least 86 per cent of that peak torque figure produced across a wide range from only 2,000 rpm to well beyond the torque peak point.
That excellent engine is matched by the superb six-speed ZF automatic transmission. Like the engine, it is notably light and compact and features Bosch Mechatronic shift - an electro-hydraulic shift mechanism whose adaptive shift strategy (controlled by the engine management) responds to both road conditions and the way the car is being driven, to give the smoothest shifts with optimum performance. In the XJR Portfolio, this combination gives an electronically limited maximum speed of 155mph and 0-60mph in exactly 5.0 seconds.
As with all models in the XJ range, the XJR Portfolio edition uses air suspension matched with Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) system. CATS continuously adjusts the car's damping characteristics, from firm to soft in milliseconds, to suit the driving conditions, optimising both ride and handling. Steering is by ZF Servotronic power assistance, and the XJR Portfolio uses a high-performance brake system, with ventilated front discs and four-piston aluminium monobloc callipers plus four-channel ABS anti-lock brakes and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) are also standard.
The XJR Portfolio also features Jaguar's Adaptive Restraint Technology System, A.R.T.S., combining dual-stage front airbags, ultrasonic front passenger sensing, an energy absorbing seating system incorporating an anti-whiplash mechanism in the front seats, and pyrotechnic pre-tensioners for all seat belts. Safety equipment also includes chest airbags in the driver and front passenger seat bolsters, side air curtains all round and ISOFIX rear child-seat attachment points.
The new XJR Portfolio will be previewed at the London Motor Show on July 18, 2006. Sales begin in September 2006 with an on-the-road price of £62,040.