From £54,630
Despite its voracious thirst, it’s hard not fall head over heels for the Supersport

Our Verdict

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ is a thoroughly modern luxury saloon, and a brilliantly capable one

What is it?

Just in case an artificial 155mph limit was insufficient to float your boat, Jaguar has introduced a Speed Pack for its range-topping XJ Supersport which cranks up the still-restricted top end to 174mph.

With a superabundant 510bhp already available from the familiar 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, no modifications are required to hit the new limiter, although the tyre pressure sensors and virtual instrument display have been reprogrammed to handle the bigger number.

The body, however, does get some minor tweaks to help with the aerodynamic demands of going 19mph faster. At the front there’s a splitter beneath the bumper that directs air beneath the car to reduce lift, and to the back the bootlid has gained a more pronounced lip spoiler.

Cosmetically, the Speed Pack car is differentiated by a black mesh grille, red brake callipers and a new 20-inch alloy wheel design. These additions are also bundled into a Sport Pack which is now avaliable across the XJ range, and includes a greater range of interior options.

What’s it like?

A guilty pleasure. Adding the Speed Pack to the XJ Supersport LWB clocks up a £97,495 sticker. That’s a serious outlay for a car whose distinguishing party trick can only be legally flaunted on derestricted stretches of the autobahn.

Tested on that surface, the Jaguar feels predictably at home. Immersed in its serene hum and flexing placidly over cracks and creases, it’s laughably easy to morph dull motorway miles into a mesmerizing 125mph blur.

The only real reason to punctuate its elegant stride is to attempt a child-like exploration of the remaining throttle pedal travel. The earnest, tail-wagging way the XJ reels in its new limit is something to behold - the V8 barely lets up its explosive consumption of fuel and air before it slides gently into its cushioned electronic barrier.

That appears at an indicated 285km/h, but the new limit is no less artificial than the old one. Not that your sanity would permit you to go much faster - the XJ feels appropriately at home beyond 155mph, but passing slower traffic like a fighter plane buzzing a container ship will be disconcerting to most drivers.

Should I buy one?

Despite its voracious thirst, it’s hard not fall head over heels for the Supersport. It’s big and brutish, but steers, cossets and entertains like nothing else in its class. Is the additional Speed Pack really worth the extra wedge? Rationally, no, of course not. In the UK fitting it would be as redundant as buying a beach towel in April.

But then the top-spec XJ itself barely registers on the commonsense scale anyway. It is too expensive and swaggeringly thirsty for all but the most prodigious budgets. Fortunately, those are exactly the kind of buyers likely to be persuaded by this boastful, four-figure line of ECU software code.

Jaguar XJ Supersport LWB Speed Pack

Price: £94,050 (£3,445 for Speed Pack); Top speed: 174mph; 0-60mph: 4.7 secs; Economy: 23.4mpg; CO2: 289g/km; Kerb weight: 1892kg; Engine: Eight cylinder, 5000cc supercharged petrol; Power: 510bhp at 6000-6500rpm; Torque: 461lb ft at 2500-5500rpm; Gearbox: Six-speed automatic

Join the debate

Comments
24

4 May 2012

Love it. Don't happen to have a spare £100K knocking about though. I wonder whether there will be a similar speed pack on the XFR or whether that will be the preserve of the XFR-S?

4 May 2012

[quote samyc]Love it. Don't happen to have a spare £100K knocking about though[/quote]


In 10 years time it'll be on Autotrader for 5K.

4 May 2012

Anyone have any figures as how many V8 XJ's are bought in the UK let alone demand for a "speed pack" version? I suspect 80% plus are diesel sales.

It would be far better for sales if Jaguar developed a 4 cylinder diesel version XJ to compete with the S class Mercedes.

4 May 2012

[quote Maxycat]I suspect 80% plus are diesel sales[/quote]

You're being generous, it's closer to 95-97% diesel. Figures I saw for 2011 XJ Portfolio versions showed 1,547 diesel and just 127 V8 petrol split across SWB and LWB. It was a similar ratio for Premium Luxury, albeit from lower figures.

[quote Maxycat]It would be far better for sales if Jaguar developed a 4 cylinder diesel version XJ [/quote]

I agree. They've followed the Germans this far so why not develop that twin-turbo 4-cyl that seems to be the sweet spot in both BMW and Mercedes diesel ranges?

Edit: forgot to say - £97k??!?!?


4 May 2012

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


Just in case an artificial 155mph limit was insufficient to float your boat, Jaguar has introduced a Speed Pack for its range-topping XJ Supersport which cranks up the still-restricted top end to 174mph.



With a superabundant 510bhp already available from the familiar 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, no modifications are required to hit the new limiter, although the tyre pressure sensors and virtual instrument display have been reprogrammed to handle the bigger...Read the full article

[/quote] Sell em in China!?

Peter Cavellini.

4 May 2012

When are we going to see the 550bhp version of this engine in the XJ? And the XF for that matter...

4 May 2012

You're being generous, it's closer to 95-97% diesel. Figures I saw for 2011 XJ Portfolio versions showed 1,547 diesel and just 127 V8 petrol split across SWB and LWB. It was a similar ratio for Premium Luxury, albeit from lower figures. My dads boss will be one of the 127 then! LWB petrol with everything!! Then again this guy is a multimillionaire! Love the car though. Classic Jaguar class, not common, modern and something very different to look at compared to the German offerings. I would pick this over any comparable rival. Simply wonderful.

4 May 2012

[quote Evo_ermine]In 10 years time it'll be on Autotrader for 5K.[/quote] yes. and it will be horribly shagged, but still tempting. http://www.mayfairprestigeuk.co.uk/used-cars/jaguar-xj-xj8-4-0-4dr-auto-...

5 May 2012

Well having just seen the review of the 4 door 6 Series (whatever it is called officially) I would rather wait for the M model of that - IMHO it just looks so much better than this, although I still love the Quattroporte.

Decisions, decisions............still, barring good luck with the Euromillions these are decisions I am unlikely to ever have to make!

5 May 2012

[quote justi]

[quote Evo_ermine]In 10 years time it'll be on Autotrader for 5K.[/quote] yes. and it will be horribly shagged, but still tempting. http://www.mayfairprestigeuk.co.uk/used-cars/jaguar-xj-xj8-4-0-4dr-auto-...
[/quote]
I bet that's a lovely car to mooch around in. Lot of car for the cash.

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