Jaguar has revealed the most expensive XJ yet - and it's a Daimler. Customer demand prompted the Coventry duo to create the first new Daimler in seven years, the Super Eight, expected to cost aropund £80,000 (£5000 more than the long wheelbase XJ Super V8) when it hits UK showrooms in November. Power comes from the XJR's 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine married to a ZF six-speed automatic gearbox, giving the Super Eight 400bhp at 6100rpm and 408lb ft of torque at 3500rpm. Daimler claims this allows the new model to speed to 60mph in 5.0sec and continue to a top speed of 155mph (electronically limited). This performance is aided by the lightweight aluminium chassis of the XJ, on which the Daimler is based, which makes the new model over 200kg lighter than its previous incarnations.
It is the cabin however that makes Daimler’s target market truly apparent. It's based on the long-wheelbase version of the XJ and both front and rear seats are powered, the driver’s also being equipped with heating and memory functions. The the position of the pedals can also be altered electronically and satellite navigation, CD-audio and climate control are all standard. Optional extras include TV-tuneable display screens in the front headrests, and a front cabin telephone. Leather trim, walnut veneer and woollen rugs complement the technology.
Due to go on sale in the UK in November 2005, the Super Eight is clearly going to be a car for a specific brand of enthusiast. We can’t help but wish the exterior was slightly more individual, with only the fluted grille and a smattering of chrome and 'D' badges to distinguish it from an XJ. But Jaguar is confident that the Super Eight will find buyers not just across Western Europe, as has been traditional for Daimler, but also in an expanding market in Far Eastern countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.