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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Jaguar XJL

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Geoff Maxted
September 14, 2013

Jaguar XJL Jaguar XJL Jaguar XJL
Have you ever felt like just taking off and heading towards the setting sun? Well, if you do then I commend to you the Jaguar XJL Supersport, the supercharged V8 petrol version of the British firm’s biggest car.

At its beating heart is the superb JLR 5.0L V8 petrol engine. This is a slightly detuned version (not so you’d notice) of the engine that drives the XKR and XFR sports models and in this car it is linked to a smooth eight-speed ZF auto ‘box.

This is the car as luxury transport, but it’s no slouch. A touch of the throttle brings electrifying pace and frankly demands that the driver flicks through the paddles rather than leaving the gearbox in boring old D mode. It really is quite amazing that this very big car - and in long wheelbase form it really is big - can be hustled along like something smaller and more nimble, presumably because of its weight-saving aluminium construction. Whilst all the time, passengers are cosseted in a roomy, comfortable and very quiet interior. Handling is amazing. The adaptive suspension ensures the chassis feels taut and controlled while remaining smooth and composed at speed. The Supersport is the complete package.

DriveWrite’s personal preference is for proper dials rather than the round digital readouts behind the steering wheel. There’s a tiny, jewel-like clock in the centre of the dash. What a shame that the main dials don’t match it. Most buyers probably won’t be so finicky. Everything a discerning driver would expect is there. The touchscreen navigation is particularly clear and informative and the people environment just as you’d want it. The seats are superb and multi-adjustable and there is legroom to spare for all.

This car prices in at around the same as the major opposition (that is to say a little below the £100k figure) from the big beast offerings of BMW, Mercedes and Audi. It even turned this writer’s attention away from his beloved and oft-desired Panamera. Cars of this nature are never going to be truly green but the company claims 24mpg and under 300g/km of the nasty stuff, which is not so bad.

Parking in tight spaces will always be a problem although all the expected aids are available but, frankly, this is not really an issue. The Jaguar XJL isn’t a city car; it is a car for the great open highways of the world. As comfortable on a challenging country road as it is on the motorway this is your choice when you need to get away from it all. Whole continents could be crossed as you discuss the children’s future. Just one word of warning - leave the ESP on. You’ll have to trust me on this one.

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