The latest Jaguar XJ flagship lineup serves up 8 models in two wheelbases with three levels of supercharged performance and available Jaguar Instinctive All-Wheel Drive?, an active torque-management system coupled exclusively with the 340 horsepower, 3-liter supercharged V6 engine. Our review is of the 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD.
The XJ engine choices are model specific and include: a 340 horsepower, 3-liter supercharged V6 for the XJ, XJ AWD, XJL Portfolio and XJL Portfolio AWD: a 5-liter supercharged, 470 horsepower V8 engine for XJ and XJL models; and a more potent 550 horsepower, 5-liter supercharged V8 engine for the XJR and XJR Long Wheelbase models. All engines are mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Long Wheelbase models (XJL and XJR Long Wheelbase) provide 5-inches more rear-seat legroom along with standard amenities. There are also three levels of Meridian? premium audio systems offered: a 380W system with 14-speakers; an 825W system with 20 speakers, and a 1,300W, 26-speaker Reference Audio system.
Jaguar engineers developed the DOHC 3-liter supercharged V6 engine from the all-aluminum architecture of the marque?s 5-liter supercharged V8. Counter-rotating front and rear balancer weights enable the supercharged 90-degree V6 to match the smoothness and refinement of the V8. An Intelligent Stop/Start system utilizes a twin solenoid starter that enables the system to restart the engine in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
The 3.0-liter V6 engine cranks out 340hp at 6,500 rpm, while also developing a broad torque curve, with a peak of 332 lb.-ft. available from 3,500-5,000 rpm. The XJ?s V6 is capable of accelerating the rear wheel drive standard-wheelbase model from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.
Like the Jaguar supercharged V8, the supercharged V6 combines high compression, direct fuel injection, dual independent variable cam timing and an engine-driven supercharger to deliver the performance of a larger-displacement engine. A Roots-type twin vortex supercharger is mounted in the engine’s “V,” with a water-cooled intercooler to reduce the temperature of the intake air optimizing power and efficiency.
The visual appeal of the Jaguar XJ Series begins up front with the bold, striking chrome mesh grille that sits above a matching mesh lower air intake, and is flanked by standard slim Xenon headlights. The sculpted, power-domed hood hints at the elegant cat?s performance prowess, which flows to meet the sharply raked windscreen. The roofline curves gracefully to the integrated trunklid lip spoiler of which it is a part. The wraparound rear window adds to the impressions of a floating roof, complete with a standard panoramic glass roof enhancing the cabin?s light, airy feeling. The trunk opening is flanked by uniquely styled taillamps, while a bright chrome molding strip emphasizes the car?s width, and the license plate housing is flanked by chrome rectangular exhaust tips.
Dark ?B? and ?C? pillars are outlined by a chrome trim strip that embellishes the long, sweeping shape of the cabin roof, and gives the XJL a coupe-like persona.
The interior displays an elegant, balanced and symmetrical architecture, featuring rich, premium materials throughout. Expressive wood trim accents sweep forward from the rear doors through the front doors, meeting at the upper dashboard center. An analog clock inspired by luxury wristwatches is positioned in the center of the lower dashboard. The panoramic glass roof mechanism slides the front glass panel upward and outward, preserving headroom, and the roof’s dark tint and reflective coating help limit heat gain, while twin power blinds provide another level of privacy and sun screening.
The Jaguar XJL employs interior electronics in interesting ways – the illuminated stop/start button pulsates like a heartbeat until pressed, when, as part of the sequence, the JaguarDrive Selector? rises from the center console. When the engine is stopped, the JaguarDrive Selector? retracts automatically.
A 12.3-inch high-definition screen displays “virtual gauges” providing the functions of traditional instrument dials. When the Dynamic mode is selected, the dials change to a red hue and feature a gear position indicator that glows red as the engine speed rises. An 8-inch touch-screen display in the center console provides access to many functions, including climate control, audio, communications and standard navigation. The Jaguar Interactive Voice? control system provides control of the standard Bluetooth?, navigation or audio systems.
The Jaguar XJL is loaded with driver assistance features and equipment including: Anti-lock Braking, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Understeer Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Electronic Traction Control and Engine Drag Torque Control. On models equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control, the Advanced Emergency Brake Assist uses the ACC radar to help calculate distance from and closing speed to the vehicle traveling ahead. Two-stage driver and front passenger airbags and front side and curtain side airbags are complemented by anti-whiplash front seat structures.
The standard radar-based blind-spot monitoring system alerts the driver to vehicles in close proximity on either side. Standard front and rear parking sensors, with visual indicators shown through the touch-screen, along with a standard backup camera, aid visibility when parking. The standard Xenon headlamps may be augmented with the Visibility Package, which includes a system that switches the high beams on and off automatically in response to oncoming traffic and prevailing lighting conditions. This option also includes adaptive lighting, which swivels the headlamps to follow the road when cornering.
My test 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD model came with a dark British Racing Green metallic exterior finish, complemented by an interior executed in Truffle and Cashew Truffle (as luscious as it sounds). The base price was set at $84,700., while optional features such as the metallic paint, front seat massage, Visibility Package, Premium Rear Seat Package, 19-inch ?Toba? alloy wheels with locks and License Plate Frame Package, along with Destination and Delivery charge elevated the final tally to $96,663.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD is a capable, high performance and exquisitely elegant driving machine that is likely to raise concern from the likes of competitors such as the Audi A8L, BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It is without compromise, truly in their league.
The supercharged 3-0-liter V6 is a force to be reckoned with, delivering outstanding acceleration accompanied by a pleasing engine and exhaust note that should bring a smile to the countenance of any self-respecting gearhead.
Gear changes are smooth in the fully automatic mode and come without hesitation in the manual mode. The ride quality is compliant and quite comfortable. Handling is precise and confidence inspiring, with the car remaining flat and stable on challenging twists and turns.
Subtle cabin enhancements are available throughout the 2015 XJ stable. The Premium Rear Seat Package provides seats that feature electric adjustment of the seatback recline angle, four-way lumbar support and a massage function. Also included are new winged headrests, footrests and the capability of moving the unoccupied front passenger seat forward for added space and comfort.
The 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio is a blend of elegance, contemporary Jaguar styling, luxurious comfort and state-of-the-art technologies with the stellar performance attributes and capability in an unquestionably desirable package.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$85,695.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with Eaton twin vortex supercharger with dual intercoolers and Direct Fuel Injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||340 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||332 @ 3,500-5,000 rpm|
|Transmission:||Jaguar Sequential Shift? eight-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Sport Mode.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / All-Wheel Drive.|
4-wheel independent with Adaptive Dynamics active damping.
Front – Double wishbone mounted to subframe, coil springs and stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link mounted to subframe, air springs and stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted 4-wheel ventilated discs, EBD, ABS and Emergency Brake Assist.|
|Tires:||Pirelli P-Zero 245/45 R19x9.5? front / 245/40 R20x10? rear mounted on 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels|
|Length Overall:||206.8 inches|
|Width:||82.9 inches ? with mirrors|
|Height:||57.3 inches – with antenna|
|Curb Weight:||4,151 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||21.7 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||16-mpg city / 24-mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.