In a world where the head honchos of corporations prefer their chauffeur driven Mercedes S Class, BMW 7 series and the Audi A8L , the Jaguar XJ has been largely forgotten. But times are changing and Jaguar has been sharpening its claws on their biggest cat and getting ready to snatch the market share which has been so far; dominated by its German brethrens.
Our XJ-L was a special one, and I had been itching to get in it for over a month. This was the Sport & Speed Edition. The XJ-L, where the ‘L’ stands for long wheel base, makes its German counterparts look small, it’s that big. However it tips the scale at only around 4400 pounds thanks to its extensive use of aluminum on its endoskeleton. The Mercedes S Class as a comparison would be weighing roughly in the 5000 pounds range.
So what is this “Sport and Speed” edition all about? It’s rather simple really, what you read is exactly what you get. The ‘Sport’ gives you the carbon fiber veneer inside the car, aggressive front spoilers and rear spoiler, red painted calipers, 20 inch Venom alloy wheels and seats which are adjustable for lateral support as well. And then there is the ‘Speed’, which extends the top speed to 280kmph making it the fastest against the three very formidable musketeers mentioned above. 0-100kmph dashes away before you can finish this sentence. How it manages to sprint to 100kmph in 5.2 secs really is a testament to its 5.0Litre V8 Supercharged engine producing a mammoth 470PS and 575NM of torque. Do you feel sorry for its rear tires, I think we all should.
Getting in the Sport and Speed, one would be literally engulfed in leather; the trim level exceeds even that of the BMW 750Li. The brilliant carbon fiber veneer surrounds the side and the front panels of the car. There is chrome and piano like finish in all the other panels, including the trays that neatly fold out from the back of the front seats. This car has all the creature comforts that one could think of. Jaguar has literally thought of every small detail. Even the dashboard is a complete digital display, showing the tacho and speedo meters as well as the fuel and coolant temperature dials. It’s so lifelike that one needs to see it up close with their eyes glued to the screen to notice that it’s digital. They have somehow perfected the shading of the dials to make it realistic, it’s so good that even George Lucas would have been proud.
When it comes to the driving experience, BMW is the king. There is hardly a make that can compete with the visceral feel that comes from driving the Bavarian tour de force. The Jaguar is no slouch. It’s sure footed and digs deeps into any bend and any speed that one can throw at it. Our mind just went numb trying to figure out how it can do that. Where does the mass disappear at such pace, how does it defy the laws of physics? But that’s the secret of this Sport and Speed phenomenon. It is a brilliant piece of kit, both for the passenger and for the driver. The Jaguar will entice the owner to move from the back seat and into the drivers’ seat. The feedback from the steering and the trademark Jaguar growl from its acoustically tuned dual exhausts are reminiscent of the XKR-S, albeit a tone lower.
To the COO’s and CEO’s out there, there you have it. The Jaguar XJ-L Sport and Speed is a strong contender and at a price of AED 499,000.00 it is certainly the most bang for its buck.
Jaguar XJ-L Sport and Speed comes with free Insurance for the first year, free service and maintenance contract for 3 yrs or 60000kms and 5years or 250000kms warranty (whichever comes first)
Our photo shoot was taken at the beautiful One and Only Royal Mirage
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Photos by Brian Donegan