Friday, September 24, 2010

Amazing New Jaguar now in Namibia

Jaguar XJ

When a major manufacturer reaches its 75th anniversary while sporting an impressive record of seven wins in the world’s toughest sports car race – the Le Mans 24 hour – the scene is set for a battle royale at the upper end of the motoring market.

The historic performance roots of the latest Jaguar XJ, an ultra-luxurious N$1.1million 5-litre V8, go back to the sensational D-Type which took the honours at Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and also in 1957.

Paradoxically, when dealing with top business people (Jaguar’s target market) the emphasis will fall on the bespoke build quality, rather than the boy-racer image which forms such a vital part of the Jaguar legacy. Sadly, but understandably from a pedestrian safety point of view, the iconic Jaguar emblem on the bonnet is no longer on display.

The all-new XJ’s beauty is much more than skin-deep: it is constructed using Jaguar’s aerospace-inspired aluminium body technology, which makes the XJ lighter than its rivals by at least 150kg. These technologies – now developed into an even more impressive new generation of the XJ – significantly improve performance, handling and economy, while delivering increased strength, refinement and safety.
Proven Jaguar dynamic technologies are taken to new levels in the all-new XJ. Features such as air suspension, adaptive dynamics (continuously variable damping), active differential control and quick-ratio power steering deliver the blend of responsive, dynamic handling and refined, supple ride expected from a Jaguar.

It is a typical luxury British interior in the sense that the designers have disregarded the harsh, dark and angular design usually found in top-of-the-range German cars in this category. The Jaguar XJ’s interior looks British with discreet wood veneer trim and supple, carefully chosen, leather. Even the rich aroma exudes an image of exclusive British gentlemen’s clubs.

The test drive confirmed the impression that Jaguar, now owned by the giant Tata industrial conglomerate, has become a major player in the market segment where customers demand the best and do not mind paying for the privilege of ownership. Despite its imposing size and mass, the XJ is easy to park, outperforms most so-called sports cars when it accelerates, yet is still civilised enough for official functions and comfortable long-distance touring. Acceleration is kick-in-the-back stuff and the indicated 250 km/h came up rather quickly.

The Jaguar XJ is that rare combination of sporty luxury and pride of ownership that will see sales figures take off. The only problem, given the car’s stature, will supply be able to meet demand? Now that the brand is in Namibia, the scene is set for a battle royale with its million dollar-plus rivals – notably the Audi A8, which features Quattro all wheel-drive, the Mercedes-Benz S500 auto, and the Lexus LS460, as well as BMWs 7-Series.

source: economist