'The Super V8 Portfolio takes the Jaguar XJ LWB experience to new heights, reinforcing the contemporary luxury and technology credentials of our flagship sedan while adding even greater exclusivity. It's a car with a real sense of occasion and one that demonstrates perfectly just how capable the XJ is right across the board.'
Joe Greenwell, Chairman and CEO, Jaguar Cars
In April 2004, Jaguar presented the dynamic long wheelbase version of the XJ luxury sedan at the New York International Auto Show. Alongside it, Jaguar also unveiled the XJ LWB-based Concept Eight, a stunning show car which introduced new levels of luxury and several exciting styling cues.
Now, less than 12 months later, driven by the enthusiastic reaction to the show car, Jaguar arrives at the 2005 New York International Auto Show with the Super V8 Portfolio, a 400bhp production car inspired by the Concept Eight design study. Spectacularly defined by its muscular looks, powerful, modern character and unique interior and equipment features, the Super V8 Portfolio is the pinnacle of the Jaguar product range.
The Super V8 Portfolio underlines the acclaimed quality of the XJ's engineering, rooted in its advanced aluminum construction. It builds on the XJ Long Wheelbase's lightweight, strong dynamic performance, exceptional spaciousness and agile, sporty handling. It demonstrates Jaguar's commitment to intelligent and uncomplicated use of technology. It shows, too, that there's more to the XJ's core character than space, elegance and luxury, and that Jaguar knows how contemporary British design can match XJ heritage with 21st century sporty appeal.
The Super V8 Portfolio also amply demonstrates Jaguar's ability to respond positively and rapidly to market and media feedback, in moving from concept to production readiness within a year of the original unveil.
The Super V8 Portfolio will be built as a limited edition car, mainly for the US and Canada, but also for other key markets worldwide. Every car will be built to a single specification. Visually the look is distinguished by key design details including the sculpted aluminum power vents in the front wings, the distinctive mesh grille used on all Jaguar's most powerful cars, its polished 20-inch alloy wheels, and two new exterior colors - either the stunning 'Black Cherry' metallic paint that first appeared on the Concept Eight show car or an alternative new metallic finish named 'Winter Gold'.
Inside, the Super V8 Portfolio is just as different - again closely based on the Concept Eight's design cues. It features leather and wood trim but with a very modern spin, individual power-adjustable rear seats separated by a large centre console, and a new-generation equipment list ranging from Bluetoothâ connectivity to a DVD system with twin rear display-screens, and from four-zone air conditioning to Alpine Dolby Prologic II surround-sound audio.
Mechanically, the Super V8 Portfolio has the power and refinement of Jaguar's supercharged 4.2-liter AJ-V8 engine but for the 2006 model year Jaguar's most powerful engine enjoys a 10bhp increase from 390bhp to 400bhp (SAE). An advanced six-speed ZF automatic transmission takes drive to the rear wheels. Performance runs to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, and 0-60mph in just 5.0 seconds, proving the Super V8 Portfolio's sporty character is more than cosmetic.
The Super V8 Portfolio builds on and challenges the XJ Long Wheelbase's classic image giving the car a 21st century attitude that makes it a new and very special addition to the XJ range.
THE XJ SUPER V8 PORTFOLIO AT-A-GLANCE
Special edition production successor to the Concept Eight design study shown in New York in 2004
A modern spin on the XJ sedan's classic virtues, changing everything from looks to equipment to performance
Contemporary, sporty exterior design cues, including sculpted aluminum power side vents, distinctive mesh grille, larger chrome-finished tailpipes, polished 20-inch 'Callisto' alloy sports wheels, and unique Black Cherry or new Winter Gold exterior paint
Ultimate luxury interior combines a modern, sporty feel with a full range of the latest technology - intelligently applied
Soft-grained leather, satin-finished black walnut veneer, Alcantara head-lining, Alcantara pillars and sun-visors, aluminum J-gate surround, individual power-adjusted rear seats separated by large centre console, powered glass sunroof, and four-zone air conditioning
Bluetooth mobile telephone connectivity, DVD system with twin rear display screens, 400 watt Alpine surround-sound audio system with Dolby Prologic II sound processing, seven amplified channels, and substantially upgraded speaker system - a 2x40 watts increase in output over the Alpine Premium Sound system available on other XJ Jaguars.
Laminated side glass for an even quieter cabin, with added security benefit.
All the engineering strengths, performance, safety, economy and dynamic brilliance of the XJ Long Wheelbase. Advanced aluminum monocoque construction for maximum rigidity with minimum weight - the basis for a great driver's car
400bhp (SAE) supercharged V8 power and six-speed ZF automatic transmission, for sporty performance with hushed refinement
NEW LOOKS, TOTALLY NEW CHARACTER
'The Super V8 Portfolio is the XJ with more attitude. All the elegant proportions and contemporary detail are there, but overlaid with a totally different sporty character - a new assertiveness and muscle-tone that underline the XJ's dynamic brilliance and build on its innovative engineering.'
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars
The Super V8 Portfolio's most obvious feature is its dramatically different appearance. The whole impression is of a car that sits lower and wider and is much more overtly sporty than the standard XJ. The prominent, sculpted aluminum power vents in its front wings immediately set the Super V8 Portfolio apart from any other XJ. As do the 20-inch 'Callisto' alloy wheels featuring the same highly-polished five-spoke design as the 21-inch wheels of the Concept Eight but promising better everyday durability and ride comfort for the production car.
Like the Concept Eight wheels the Callisto rims have slim, elegantly curved spokes, and like the Concept Eight they feature the classic Jaguar script centre badge style - combining heritage with an ultra-modern spin. And, like all Jaguar's highest performance models, the Super V8 Portfolio uses a classically simple mesh grille, flanked in this case by four headlights above a deep front air intake incorporating additional driving lights.
At the rear of the car, the Super V8 Portfolio is further distinguished from other XJ models by large, polished twin exhaust finishers, and by 'Super V8 Portfolio' badging - 'Super V8' on the left-hand side of the boot lid and 'Portfolio' on the right-hand side.
Where the Concept Eight study used a full-length fixed glass roof panel, the Super V8 Portfolio has a more conventional roof with electrically powered tinted glass sunroof - allowing the Super V8 Portfolio to retain the side-curtain airbags, deleted from the Concept Eight, and Jaguar's unique, ultrasonic-sensing, Adaptive Restraints Technology System (A.R.T.S.).
The final, unique and dramatic exterior design cue - again taken from the Concept Eight - is the Super V8 Portfolio's standard color: metallic Black Cherry, a combination of a rich cherry and deep black which shows subtle variations of both colors under changing light conditions. The new Winter Gold metallic finish also similarly enhances the Super V8 Portfolio's muscular silhouette.
THE INSIDE STORY - ALL CHANGE
'The new XJ Long Wheelbase gives our customers truly excellent interior space in a full-size luxury package. Now, the Super V8 Portfolio adds yet another dimension to the XJ range.'
Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director, Jaguar Cars
As with the exterior, the Super V8 Portfolio's interior treatment is even more contemporary and sporty, overlaying familiar XJ values of comfort and luxury with a modern spin, making extensive but carefully considered use of intelligent technology to serve both driver and passengers.
The Super V8 Portfolio delivers space and luxury with an added level of sportiness and modern design cues. Like any XJ Long Wheelbase it has front and rear leg and headroom comparable with the best in class, and it offers its own rear seat configuration, with two deep individual seats separated by a large, multi-functional center console. Each rear seat is individually power adjustable, with its own controls in the rear console, which also incorporates a range of roomy storage spaces. For maximum comfort, the rear of the center console also incorporates the individual controls for the rear-seat passengers' part of the four-zone climate control system.
All four seats are upholstered in a unique, soft-grained, ruched, Conker colored leather, toning with the Conker color of the deep carpets and lambswool rugs. The headlining, visors and all the internal pillars from the tops of the doors up are finished in Alcantara, and the polished aluminum sill finishers each carry the 'Portfolio' logo. There is an electrically operated rear sunblind and manually operated rear-door sunblinds.
As is traditional, the Super V8 Portfolio uses wood trim across the dashboard and for the door cappings, produced with typical Jaguar quality and craftsmanship but with a distinctive modern twist - an elegant American black walnut veneer with a soft satin finish very much like some of the contemporary designer furniture that inspired it. This contrasts subtly with the Conker color of the leather, carpets and general trim, and is given a sportier attitude by touches such as the aluminum J-gate gearshift surround and the gearshift-knob also finished in Conker-colored leather.
The audio system has an impressive specification compared with any other car. Produced for the Super V8 Portfolio by Alpine it is substantially upgraded from the high-level systems already offered in the XJ Long Wheelbase. It has Dolby Pro-Logic II sound processing, with seven amplified channels plus a sub-woofer. The latest amplifier and speaker technologies take sound reproduction quality and overall output to new heights. There are new, upgraded door speakers, a unique 'centre-fill' speaker in the front instrument panel, two additional surround speakers mounted in the rear parcel shelf, and an additional amplifier for the front mid-bass range, which gives a 2x40-watt power increase over the standard Premium ICE system found in the Super V8.
In addition, the Super V8 Portfolio has a DVD-based entertainment system for the rear-seat passengers, with individual display screens in the back of each front-seat headrest. For ultimate convenience, the Super V8 Portfolio also includes Bluetooth wireless telephone connectivity, offering a high degree of integration with a variety of cell phone models - 10 phones from three manufacturers, at press time - controllable from the steering wheel, navigation touch-screen, and an available voice-activation module.
DYNAMIC BRILLIANCE - THE PART THAT DOESN'T CHANGE
'The Super V8 Portfolio offers Jaguar's expected combination of style, space and dynamic sporting luxury. It's got all the essential XJ character but with added contemporary highlights - I guess you could sum it up as one absolutely sophisticated car for today's discerning individual!'
Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director, Jaguar Cars
While the Super V8 Portfolio changes dramatically in styling, interior design and equipment detail from the XJ Long Wheelbase, what doesn't change is the outstanding technical specification. And that includes everything from the XJ's industry-leading aluminum monocoque construction to its powerful and supremely refined supercharged V8 powertrain.
Unlike other aluminum-bodied cars, the XJ family, including the Super V8 Portfolio, uses full stressed-skin monocoque construction. The complete body structure, including all the outer panels, is manufactured from aluminum. As well as sheet material, it uses components produced by the latest forming, casting, extrusion and machining processes, including some magnesium components in specific areas. And it uses very advanced assembly techniques adopted from the aerospace industry.
With that starting point, the XJ sedan, in either wheelbase option, is around 200kg lighter than the equivalent model from the previous, steel-shelled generation. The XJ is by far the lightest car in the premium large saloon segment, and offers consequently huge benefits in performance, safety, economy and emissions performance. This type of construction also offers exceptional corrosion resistance, enhanced repairability following minor impacts, and the associated benefits in lower insurance ratings that that brings.
In one area, the Super V8 Portfolio actually exceeds the Concept Eight's specification, with a power output of 400bhp (SAE) compared to the design study's 390bhp (SAE). In the Super V8 Portfolio, that comes from Jaguar's now familiar and highly regarded supercharged 4.2-litre V8 engine, which also has a hugely flexible 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 peak torque point.
This excellent engine is matched by the superb six-speed automatic transmission already used in the XJ Long Wheelbase. Like the engine, it is notably light and compact and features 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.
The Super V8 Portfolio retains all the XJ Long Wheelbase's agile driving dynamics and class-leading ride-comfort. Both front and rear suspension use what are essentially double wishbone layouts, with lightweight alloy components to reduce unsprung weight, to the benefit of both comfort and control. Like other XJ Long Wheelbase models, the Super V8 Portfolio uses air suspension, and Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) system. That electronic control system continuously adjusts the XJ's damping characteristics, from firm to soft in milliseconds, to suit the driving conditions, optimizing both ride and handling.
The Super V8 Portfolio uses the supercharged XJ Long Wheelbase's high performance brake system that features four-channel ABS anti-lock brakes and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) are also standard.
Like other XJs, the Super V8 Portfolio features Jaguar's industry leading 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 over front and rear doors, and LATCH rear child-seat attachment points.
From XJ Long Wheelbase to Concept Eight to Super V8 Portfolio, the underlying superb technical sophistication and refined character of the XJ range remains.
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