Jaguar’s Big, Bold and Beautiful XJ Saloon is More than the Sum of its Parts

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (1)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (2)XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (3)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (4)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (5)XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (6)

 

Jaguar started life as the Swallow Sidecar Company, and was known as SS. SS became rather unpopular during the late 30’s for obvious reasons, so the name Jaguar was adopted and soon became synonymous with British motoring luxury. The XJ is the official car of the British royal family, and the British PM so, it is dead posh.

The iconic XJ nameplate was launched in 1968, but Jaguar has used XJ or X as internal project numbering since the beginning. The current Saloon is the X351. The 1968 XJ was the last to have had Sir William Lyons input, and I’m sure the company founder would be very happy with the 2016 version.

The current model was launched in 2009 and has had several updates since. Jaguar keeps models around for about 7 to 8 years so the current XJ is in her twilight years.

Under laudable head designer Ian Callum, 20 designers brought the XJ to life. The exterior “theme” was penned by Adam Hatton. He drew the design using good old-fashioned pen and ink, starting with the wheels to “set the design”. He wanted a “homage to classic jaguar with 21st century appeal”. For too long Jaguar looked like it belonged to a different era, and attractive as that was, failed to get the new buyers in.

So the new era started with the XF sedan, then the XJ.

The X351 is all aluminium. Stamping aluminium is not like working with nasty old steel. Making sharp corners and crisp lines almost impossible, so you’ll notice a gentle edge treatment giving the XJ a hand crafted look. The bends and bumps that give the panel strength also allow a certain amount of spring. Adam Hatton used this to his advantage to design a slippery but strong coupe shape. It allows the air to slide along the surface of the car, then be flicked off at the “separation point” by an inbuilt lip on the boot lid. There is a corresponding lip under the grille at the front to perfectly balance it. Jaguar says keeps the XJ perfectly balanced at cruising speed because it uses the reverse plane-wing principle to keep it glued to the road. The underside of the car is designed to be as smooth as Michael Bublé.

There was much riding on the lithe design of the X351. After a string of owners and decades of decline, Jaguar was in deep financial strife, so it was sold by Ford for a peppercorn  to Indian car giant Tata. Tata, of course, had the debt to deal with, but was not going to cheap-out on the new flagship.

No expense was spared in ensuring each panel is perfectly stamped then hand inspected. They are hand adjusted by  using gauges lined up by eye. It’s the kind of craftsmanship robots alone can’t match. Luckily, XJ has the kind of body you can’t help but caress..

The designers were able to sit inside a virtual car using the Automotive 3D Cave, which was the most advanced in the world at the time, and probably still is. They can touch the switches and look at the dials, then stand outside the car and spin it through all 3 axis then move through any of the mechanical parts.

Such care is taken during manufacture that hard plastic covers are put on the outside panels to prevent scratches, and the 2.7km wiring loom is kept under heat lamps so it is pliable during installation.

The engine blocks come from the best manufacturers available and are assembled onsite at the Castle Bromwich plant. Once mated to the 8 speed auto, the “marriage” takes place where 36 bolts are used to fasten the body and the drivetrain.

Rather amusingly the XJ is considered a “full sized” saloon.

Just for giggles here is the XJ/XJ-L (long wheelbase) compared to Australia’s hefty Holden, the Caprice. Caprice looks big because it is big, but the standard XJ is a mere 30mm shorter with a wheelbase that’s 23mm longer. That means the room is in the cabin where you want it. The XJ-L wheelbase is almost 150mm longer than Caprice, with the overall length 95mm longer. So, even the “short “XJ is Caprice size.

 

XJ

XJ long wheelbase

Holden Caprice

length

5,130

5,255

5160

Width (excl mirros)

1,899

1,899

1898

wheelbase

3,032

3,157

3009

height

1,460

1,460

1470

wieght

1,765

 

1,891

The XJ is almost 130kgs lighter than a Caprice because it is all-aluminium, despite having electric motors throughout, including the door locks and boot lid. Aluminium is much lighter than steel while being much stronger. The body is made using 3,000 rivets and 150 metres of adhesive in a process called rivet bonding. This is the same process used in the aerospace industry. Aluminium has 1/3 of the density of steel with a weight equal to12,000 worth of recycled drink cans in every XJ. At the end of its life, 85% of the car can be recycled.

The last makeover brought stunning new LED headlamps. There is no high beam as such. The switch merely causes the LEDs to drop their focus so as not to blind the oncoming drivers. The rear lights adopted an L shaped swish instead of the 3 claw-like scratches previously seen at night. The evening display is glorious.

The is smart entry and start, which means the audio system can be started by pushing the “on” switch. You don’t need to press the engine-start button. The cleverness continues with the “virtual dash” which is an IT Geek way of saying “an LCD screen instead of traditional dials”. The centre stack has the slick infotainment system with its touch screen display.

Most of it is intuitive and makes navigating the menus fun. The Satnav, while mostly efficient, still wants you to input the address by suburb, then street, then number. This can be a pain if you haven’t got the suburb quite right. You need to google the address to see what other possibilities there are.

The sound from the high end system in our XJ R-sport is sublime. There are a choice of surround modes, and a subwoofer that will make the air in your lungs vibrate.

The cabin feels uber luxurious. The leather is butter-soft and the overhead lining feels like velvet, but not in that tacky 70’s way. The front seats have electric adjustment. Even the headrests go up and down with the touch a button. Front and back seats are heated and cooled and comes complete with 4 zone climate control. You can set the temperature of your very own set of vents. There are storage bins everywhere and the rear armrest has little cubby holes for things you don’t want burglars to find. Of course there are rear controls for the air conditioning with video controls in some models.

Overhead, the touch control cabin lights will keep the little kid in all of us happy for hours.

The supercharged 3.0L V6 puts out 250kw/450Nm and does the sprint to 100 in 5.9 seconds. The supercharged V8 only manages to do it 1.1 seconds faster.

There are various drive modes, and the rotary gear selector has a “sports” setting, but frankly why bother. In fact, you’re not even going to use the steering wheel paddles because the car does a great job of anticipating the needs of the average driver.

The real magic starts when you engage drive and begin to move. Considering the 20” wheels, the ride is incredibly smooth. In fact, the ride is smooth, period. Jaguar came late to the “electric power steering” party, but come they did, so you now have semi-automated parking too. Since the power is only supplied when the driver turns the wheel, the maker claims a 3% power saving because the belt isn’t continually draining the engine. I dare them to try and prove it.

Despite her ample bosom, the XJ is a doddle around town. She really doesn’t feel anywhere near her size. Between the rear cameras and the sensors, you’re never out of your depth, and if you decide to park yourself, the side mirrors dip to make sure you don’t hit the gutter.

In an otherwise perfect car, the wires that heat the windscreen are a trifle annoying especially once the glass is a bit dirty. Also, the centre arm rest can get in the way of really spirited cornering. We gave the city, the highway, and the mountain passes a thorough workout, and there is no part of the experience that isn’t sheer magic.

You’d expect a big car to be a handful in the city, but it isn’t. You waft to Coles, then you waft to dinner, then you waft to the movies. On the highway, again, you waft, but in a super-sporty kind of way. That’s the true marvel of a Jag XJ, it always feels super light. When I say light, I mean small city-car kind of light. I’ve commented many times on how heavy some rides feel. The steering, the body, the suspension all feel a bit cumbersome and ungainly. It’s the combination of light precise steering, fast engine response, extra-rigid body that allow the suspension to do its job far better than something this size has any right to.

I set her an impossible task. I pushed the old girl through the Royal National Park and Macquarie just like I did the F-Type a few months earlier. The response was stunning. It just wouldn’t let go. It did the job with the aplomb of a cheeky convertible. Country roads can be a challenge but the Jag barely blinked at the pot holes and wild undulations. Out the back of Bowral, home of “The Don”, the roads feel like they were made to shake cocktails. The handling begs you go faster, yet she remains unflappable. I’ve driven many XJ’s and loved them all. Even the awful XJ40 had some redeeming features, but the X351 is perfection, even as her time comes to an end.

Conclusion:

Sometimes, a car is just a tool to extend our capacity, and is merely way to get from one place to another. The Jaguar XJ is more than that. It has a sense of arrival, and with it, a sense of occasion and and success. There were many admiring comments, and anyone who rode in it fell in love with it. On one occasion, the rear seat passenger was very put out that I hadn’t got the model with extra legroom. After I pointed out that the long wheelbase version also has personal video screens, and pull out tray tables, the 10-year-old involved got into a right huff. I’ve never seen such pouting! For the record, the big Jag was 100% Ollie-Approved.

Then we turn to the handling. In moves that would make Jeeves want to decapitate you with a cake slice, the XJ excelled. She was thrown into tighter and tighter corners and changed direction without hesitation or protest. One can only imagine what a beast the supercharged V8 powered XJ-R is. Mind you, how much better than perfect can it be?

Each time I tucked her into her cosy car park, I noticed that she only just fits into the average sized spot. Luckily the touch-opener for the boot is on the driver’s side of the rear, so you can go quite close to a wall and still get to your things from the side. The closing button on the boot lid is also on the driver’s side. Very thoughtful indeed. I got into the habit of pressing the button on the dash board so that when I got around to the back, the boot was open to welcome me.

The fuel consumption is where you’ll expect me to deliver the death blow, but not a bit of it. The figures are not too different from the maker’s claims. We averaged at just over 10.5L/100km for our combined city/highway runs which is amazing considering the sporty sections were, shall we say, lively.

Although she tempts you to sink the boot in, you find yourself wanting to tune the DAB to “Buddha” and chill. The XJ is the one and only car ever that has made me feel cool and calm in Sydney traffic. In fact, bumper to bumper was a pleasure.

We had the mid-range short wheelbase model, so there was no Blind Spot, Cross Rear Traffic alert, radar cruise control with queue assist, and lane departure? Forget it. That’s all an option on this model. For near on $250,000 (on-road) I’d have liked those thrown in. You can get them standard in a 40 grand Kia for goodness sake.

You can opt out of the heated windscreen and if you live in Australia, ice is a rare thing. Why pay for something you don’t need? I’d ditch the steering wheel heater too. The button was right behind the phone buttons on the left hand side of the wheel. My hands often got unexpectedly hot and not in a good way. It reminds me of a Peugeot with a poorly placed massage button. You sat on it every time you got into the passenger’s side front seat. After a while your bum started to feel like a pair of overripe avocados.

There are thoughtful touches of design for the sake of beauty and convenience. All doors have soft close, so gently push the door to the first click, and a little motor closes it and secures the lock. The speedo and tacho only show the area directly around the current speed/revs, and there is a digital speedo if you’d prefer it.

Apart from the missing goodies, there is nothing I would change. The XJ is magnificent and impressive as it is luxurious and comfortable.

Would I buy one? Yes, and I’d sell my mother to do it. But, I’d be happy to sell her regardless!

 

ENGINE

MAX POWER (kW)

MAX TORQUE (NM)

MAX SPEED (KPH)

0-100KPH (SECS)

FUEL ECON (L/100KM)

WEIGHT (KGS)

3.0L V6 Supercharged Petrol

250 @ 6500rpm

450 @ 3500-4000rpm

250 (limited)

5.9

9.1

1,775

PRICE AS TESTED

$ 232 895

PLUS ONROADS

Understated Insignia deserves to be seen and heard

Insignia VXR performance sedan GAYCARBOYS (3)

 

Insignia VXR performance sedan GAYCARBOYS (1)Insignia VXR performance sedan GAYCARBOYS (2)

Insignia VXR performance sedan GAYCARBOYS (4)Insignia VXR performance sedan GAYCARBOYS (5)

Insignia VXR performance sedan GAYCARBOYS (6)

 

Insignia, late of Opel fame, now a Holden

You may all remember the delectable Insignia from her brief 12-month stint as part of the ill-fated Opel nameplate. The classy Euro brand is GM’s continental presence, like Holden GM’s presence in Australia. Both Holden and Opel are GM owned companies. I stress this after reading some viewer comments on reviews over the years. Our commenters appear confused as to who makes what, and what that means to Australia, so let’s dispel a few loony ferfies. All 3 Australian car makers are foreign owned. Ford and Toyota always have been, and Holden was bought by General Motors in the 30’s so enough of this sentimental nonsense. It is incredibly sad that Australia will import all cars by the end of next year, but we have been importing all but a few models for decades. That’s not a reason not to buy. Most Australian manufacturing has been lost to countries where the minimum wage is cents in our dollar, or where robots do almost all of the work. But enough about that, let’s talk about Insignia.

Holden is currently in 4th place in the sales race with 29,229 units finding homes so far this year. This represents 7.8% of the market.

The Epsilon II platform is an extended version of the Epsilon which started life in 2002. Holden’s dreary Malibu is on the same platform as spirited Insignia, and sold a miserable 98 last month and only 377 this year. That sounds bad enough, but Insignia sold just 31 last month and 117 for the year so far. To put it in perspective, Toyota’s 4cyl Camry sold 1,511 and was 1st in that segment. I can only put this down to a lack of advertising support for Insignia, because a test drive would sell the VXR on looks alone. It is streets ahead of Camry in every way measureable.

The exterior is drop-dead gorgeous. It has the same edgy elegance as the last SAAB 9-5, which was also built on the Epsilon II platform.

Insignia was sold previously as an Opel Insignia from 2012, but in 2013 Opel withdrew from the market. After 2 years GM reintroduced Insignia under Australia’s Holden brand, something they should have done in the first instance.

This model is nearing the end of its life and us due for replacement any tick of the clock. On a recent trip to Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground, we were told that the good stuff had been hidden away. Perhaps the new Insignia was tucked snuggly inside a shed? The new Insignia is rumoured to be the replacement for the Commodore after local manufacturing shuts down next year. No one knows whether or not the Commodore name plate will continue, but it has been used for 40 years after replacing the much-loved Kingswood in the late 70’s. If all this is true, one wonders why Holden would bring in Insignia so close to being the new Commodore. The smaller sister, Astra, is also at the end of its model life so watch this space.

The interior is delicious despite its age. It feels crisp, yet modern and high-end. Only the sporty VXR model is sold here so there are a couple of sexy Recaro seats up front. The driver has 2 memory slots for the power adjustments as well as a manually extendable front bolster. This gives longer legged drivers additional support and makes all the difference to a longer trip. It feels rather like the seat in business class, so the only thing missing is a glass of champers.

You get Blind Spot Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Following Distance Indicator with Autonomous Emergency Braking, as well as a fistful of other useful gizmos. The car looks along the road in front and warns the driver of obstacles like cars and trucks. If the driver does nothing, Insignia will through out on the anchors. It may not always avoid a crash, but it should make the incident a bit less lethal. The warning bings, bongs and flashing lights are a distraction at first, but after a week or two you find yourself depending on them. These, and other driver aids, are never meant to replace vigilance in the front seats.

The buttons on the dash feel a bit random in their layout. I personally loathe touch controls that aren’t on an LCD, so the temperature controls are frustrating beyond belief. There is no feedback and they aren’t as sensitive as they could be. Many functions are in the infotainment menu system, but despite the number of buttons still on the dash, there are no direct selects for the radio stations. You can access them via the steering wheel buttons but auxiliary controls are now so complex it is easier to use the original knobs and buttons.

One thing that defies explanation is the easy access driver’s seat. It slides back to let you get out of the car easily, great, it’s brilliant. However, the second you open the door to get in, it slides forward to the preprogrammed spot. Why couldn’t it wait a minute for you to get your bum between it and the steering wheel? That is what it’s for after all.

The drive is brilliant.

The AWD system, along with a bunch of electronics, pushes power from one end to the other, applies brakes, and tweaks engine power all to keep the occupants safe. This is Holden’s first AWD sedan, if you don’t count the 12-month stint as an Opel.

The ride is sensational considering the huge 20” wheels, but it tends to being a bit soft under heavy corning. There is an adjustable ride/steering/performance setting, but even under the VXR setting, it feels more sophisticated saloon than rampant race car. Despite a little body roll, the handling is agile and stays glued to the road.

The 2.8L turbo V6 petrol engine is built in Australia so one assumes we won’t have that after next year either. It puts out a decent 239kw/435Nm to the road through an excellent 6 speed auto via the intelligent AWD system with limited slip differential. There are and Brembo brakes, and the very strangely named HiPerStrut front end designed to give the driver increased control. Although this Insignia was released in 2008 overseas, it has been updated to keep it current.

When reversing, there is a camera to stop you from mowing down errant children, and cross traffic alert to warn you when a tradie’s ute is barreling down on you at warp 5 in the Bunnings carpark.

Sinking the boot in elicits a silky Michael Bublé tone overlaying the urgency of a rocket launch. It’s not neck snapping by any means, but it is definitely quick.

Conclusion:

I like Insignia very much. It has the look and feel of a quality European brand. It handles well and sounds divine. All the mod cons are present and accounted for. Even though a new model will be along any time, it represents good buying. Features like adaptive cruise control and automatic high beam would make road trips a worry-free experience. In traffic the Cruise control will bring the vehicle to a complete stop where others will cut out under 35kph.

It’s a shame the sales don’t reflect what an excellent vehicle this is.

Would I buy one? Yes, despite the steep drive-away price of $57,083

Price drive-away: $57.083

Engine: 2.8 turbo V6 petro, 6.3 0-100, 10.9L/100km

Insignia VXR’s impressive list of safety features includes:

 Auto headlamps

 Daytime running lamps (front and rear)

 Rear Cross Traffic, Side Blind Zone and Forward Collision Alert

 Lane departure warning

 Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

 Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

 Traction Control System (TCS)

 Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist

 Cornering Brake Control

 Hill start assist

 6 airbags (dual front, side and curtain)

 Break away brake pedal

 ISOFIX in three rear seating positions (max. two simultaneous)

 Front and rear parking sensors

 Tyre pressure monitoring system

 Driver set Speed Limiter

 Trailer Sway Control

INFOTAINMENT

Insignia VXR features Holden’s Next Generation MyLink Infotainment system as standard. Features include:

 8-inch colour touch screen

 AM/FM/DAB+ radio with RDS display

 Audio and phone streaming via Bluetooth (compatible devices)

 Voice recognition

 Phone integration

 Phone book support

 Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

 Single CD player with MP3 capability

 Universal hands free with Bluetooth

Jaguar XE Sport: Beauty, Brains and Brawn to match its Speed, Comfort and Coziness

 

  jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (10) 

image114936_bimage127435_b

image127619_b

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (6)jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (9)image127613_b

Yes yes yes oh YES: stunning looks, classy cabin, stunning V6

Oh dear me no: slow Infotainment interface, long expensive options list, dual-level buttons on doors

The new Jaguar range has a certain familiarity for anyone who is a Jaguar driver of old. It is the very definition of aristocratic dignity. It is luxury and speed, and a sense of handmade elegance in an era mass-produced mediocrity.

Throughout Jaguar’s long history, there has never been more than a few models available at any one time. The last time Jaguar had a compact saloon, it was the X-Type, and it to hit the mark being killed off after a single generation. The Americans thought a smaller version of the XJ Saloon would appeal to younger buyers especially with its AWD capability. But it didn’t, and buyers stayed away from it in droves. The X-Type was a half-decent car but it shared too much of its DNA with Ford’s pleb models. Buyers did not want to pay a premium for a Jaguar which was 20% Mondeo. The shape was too old and the interior completely uninspiring. The S-Type had the same problem. The tilt at “retro” utterly failed to connect with buyers.

Jaguar was being left behind and needed something to take on BMW’s 3 series, Merc’s C Class, and Audi’s A6. Following the remarkable success of the XF and XJ, jaguar launched the XE to take up that challenge.

2017 Jaguar XE infotainment upgrade gaycarboys

Outside:

The XE continues the language started with the XF sedan. The XF was almost single-handedly responsible for turning Jaguar’s battered Brigantine away the jagged rocks. It was a last chance which would have seen the big cat consigned to the leather-bond books of history if it failed again. Buyers loved the XF and the JX which followed.

In many ways the XE looks and feels like a smaller version of the luxurious XF.

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys small (3)jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (8)

Above left: Growler, Above right: Leaper

The grille has the “Growler” (I just love saying “growler”) Jaguar emblem with the “Leaper” on the boot. The side vents have shades of 30’s supercharged race cars about them and the intricate grille pattern mimics the wire grilles of Jags past and present. Jaguar is written everywhere you look so you never forget what you’re driving, as if you would.

 

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (7)jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys small (1)

The proportions are purrrfect (sorry I couldn’t help myself) with a lovely long bonnet, graceful sloping roof, and short muscular rump with a high built-in spoiler. The LED tail lights have a horizontal line punctuated by a downward sweeping arc reminiscent of the F-Type coupe and convertible. The headlights and grille repeat the XF front end with a “sports grille” and long low streak of white LEDs as daytime running lights.

I’ve always thought a Jaguar, any Jaguar (except for an JX40 which just makes me feel sad), makes a driveway look classy.

Most impressive is the quality of the materials. Whilst all brands have upped the manufacturing benchmark over the last decade or so, the injection of funds from TATA, JRL’s parent company, has allowed vast improvements in both design and execution.

The body kit on the S includes a front and rear diffuser, flared side skirts, and for a bit of extra drama, an S badge. It’s similarly coloured to an R badge and adds a touch of aggressive to the otherwise-chic profile. The base models can look a bit plain without a bit of a personal touch, so I’d like to see more chrome. There is always room for more chrome.

Inside:

Entry level usually means an awful povvo model devoid of any trinkets and gizmos but not a Jaguar. Our 3.0L supercharged V6 model had bells and whistles, including:

leather seats, the body kit, 19” wheels. The test car was spec’d up with a few extra goodies:

Carbon Fibre Veneer- $2,150

Taurus sports leather perforation- $1900

Sliding Panoramic Roof- $1800

Heated/cooled frt and heated Rr seats- $1770

Advanced Parking Assist Pack (360 Park Distance Control, Perpendicular Parking System) – $1580

Powered Tailgate/Bootlid Opening- $850

Interior Mood Lighting- 10 colours- $540

DAB Radio- $540

Heated Steering Wheel- $310

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (3)I could probably do without these options but it’s a bit cheeky charging $1580 for automated parking when it comes standard in a 30 grand Commodore ute!

The cabin ambience is slightly less Ye Olde Jaguar than I’m used to. It’s all modern and flashy. The piano black centre console houses my favourite feature, the pop-up automatic gear selector. The rest of the surfaces are a mix of man-made and natural materials. Stitched leather on the dash, seats and doors is also a combination of natural and manmade material. The easy access driver’s seat lowers when the door opens and the ignition is off. It’s another thoughtful inclusion to make an owners life a little easier.

The doors have a slightly strange double level of buttons, the lower on the armrest for seats memory and door locks, and the upper for window controls. While an owner would get used to this, on a short drive it is incredibly annoying. Every time you reach for the window button, nothing happens because the window button isn’t where you’d think it should be. It’s only a small hitch in an otherwise faultlessly executed interior.

The seats are firm with plenty of adjustment but with 4 beefy lads on board, those in the poor seats in the back were a little snug. The sloping roof looks fab on the outside but makes rear headroom a challenge.

Everything screams “quality, quality, quality” and just sitting in the XE feels special.

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (2)

The Drive:

The engine is a sweet 3.0L supercharged V6 Limited to a rather unnecessary 250kph. It puts out an ample 250kw/450Nm which propels the 1,665kg sports saloon to 100kph in 5.1 seconds. Only recently this was “super car” territory. If you drive with care, Jaguar says you’ll get 8.1 L/100k which is remarkable in a performance machine. My old SAAB 9000 had a 2.3 4 pot and did the 0-100 in 13 seconds. The poor old girl never managed better than 13L/100k combined. I mention this just to shine a bit of perspective on how far we have come in only a few decades. Of course similarly equipped Audis, BMWs and Mercs get similar fuel figures to the XE, and they cost similar bucks so the question is one of taste rather than numbers.

Around town, the XE has perfect manners. It would be easy to creep over the speed limit so there is a jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys small (2) digital speedo as well as the more familiar dial. Both the Speed Limiter and Cruise Control are handy, but moments of inattention will still earn you a ping. Unlike the F-Type which has the digital speedo high up in the centre between the tacho and speedo dials, the XE has it hidden right at the bottom. Jaguar tells me this is dependent on the model-year as it is changed between the 2015 and 2016 years.

The ride feels luxuriously soft with all but the roughest surfaces soaked up with regal alacrity. The 8 speed auto changes up as quickly as possible for economy, but is always ready to drop a cog or 3 for a quick sprint. The cabin stays fairly quiet unless the V6 is stomped on.

The camera can be activated any time and has multi views which can be selected as needed. You can always use the automated parking option if you’re feeling a bit off colour, but unless it’s particularly tight, a human can do park faster. The system will take far greater liberty with proximity than I ever would, so it will sneak into places with only a few slim centimetres to spare.

The XE is sedate and relaxing in normal mode, but things liven up no end by putting both driving mode and transmission into the SPORT settings. The throttle response makes the engine roar

. The transmission holds the gears longer to keep the revs up during cornering and under hard acceleration. The torque is positively mountainous, and a gentle application of it out of a corner, feels like being launched into orbit on a Titan.

Everything feels sharp and on edge. The transmission changes quickly but is not quite as smooth as in normal mode.

Conclusion:

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (4)jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (5)

It isn’t easy to describe the feeling of the power, nor why the XE feels both modern, and old-world-Jag at the same time. The XE has come along at just the right time. There are plenty of little touches that are there just because. The start button that flashes in time with a heartbeat, the driver’s seat which slides down and back a little for easy exit, and of course the rotary gear selector that rises majestically after the start button is pushed, are all “just because”.

The engine and transmission are as smooth as a Michael Bublé ballad and the ride is gentle and soothing, but the XE is a car of two personalities. With the drive modes changed, the experience takes on an aggressive urgency you expect from a super car. Remember, it only takes 5.1 seconds to get to 100 kph, and you can toss the “S” model into corners with all the zest you can muster.

Jaguar’s XE feels special. People tend to notice but a subtle kind of way. As beautiful as the exterior is, it doesn’t scream look at me.

The competition is similarly priced with similar performance but only Jaguar is made in England. It is as British as Buck House and as solid as the Bank of England. Jaguars should be smooth and powerful with a feel of luxury and always provide an impression that it’s loving owner has arrived.

Would I buy one? Yes, I loved it. Would I feel that way about the diesel or a less powerful model?

jaguar 2016 XE gaycarboys large (1) 

ENGINE

MAX POWER (kW)

MAX TORQUE (NM)

MAX SPEED (KPH)

0-100KPH (SECS)

FUEL ECON (L/100KM)

WEIGHT (KGS)

2,995cc V6 Supercharged Petrol

250 @ 6500rpm

450 @ 4500rpm

250

5.1

8.1

From 1,665

Transmission:- 8 speed auto with sequential shift

RRP

$104,200

OPTIONS

Carbon Fibre Veneer- $2,150

Taurus sports leather perforation- $1900

Sliding Panoramic Roof- $1800

Heated/cooled frt and heated Rr seats- $1770

Advanced Parking Assist Pack (360 Park Distance Control, Perpendicular Parking System) – $1580

Powered Tailgate/Bootlid Opening- $850

Interior Mood Lighting- 10 colours- $540

DAB Radio- $540

Heated Steering Wheel- $310

PRICE AS TESTED

$115,640

Jag’s Seductive and Unflappable Super-Fast F-Type Coupe

 

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (5)

 

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (8)Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (4)

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (9)Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (11)

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (3)Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (10)

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (7)

Sometimes a car comes along that makes you swoon.

Jaguar is more than just a car, it’s a symbol of luxury and breeding. Its men in tuxes and girls in Capri pants. Its diamonds, cigars and martinis. Brand awareness is one problem Jaguar doesn’t have.

May I make a confession: I love Jaguar and always have, even in its darkest days.

My affair started as a school boy. Let me explain:

One of the boys at school had an uber-cool dad who was a big cheese in the army. Shaun’s dad was a major in the bomb disposal unit. With that high-pressure job comes an intense need for an outlet.

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (1)His big old high-set Queenslander had masses of space to indulge his other passion, cars. It was where I saw my first Citroën DS, my first Dodge Phoenix, and the uber-cool Jaguar E-Type. His dad “gave” the E-Type to us for a drive to the Gold Coast, or at least that was the story I was told. It wasn’t that easy to drive.

It was like the California Spyder scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. His dad said “drive it like you stole it” and waved as we went down the drive. I’ll never know what he really thought. The experience was always going to stick with me. It started raining torrentially on the way home, so of course the E-Type came over all British. Water flooded through the vents into the passenger’s foot well which needed bailing out. The Lucas electrics became even moodier and the air conditioning stopped working. None of it mattered. In fact, my love only deepened.

That same year I drove a 420G, and a then-new Series III Sovereign XJ12. The next year I then dated an XJS which spent far more time in the workshop than it did with me. The intervening years have seen models of slightly suspect reliability and vicious fuel consumption and apart from the XJ40, all have been stunners.

Some say the XJS replaced the E-type but that it never had the same allure. Others say that’s rubbish, and it is the XK which was the spiritual successor to the E-Type. Sitting in any of those same cars today elects exactly the same feelings. Unlike any other brand I can think of, the Jags just get better with age. What do you think when you see an vintage Jaguar?

As wonderful as those models were, the real spiritual successor to the lithe E-Type is the cutting edge F-Type. One of the things they have in common they are both works of art whether moving or not.

Aficionados were afraid that when Ford bought JLR (Jaguar Land-Rover) there would be awful American junk masquerading as classic British beauty, but apart from the hideous XJ40 they were wrong. It was the same story when Indian auto giant Tata then bought JLR off Ford, but Tata has been Jaguar’s saviour. Tata supplied money to develop new models, and JLR was allowed to go in a new direction. The old shape appealed to old buyers who were becoming fewer and fewer as years rolled by. Starting with the XF, and the gorgeous XJ, the F-Type and XE soon followed. Jaguar has now revealed its F-Pace SUV because every brand now seems to need an SUV.

We drove the slightly mental F-Type R last year and loved it. You can read about it here. We loved its instant gratification and primal magnetism. As sensational as it was, something occurred to me: what if you didn’t want the constant threat of heart attack-inducing adrenalin? Those who want something slightly less insane can opt for a supercharged V6 coupe in either a 250kw/450Nm or 280kw/460Nm S model. They sound sublime especially with the Sport Mode opening valves for extra exhaust noise. The manual is slick with a clutch that has just the right amount of feel. The coupe is as easy to drive as your mum’s hatch, but has the surgical precision of a laser. The engine is as sweet as a nut punctuated by the occasional subtle nuance of a whirring supercharger.

As always, the manual is my pic of shifters. By nature, the beauty of a manual gearbox makes the driver part of the machine itself, not just an on-looker pressing an accelerator and steering a wheel. You feel like you’re driving the car, not merely being a passenger.

The F-Type and its driver are as one. The cabin is compact so everything is within reach, nothing goes to waste. The body is delicious with perfect proportions. Beneath that long forward-opening bonnet is a forced induction V6 petrol engine with an output at least 50kw more powerful than the V12 of the E-Type. The pert rear end sweeps dramatically upwards in a nod to the E-Type forbear. It’s got a hatch that opens upwards with the help of an electric motor. Everywhere you look you see references to the charismatic E-Type.

The cargo space is snug. Much has been made of the fact that you don’t get a spare unless you ask for it. If you do, you get a space saver tyre which takes almost all of the boot. There is still room for shopping or loosely packed overnight bags, but if you want take the optional fitted 5-piece luggage set, the spare has to stay at home. If you don’t order your car with the spare, you can’t have it fitted later. Either way you get a puncture kit and the promise of a little man who will come and help you if you get into a pickle while out and about. I’ve had little luck sealing tyres with puncture kits, but I’d be prepared to take the risk with the Jaguar. I’d get the optional tyre and leave it at home when I need to.

Our coupe had the optional $6,900 Meridian speaker upgrade which comes with the older style interface head unit which is a bit of a shame. The sound is excellent with easy function even if it’s a little slow to respond. You’ll be too busy enjoying yourself to care too much about a user interface.

The materials used on the interior feel and look top quality. There is aluminium and carbon fibre along with very soft leather and high end plastics on the dash and doors. Piano black makes an appearance on some surrounds which some will hate, but I think looks classy.

The electric seats have side bolster and lumbar adjustment for the support you’ll definitely need while cornering.

Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (6)

It’s the little touches that make the experience all the more rewarding. There is a pleasing pop of the exhaust between gears. “Jaguar” is written on every conceivable surface including the vent adjusters, and something sure to please the tech geeks, there is a pop-up centre air vent.

The Exterior door handles are works of artistic genius. Most smart entry systems are a nondescript button Jaguar F Type v6 coupe GayCarBoys (2)mounted on the outside of a perfectly regular door handle, but not F-Type. It sits flush against the bodywork. Pressing the small button prompts the system to recognize the key in your pocket, unlock the doors and pop the rear end of the handle out. You can then slip your fingers into the and pull gently to open the door. Locking is as easy as closing the door and gently pressing the extended handle. It pops back while locking both doors, the fuel filler, and rear hatch. Of course you can amaze small children by using the key fob or inside door locks to extend the handles without touching them.

The ride is firm, but not so harsh as to be uncomfortable. If you should find it too firm, you can adjust your attitude by taking a few very tight corners at speed, after which the ride will once again seem supper-dooper.

Although everything is superb, it’s not all champers and canapés. The F-Type can be a little difficult to get in and out of, but that’s something you quickly make peace with. Then there is the gear lever which is very close to the switchgear on the centre stack. Changing gears can result in accidently turning off the air conditioning if your fingers are not tightly gripped on the selector. Annoyingly, there are few spaces to store things inside the cabin so a longer trip might need careful advanced planning.

You get used to the peculiarities as you do with all cars. When you do, you’ll be looking for every excuse possible for slip behind the wheel and press the starter.

The Drive:

The V8 R is blistering but don’t be fooled into thinking the humble V6 is a slug. The 250kw model will get you to 100 in 5.3 seconds, and 4.9 seconds for the 280kw engine which is fast and furious. Remember the F-Type weighs between 1577kg and 1665kg, about the same as a Commodore.

The coupe instantly changes direction with so little body that it feels almost supernatural. Most people won’t go near a track which is a shame as that’s where the F-Type would shine. You may well get the best out of a car like this by taking it by the scruff of the neck and driving on the ragged edge, but the humble commute is where it will spend most of its time.

Just sitting in the Jag makes you smile because it makes you feel so good. You associate the name Jaguar with luxury and sports handling so you won’t be surprised to hear the brakes, steering, clutch and suspension all feel precise and sophisticated just as it says on the box.

Everything about the F-Type is beautiful.

Conclusion:

The Jaguar all-aluminium F-Type is a car for the person who can afford rewards without having to apologise for them. The curvaceous exterior and delicious cabin are made with the very best materials. Driving is a light and precise experience. We managed around 11.5L/100k which is more than respectable for a highly engineered high-powered sports car. We found ourselves getting stuck in just because we could. It sounded great, felt brilliant, and drove like Usane Bolt strapped to a rocket.

F-Type has reawakened the halcyon days of motoring, and we like it a lot.

Would I buy one? Oh dear god yes.

Price:

F-TYPE Manual Coupe $119 470

F-TYPE Manual Convertible $138 170

F-TYPE Automatic Coupe $124 470

F-TYPE Automatic Convertible $143 170

F-TYPE S Manual Coupe $151 770

F-TYPE S Automatic Coupe $156 770

F-TYPE S Automatic Convertible $175 470

F-TYPE S AWD Automatic Coupe $172 470

F-TYPE R Automatic Coupe $226 970

F-TYPE R Automatic Convertible $245 670

F-TYPE R AWD Automatic Coupe $242 670

F-TYPE R AWD Automatic Convertible $261 370

 

Engine: 250kw/450Nm 280kw/460Nm

0-100: 5.3sec 4.9sec

Econ: 8.9L/100k 9.1L/100k

Jaguar XJ resets the standard for Luxury, Design and Dynamics

2016 jagur XJ all aluminium (1)

 

 

 

2016 jagur XJ all aluminium (2)2016 jagur XJ all aluminium (4)

The new 2016 model year XJ revealed

  • The XJ reaffirms its status as the most dynamic, distinctive luxury saloon
  • New InControl Touch Pro touchscreen infotainment system offers new-look fast response navigation system, seamless iOS/ Android connectivity and 26-speaker, 1300W Meridian Digital Reference audio system
  • Reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster now offers full-screen navigation display
  • Uprated 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine delivers 220kW/700Nm and reduces CO2 emissions by more than six per cent
  • Electric power-assisted steering offers even greater feel and responsiveness and reduces fuel consumption
  • All-Surface Progress Control enables smooth, effortless drive-away on low-friction surfaces such as snow and ice – all the driver has to do is steer
  • Exterior design refresh complete with full LED headlights and unique double J-Blade daytime running lights
  • Black Pack options for subtly enhanced exterior styling
  • Suite of advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control with queue-assist, reverse traffic detection, closing vehicle sensing, 360° surround camera system and semi-automated bay- and parallel-parking
  • New R-Sport and top-of-the-range Autobiography models join the line-up alongside XJ Premium Luxury, Portfolio and XJR
  • The new 2016 model year Jaguar XJ goes on sale from 1st November  2015
  • Recommended Retail Prices starting from $199,900

2016 jagur XJ all aluminium (3)

Summary

The XJ, Jaguar’s all-aluminium luxury saloon, is more desirable than ever.

Subtle changes to the exterior design, accentuated by full LED headlights, add to the XJ’s already distinctive looks. Materials such as semi-aniline leather and rich oak inlay veneers enhance an interior already considered the most luxurious in the segment, culminating in the new Autobiography model.

Matching this traditional craftsmanship is state-of-the-art technology, including a new infotainment system. InControl Touch Pro offers features such as a new-look fast response navigation system, 1300W Meridian digital reference audio.

The driving experience is better than ever, thanks to a V6 diesel engine which offers more power and torque and less fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and an electric power-assisted steering system that enhances Jaguar’s reputation for unrivalled agility and responsiveness.

“More dynamic and distinctive than ever, we’ve engineered our flagship saloon to deliver even greater levels of luxury and performance.

“Featuring our new world-class infotainment system, interior materials and finishes which create an even more bespoke feel, and with our higher output, lower emissions diesel engine, the XJ rewards drivers and passengers like no other luxury car.”
Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar XJ

The new XJ features a larger, more upright grille, while sculpted chrome blades in the outboard air intakes emphasise the car’s mature, prestigious character.

The full LED headlights accentuate the ‘quad lamp’ design feature that Jaguar sporting sedans have made their own. They are further enhanced with active front steer- and static bend lamp functions, and auto high beam-assist. LED headlights also provide a colour temperature closer to that of daylight than Bi-Xenon lamps, improving visibility and driver comfort, and are also more energy-efficient.

Twin ‘J-Blade’ daytime running lights are a unique feature to XJ, befitting its status in the Jaguar saloon car range. The white light instantly and seamlessly changes to orange when the direction indicator is operated.

The LED rear lights feature a new J-signature tail and position light graphic, making the XJ even more distinctive. The rear bumper now features a gloss black valance and a slender chrome insert. New LED taillights and oval exhaust finishers complete the look.

The XJ’s peerless interior design has been taken to the next level. So luxurious has it become that the outgoing Portfolio trim is now used for the Premium Luxury model. The new Portfolio gains quilted soft-grain leather seats with diamond stitching and embossed headrests, and figured ebony veneer.

The Autobiography model, new to XJ in the 2016 model year and available only with the long-wheelbase body, can be identified on the outside by chrome front bumper air intakes and 20” Mataiva wheels. Inside, there’s a unique Autobiography Intaglio, quilted semi-aniline leather seats with contrasting stitching, a leather headliner, rich oak inlay veneer, and illuminated stainless steel treadplates, air vents and boot finisher.

The new R-Sport model features a three-piece front splitter, deep side sills, side power vents and a rear spoiler. A gloss black finish enhances the grille mesh, rear valance and, as standard in select markets, the window finishers.  Wheels are 20” Venom. The interior gains sports seats, R-Sport steering wheel and treadplates, Jet headliner and piano black trim.

Range summary
The new Jaguar XJ range will consist of: XJ Premium Luxury, XJ Portfolio, XJ R-Sport, XJR, XJ Autobiography.

The powertrain range will consist of: 220kW 3.0-litre V6 diesel automatic; RWD, 250kW 3.0-litre V6 petrol automatic; RWD, 375 and 404kW 5.0-litre V8 petrol automatic; RWD.

Alongside the F-TYPE sports car and all-new XF saloon, the XJ is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich Plant.

Powertrain

More performance, more refinement, more efficiency: the latest 3.0-litre V6 diesel features a host of new technologies designed to boost output and reduce emissions. Now Euro 6 compliant, this outstanding engine develops an extraordinary 700Nm and can accelerate the XJ from 0-100kph in just 6.2 seconds and yet returns 149g/km CO2 on the European combined cycle.

The XJ’s sense of effortless performance is taken to an even higher level thanks to the latest-generation V6 diesel. Smoother and quieter than ever, this power unit gains even more sophisticated common rail and turbocharging systems, boosting power and torque from 202kW/600Nm to 220kW/700Nm. The extra torque not only improves responsiveness, it also delivers greater efficiency, helping to reduce emissions from 159g/km to 149g/km CO2.

New eight-hole piezo injectors ensure that fuel is delivered into the combustion chambers with even greater precision and control, while increasing the maximum injection pressure to 2,000bar ensures even better mixture formation. All of this leads to reduced fuel consumption and emissions, and higher output.

The innovative parallel-sequential boosting system receives more aerodynamically-efficient turbochargers, while the primary turbo now features highly-advanced ceramic ball bearing technology: the reduced friction means even better launch performance and transient response because torque builds up even more rapidly than before.

Engine efficiency is improved too. A switchable coolant pump and dual-stage oil pump ensure faster warm-up and reduced parasitic losses. And the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system now features a cooled low-pressure circuit in addition to the high-pressure circuit: this enables inherently low emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) as well as reduced pumping losses across a wider range of the engine’s operating map.

Complementing the improved EGR system is a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. Injecting a urea solution upstream of a highly-efficient SCR catalyst converts NOx into nitrogen and water, ensuring that the new XJ meets Euro 6 exhaust emissions regulations.

The petrol engines: Powerful, refined, and efficient
The new XJ also offers the familiar range of all-aluminium V6 and V8 petrol engines. All feature direct injection, variable valve timing, forced induction and intelligent stop-start systems to deliver high performance with remarkable efficiency.

The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 develops 250kW/450Nm and is available in rear -wheel drive. Characterised by its linear power delivery and free-revving nature, this remarkable engine also delivers a unique soundtrack thanks to meticulously-tuned intake and exhaust systems.

The top engine option remains the 5.0-litre V8. Offered in 375kW/625Nm and 404kW/680Nm ratings, this exceptional engine delivers all of the performance promised by the XJ’s dramatic styling.

Selecting the best: Eight-speed automatic transmissions
All powertrains feature a specifically-optimised eight-speed automatic from ZF. Each has been developed to provide the perfect balance of unrivalled launch performance, shift comfort, dynamics and efficiency.

Two variants of the 8HP transmission family are offered in the new XJ: the familiar 8HP70 transmission and the lighter, more compact 8HP45.

CHASSIS

The adoption of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) improves responsiveness and driver feedback, enhancing the XJ’s position as the most dynamic luxury sedan in the segment. The technology is also an enabler for advanced driver assistance systems and improves efficiency

Jaguar cars set the benchmark for steering feel, in every segment. It’s intrinsic to the dynamics DNA of all models from XE through to F-TYPE.
The XJ is no exception, and this latest generation also benefits from the adoption of electric power assistance for the steering system: hydraulic systems have reached the limit of their potential.

Years of development and testing, plus meticulous tuning work, mean that EPAS is now ready for Jaguar’s flagship saloon. The system’s ability to filter-out steering disturbances from poor road surfaces and compensate for road camber make the steering feel smoother and more precise than ever. Friction has also been engineered-out, improving steering feel and responsiveness still further.

Unlike hydraulic systems, EPAS only uses energy when the driver turns the wheel, so the reduction in parasitic losses helps to reduce fuel consumption by up to three per cent on the European combined cycle.

INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY

A new-look fast response Navigation system, seamless smartphone connectivity and Meridian digital audio systems take the new XJ’s infotainment to the next level

Designed and developed without compromise, the new XJ’s InControl Touch Pro premium infotainment system is truly state-of-the art. Conceived in-house and built around a quad-core Intel processor, 60GB solid-state drive, InControl Touch Pro can handle massive amounts of data and is exceptionally powerful and responsive. At the same time, the system is simple and intuitive to use.

At its heart is an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen. Just like a smartphone, the home screen can be customised – there’s a choice of wallpaper images, while widgets can be used to shortcut to favourite features and functions. Extra home pages can be added, if desired.

And just like smartphones, the touchscreen accepts ‘pinch to zoom’ gestures, for instance, or swipes to scroll between home screens. This simple, intuitive user interface helps drivers to keep their eyes on the road, minimising distraction.

The functionality of the navigation system is just as impressive. Maps stored on InControl Touch Pro’s 60GB solid-state drive can be accessed in a fraction of the time needed with conventional hard drives. Dead-reckoning functionality accurately determines the vehicle’s position even when GPS signals cannot be received – ideal for cities.

InControl Touch Pro also delivers a full-screen navigation display in the new XJ’s reconfigurable full TFT instrument cluster.

Engineered to sound perfect: Meridian Reference system
Equal attention has been paid to audio system performance. The new XJ offers three digital systems including the outstanding 26-speaker, 1,300W Reference sound system developed with British audio experts Meridian. The 17 channels of stereo and surround sound benefit from Meridian’s Trifield technology to ensure optimum reproduction with benchmark low levels of distortion.

Gracenote images stored on the solid-state drive enrich the experience, while functions such as ‘Play more like this’ make it easier still to access all of your favourite tracks.

Rear Seat Entertainment: The full widescreen experience
To further enhance the XJ’s luxurious row-two experience, customers will be able to specify a rear seat entertainment system. Comprising two 10.2-inch high-definition screens which fold away when not in use, these displays offer a true 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. When digital TV is also specified, a different channel can be shown on each screen and an additional 100GB of user media storage is provided.

The rear seat entertainment system will also allow passengers to connect devices using two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI and one MHL port, enabling charging and media output and from a wide range of smartphones and tablets.

All the best connections: The always-on XJ
The new XJ is the latest Jaguar to offer InControl Apps, an innovative, intuitive technology that enables customers to seamlessly connect Apple and Android smartphones to the vehicle’s infotainment system, via a USB cable. InControl Apps provides access to compatible apps on the device using the vehicle’s touchscreen.

2016 jagur XJ all aluminium (5)2016 jagur XJ all aluminium (6)

ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS

The new XJ benefits from technologies that can improve traction in difficult conditions and take the effort out of stop-start traffic or parking in tight spaces, making the driving experience even more relaxing, enjoyable and safe

Gaining traction: All-Surface Progress Control
Already proven in the XE, the new XJ becomes the latest Jaguar to benefit from the revolutionary All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC) technology. Designed to help drivers to pull away smoothly and without drama on very low friction surfaces, ASPC is a unique system which can make it easier and safer to drive a powerful rear-wheel drive car at low speeds on slippery surfaces such as snow, ice and wet grass.

Conventional traction control systems attempt to modulate what happens once the wheels begin to slip – that’s usually too late.  ASPC is fundamentally different, and leverages decades of Jaguar Land Rover’s knowledge and experience in off-road technologies.

ASPC works like a low-speed cruise control and can operate between 3.6km/h and 30km/h. The system is activated by pressing a button on the centre console and then the driver uses the cruise control switches on the steering wheel to set the maximum speed. After that, ASPC does all the hard work: the driver just has to steer.

What makes ASPC so effective is that it doesn’t just provide fine control of the throttle: it also uses the brakes in opposition to the throttle. So from a standstill, only very low engine torque is applied to the driven wheels, enabling smooth progress with little or no wheel spin. ASPC is compatible with rear- and all-wheel drive and is made even more effective by the fitment of winter tyres.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist
The new queue assist function for the adaptive cruise control system has been designed to take even more of the effort and monotony out of driving in heavy traffic. Using a long-range radar sensor, the system can now maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, all the way down to a standstill.

Closing Vehicle Sensing
Building on the safety benefits of blind spot monitoring, the closing vehicle sensing system uses radar sensors and has a far greater range. The system can alert the driver to the presence of vehicles approaching fast from behind when changing lanes by displaying a flashing icon in the door mirror.

Parking made simple
The adoption of electric power-assisted steering enables the new XJ to offer semi-autonomous park-assist functions for both bay and parallel parking. Ultrasonic sensors measure the space first and, if it’s long enough, the system enables the car to manoeuvre itself into position – and, in the case of parallel parking, out again. The driver just controls the accelerator, brakes and transmission.

In addition, there’s a surround camera system: four cameras combine to give a 360° view of the area around the car, including a plan view, to make manoeuvring easier and safer.

Reverse Traffic Detection
The XJ’s radar sensors can also help to make reversing safer. Vehicles approaching from either side are detected and, if they present a potential hazard, the driver is given audible and visual warnings.

TECHNICAL DATA

XJ 3.0 Diesel 221kW

XJ 3.0 Diesel 221kW LWB

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Engine capacity (cc)

2,993

Cylinders

6 in-vee

Valves per cylinder

4; DOHC

Bore/ stroke (mm)

84.0/ 90.0

Compression ratio

16.1:1

Fuel injection

2,000bar common rail

Boosting system

Parallel-sequential turbocharging

Power kW

220 @ 4,000rpm

Torque Nm

700 @ 2,000rpm

Transmission

ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic

Gear ratios (:1)

1st

4.714

2nd

3.143

3rd

2.106

4th

1.667

5th

1.285

6th

1.000

7th

0.839

8th

0.667

Reverse

3.317

Final Drive

2.44

CHASSIS

Front suspension

Double wishbone

Rear suspension

Double wishbone

Steering

Rack-and-pinion; electromechanical power-assisted

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

5,130

5,255

Width inc./ excl. mirrors (mm)

2,105/ 1,899

2,105/ 1,899

Height (mm)

1,460

1,460

Wheelbase (mm)

3,032

3,157

Track front/ rear (mm)

1,626/ 1,604

1,626/ 1,604

Kerbweight (kg)

From 1,835

From 1,860

Fuel tank; usable (litres)

77

77

PERFORMANCE &
FUEL ECONOMY

0-60mph (sec)

5.9

0-100km/h (sec)

6.2

Top speed (km/h)

250

Fuel consumption (litres/100km) EU combined

5.7

CO2 emissions (g/km)
EU combined

149

Manufacturer’s figures; correct at time of going to press

TECHNICAL DATA

XJ 3.0 Supercharged petrol 250kW

XJ 3.0 Supercharged petrol 250kW LWB

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Engine capacity (cc)

2,995

Cylinders

6 in-vee

Valves per cylinder

4; DOHC, variable inlet and exhaust cam timing

Bore/ stroke (mm)

84.5/ 89.0

Compression ratio

10.5:1

Fuel injection

150 bar direct injection

Boosting system

Twin-Vortex supercharger

Power kW

250 @ 6,500rpm

Torque Nm

450 @ 3,500-5,000rpm

Transmission

ZF 8HP45 8-speed automatic

Gear ratios (:1)

1st

4.714

2nd

3.143

3rd

2.106

4th

1.667

5th

1.285

6th

1.000

7th

0.839

8th

0.667

Reverse

3.295

Final Drive

2.73

CHASSIS

Front suspension

Double wishbone

Rear suspension

Double wishbone

Steering

Rack-and-pinion; electromechanical power-assisted

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

5,130

5,255

Width inc./ excl. mirrors (mm)

2,105/ 1,899

2,105/ 1,899

Height (mm)

1,460

1,460

Wheelbase (mm)

3,032

3,157

Track front/ rear (mm)

1,626/ 1,604

1,626/ 1,604

Kerbweight (kg)

From 1,765

From 1,775

Fuel tank; usable (litres)

80

80

PERFORMANCE &
FUEL ECONOMY

0-60mph (sec)

5.7

0-100km/h (sec)

5.9

Top speed (km/h)

250

Fuel consumption (litres/100km) EU combined

9.1

CO2 emissions (g/km)
EU combined

211

Manufacturer’s figures; correct at time of going to press

TECHNICAL DATA

XJ 5.0 Supercharged petrol 375kW

XJ 5.0 Supercharged petrol 375kW LWB

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Engine capacity (cc)

5,000

Cylinders

V8 Supercharged

Valves per cylinder

4; DOHC, variable inlet and exhaust cam timing

Bore/ stroke (mm)

92.5/ 93.0

Compression ratio

9.5:1

Fuel injection

150 bar direct injection

Boosting system

Twin-Vortex supercharger

Power PS kW

375 @ 6,000-6,500rpm

Torque Nm

625 @ 2,500-5,500rpm

Transmission

ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic

Gear ratios (:1)

1st

4.714

2nd

3.143

3rd

2.106

4th

1.667

5th

1.285

6th

1.000

7th

0.839

8th

0.667

Reverse

3.317

Final Drive

2.56

CHASSIS

Front suspension

Double wishbone

Rear suspension

Double wishbone

Steering

Rack-and-pinion; electromechanical power-assisted

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

5,130

5,255

Width inc./ excl. mirrors (mm)

2,105/ 1,899

2,105/ 1,899

Height (mm)

1,460

1,460

Wheelbase (mm)

3,032

3,157

Track front/ rear (mm)

1,626/ 1,604

1,626/ 1,604

Kerbweight (kg)

From 1,875

From 1,885

Fuel tank; usable (litres)

80

80

PERFORMANCE &
FUEL ECONOMY

0-60mph (sec)

4.7

0-100km/h (sec)

4.9

Top speed (km/h)

250

Fuel consumption (litres/100km) EU combined

11.1

CO2 emissions (g/km)
EU combined

264

Manufacturer’s figures; correct at time of going to press

TECHNICAL DATA

XJ 5.0 Supercharged petrol 404kW

XJ 5.0 Supercharged petrol 404kW LWB

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Engine capacity (cc)

5,000

Cylinders

V8 Supercharged

Valves per cylinder

4; DOHC, variable inlet and exhaust cam timing

Bore/ stroke (mm)

92.5/ 93.0

Compression ratio

9.5:1

Fuel injection

150 bar direct injection

Boosting system

Twin-Vortex supercharger

Power PS (kW)

404 @ 6,000-6,500rpm

Torque Nm (lb ft)

680 @ 3,500-4,000rpm

Transmission

ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic

Gear ratios (:1)

1st

4.714

2nd

3.143

3rd

2.106

4th

1.667

5th

1.285

6th

1.000

7th

0.839

8th

0.667

Reverse

3.317

Final Drive

2.56

CHASSIS

Front suspension

Double wishbone

Rear suspension

Double wishbone

Steering

Rack-and-pinion; electromechanical power-assisted

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

5,130

5,255

Width inc./ excl. mirrors (mm)

2,105/ 1,899

2,105/ 1,899

Height (mm)

1,460

1,460

Wheelbase (mm)

3,032

3,157

Track front/ rear (mm)

1,626/ 1,604

1,626/ 1,604

Kerbweight (kg)

From 1,875

From 1,885

Fuel tank; usable (litres)

80

80

PERFORMANCE &
FUEL ECONOMY

0-60mph (sec)

4.4

0-100km/h (sec)

4.6

Top speed (km/h)

280

Fuel consumption (litres/100km) EU combined

11.1

CO2 emissions (g/km)
EU combined

264

RC350: The Sexy Lexus, Yes, I said Sexy!

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

Lexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor Show8 RC F %28pre%2Dproduction model shown%29hr

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

12 Exterior_ihr2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

Yes Yes Yes oh Yes!: spectacular looks, classy cabin, gadgets gadgets gadgets

Oh dear me no: aging engine, no auto parking, economy could improve.

Remember we took the yummy IS350 for an outing a few months ago and liked it? We liked its sensual lines and cutting edge gadgets, and we liked the power, oh yes, the power. The RC is the gym-fit 2 door cousin of the IS which gets many, many more looks.

Looks:

Yum.

Lexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor ShowLexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor Show

It is achingly gorgeous. It is a delicious work of art even when it is sitting quietly in the garage gently lit by dimmer switched downlights. The 5 layer paint job is so smooth you could apply your lippy in it. Leaving it parked for more than a few minutes causes nose marks to mysteriously appear on the glass. Very spooky.

Lexus RC350 F Sport Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath GAYCARBOYS (1)The pictures don’t do the “look at me” silhouette justice. It is just the sort of car for an owner who wants to be conspicuous yet considered to have good taste. We will be the judge of that. After all, if sir doesn’t want to be noticed, a bright metallic orange Lexus Coupe isn’t the car for sir. Everyone says they don’t want to be noticed, until they drive a car they get noticed in.

The deeply sculptured nose is replete with an LED headlights under lit with daytime running lights and indicators. The pert rear end has a high lip which is a little hard to see over but the parking camera fixes that. LEDs have been used with gay abandon for the quality of light. We all look better with good lighting and the RC is no different. There are 9 colours to choose from and our car was the very loud Lava Mica AKA 70’s metallic Orange. Peace Man! It sounds horrible but we snapped a few cheeky Iphone shots to prove it is drop dead gorgeous, especially against the blackened starkness of a baron fire-damaged Blue Mountains landscape.

Interior:

The inside is as tasteful as the outside. It is borrowed heavily from the IS which is fine by me. Entry is 2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury front seatsby gently caressing the door handle, then giving it a good yank. The door is ginormous but still not big enough to get into the back seats without sliding the front seats forward. Pull the seat-back forward, and the bottom of the chair is whizzed forward electrically. When I say whizz, I mean “YAWN! Have a cuppa while you wait”. That isn’t a bad thing because you can give the outside another once over while you wait.

Shut the door and press the start button, and the steering column swings into place. It stows itself so you can get your bum in and out of the driver’s seat more easily. The seats are leather, of course, and are heated and cooled as well as being adjusted by electric motors. We don’t want Sir getting ruffled on the way to Sir’s important muscle-pumping schedule do we? The seats hug perhaps a little too snugly but it is as a grand touring coupe should be. The instruments have the same slightly twee centre ring that slides to one side. I have a love hate relationship with it. It is naff, but I like naff. Why is it there? Because it can be! It displays far too much info for the driver’s own good. He is going to ignore most of it anyway.

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury interior2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury steering wheel

The posh Mark Levinsen speakers sound divine. The seats don’t have a massage function because when the volume knob gets a twist the seats don’t need extra help to vibrate. The rear seats are useable but not on an everyday basis.

The cabin feels expensive and classy and everything works just right. The menu system takes a bit of getting used to. Once mastered, allows it’s user to flit through the system with gay abandon. The Levinsen sound system is epic! The lows are low but everything is crystal clear at almost any volume.

2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury remote touch2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury rear seats folded2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury remote touch

The Drive:

The engine might be getting on a bit, but it is willing and able. Through the smooth 8 speed auto, the RC is propelled to 100 in only 6.1 seconds. The auto has a torque converter which locks up between 2nd and 8th gears. That means there is no slippage in any gear but first giving the same economy as a manual. In fact you might even get a little better. In normal driving mode the Lexus makes sure the engine revs as low as possible and only changes down when power is needed. It does a better job of managing gears than a human could do if fuel consumption is the aim. Most of us won’t go higher than 4th around town meaning the 3.5 V6 would be screaming its head of most of the time on the dreary drive to work. The Auto will have none of it and changes up. Sports mode is a different kettle of fish altogether. The revs are kept up up up.

The seating is a snug fit keeping a keen driver in the right place in tight corners. We took the RC on a romantic trip to the Blue Mountains to stay at our favourite hotel, the newly re-opened Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath. The hotel was utterly diabolical with the room being a closet of unrivaled misery, but the RC was spectacular.

The mountains are strewn with hairpins and long stretches of gentle smooth road with magnificent views over the valleys far below. What struck us first was the ride, which was like being on a feather bed. You might think that made the corners intolerable. You might expect the body to wallow and lurch about like drunken sailor, but not a bit of it. The chassis has settings which a driver can select at will so you can be as stiff or as soft as you like. The F Sport also gets a fancy rear steering setup. The RC loves being thrown around like a rag doll. Even in the most unruly bend things never get untidy, so the driver only has to point the nose to know the car will follow.

Lexus RC350 F Sport Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath GAYCARBOYS (2)Lexus RC350 F Sport Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath GAYCARBOYS (4)

After a few hours we arrived at the Hydro refreshed and excited, but would have then been more comfortable sleeping in the car rather than our room. I’ve never stayed somewhere of such unrivaled awfulness.

The boot isn’t huge but the seats fold down if you want to get something really big in the rear.

The Lexus is pitched against BMW’s 4 series and it compares favourably. For the same money it has more kit. Apart from the 4wheel steering, the blind spot monitoring and radar guided cruise control came standard. The V6 will also take E10 which is the cheapskate petrol if you can find it. Better still, 10% of the fossil fuel comes from plants which are renewable. The specs sheet says E95 and up, but the fuel filler cap says E10, so you decide.

The cabin is lit by a touch-controlled dome light. No matter how often I drive a Lexus I have to fiddle with it. It’s way better than a clap-lamp.

I’m disappointed auto-parking and heated cup holders aren’t available, but the reversing camera and air-conditioned seats make up for it.Lexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor Show

Should you unintentionally scoop up a pedestrian, the bonnet fires a couple of charges to pop the outer surface upwards clear of the engine block. The hapless bystander is less likely to more seriously injured.

One last thing, modern cars have many nannies to make sure you have the best chance of avoiding catastrophe. This was put to the test in the wet weather. A car swerved to avoid a dog crossing onto our side of the road in the process. Its driver 2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sportyanked rather too enthusiastically and lost control. We were able to brake heavily and steer at the same time. The nannies knew it was an emergency. They applied full force to the brakes, automatically activated the hazard flashers, and all while making sure none of the wheels locked up. It is an eerie feeling but we felt safe and at times. Being safe is as important as feeling safe.

Conclusion:

Many an ad campaign infers its subject is a head turner. It is a phrase over used to the point of distraction but in this case it it’s true. The striking exterior and glittery orange paintwork gets attention wherever you are.

We felt safe and comfortable and the RC350 is one of the very few cars I would ever want to take on a Great Australian Road Trip. Lexus, are you listening?

Would I buy one? Yes yes yes. If I had access to a little extra I’d opt for the RC-F which is the fire breathing butcher sister of the RC350.

Price: Luxury-$72,965 F Sport-81,365 Port Luxury-$93,965 (prices drive away in NSW)

Engine: 24 valve VVTI, 3.5 V6, 233kw/378Nm, 9.4 L/100k

Weight: 1740kg

Lexus IS350: Can it Compete with a 3 Series or C Class?

2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport steering wheel2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport 2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

 

Yes Yes Yes oh YES: sexy looks, comfy seats, classy cabin

Oh dear me no: old engine, Bluetooth/usb issues, moody cursor controller

Gorgeous isn’t it? Some hate the lines swooping and dipping from front to back but I think they are stunning. To get the full picture you might consider other offering like BMW’s 3 series and Audi’s A3 (and A4 and A4 and A6 and A7) that are just a touch on the bland side. Although Mercedes Benz has released the delicious new C Class, I’m still leaning towards the Lexus. Let’s just say it is too close to call.

On a serious note: The wheelbase is 70mm longer, there are more airbags, the body is 10kg’s lighter and there is a new electric power steering system. These and other changes are meant to add a touch of value and luxury to the Lexus experience. You see, Lexus is meant to have a sense of occasion. They want you to feel that you’ve arrived. You never ever want to hear the phrase “so, why didn’t you buy a Merc?” or “gosh, and you didn’t want a BMW?” because that is the market shamelessly targeted, and why not. One important thing to note is that what the Germans make you pay extra for, comes as standard in Lexus.

Our 350 F Sport had oodles of extra stuff like: Keyless smart entry/start, radar cruise control, bi-xenon headlights, LED day lights, lane departure warning, proximity warning etc. The IS has an extra 85mm of legroom over the old model and feels more spacious in the rear than any of the Germans. And, any old auto maker can stick in a pair of heated front seats in the front, but Lexus has the chutzpah to pump cool air through them at the flick of a button.

The classy cabin has a club-like atmosphere. The leather is 2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport front seatssofter than a baby’s bum and is wrapped around anything that doesn’t move. I suspect Lexus has pulled a fastie by using Pleather on some surfaces. Still, if you can’t tell, it doesn’t matter. The perforations which allow wafts of arctic air make the seats look even more luxurious.

The best part about buying a Japanese car is that it needs no conversion to be driven here.

Think about it: Every car made in Europe or the USA has the steering wheel on the left-hand side. That means all controls are in the wrong place. Most importantly the turn indicator is on the right-hand side, so you won’t be hurtling down the highway with wipers waving like demented Rabbitohs fans. For an extra 3 grand you can have your IS as a hybrid hybrid. There take THAT Germany!

Every IS has Satnav controlled by a Touch pad on the console. It is a massive jump from the fiddly toggle joy-stick it had previously but is still a bit of a faff, making easy tasks difficult. Because there are no pre-2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sport interiorselect radio station buttons, selecting a specific station can be a bit of a kafuffle because it’s is under a menu somewhere. If you get really desperate, there is the tuning knob. Unlike some of the Germans, you’re able to give the knob a good twist to get to a station. The other way is to select either Favourites or Full Station List from the menu, then use the steering wheel or console buttons to scroll. It is very chi chi and takes a bit of getting used to. I love the centre analogue clock which posh auto makers appear to be falling in love with all over again.

Sometimes doing something just because you can seems a frivolity too far. Such is the case with the instrument panel. The LCD screen displays whatever info the driver desires but the centre dial is a physical ring which moves when a button on the steering wheel is pressed. Why? It would be easier just to have one large LCD divided at the whim of the driver. Instead, pressing a button marked with little squares causes the ring to slide to one side allowing a larger single area of screen for various statistics. Personally, I think there is far too much info at a driver’s fingertips.

I like the cabin very much. It is classy and feels expensive.

The Drive:

The first few days was spent trying to make the USB/Bluetooth streaming play nice. To my chagrin I discovered that the IPhone 5 confuses the audio system no end, so the driver has to choose either USB or Bluetooth. He then has to disconnect which ever option he didn’t choose. This is a dreadful oversight considering the number of IPhone owners who might want a Lexus. If you don’t disconnect, which ever option you chose will eventually stop working.

We decided to take the Lexus to a family wedding. Gay boys and weddings can be hit and miss, and this one was quite remarkable, in one way or another. Jervis Bay is pretty enough, but country locations lack the convenience most of us are used to. A single pub and only one Coles and both close early. Mental note: If you’ve been to a wedding where you chose not to eat, have a few nibbles in the fridge for later, or drink incontinently.

Jervis Bay is a large inlet containing many smaller picturesque bays. It resembles the Greek Islands with pristine blue waters and blinding white beaches. Getting there via the Princes Highway (please note it is 2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sportprinces not Princess highway) can be a truly hairy experience. The trip out of Sydney is usually a slow one. The federal treasurer is quite wrong, poor people do drive, and they drive quite some distance. You wind you way through dreary suburb after dreary suburb, dreary traffic after dreary light. Once out of town, the trip turns from bumper-to-bumper, to post-card pretty. We relied on the Satnav once past the Gong, but she can be moody, especially if you fail to notice the “other” route options.

We were on the clock because we couldn’t leave Sydney until after an early morning commitment. Instead of taking the prettier Royal National Park route, we stuck to the dull-as-dish-water highway. We were mildly concerned at a truck sitting about a metre off the back bumper for 10 kilometres at 100KPH. Neither of us thought to video the incident but it highlights the offhand way truck drivers treat the roads and other drivers. Before you say it, yes we were overtaking slower drivers, and we were at the speed limit. We were perfectly entitled to be where we were but the truck driver obviously felt otherwise. We pulled into the left lane once past the caravans and P platers and watched the truck disappear into the distance at very much more than the legal limit. Perhaps he had somewhere to be.

The aging engine is very capable but not terrible economical. Rather than update the engine, Lexus added an 8 speed auto. As good as the auto is, Lexus should look at a smaller turbo’d unit because under the botnet feels a bit low-tech. The auto is superb but in normal mode wants to get to 8th as quickly as possible. It is annoying beyond belief but in sports mode your economy takes a nose-dive. You chose.

Once past the Gong, the lady in the dash board became insistent we turn off the aforementioned highway. Pretty though it was, the scenic route was much longer but gave the IS a decent workout.

The corners were a joy with the new power steering having much more feel than electric units previously. The adjustable settings make the throttle, transmission and suspension adjust to a more spirited trip. Again, anything other than normal makes the fuel use climb alarmingly.

We arrived in plenty of time. We got out of the car feeling fresh after a 2.5 hour trip. We parked at the kerbside angled parking spot and stood bereft at the sight of out 60’s motel staring back at us. What a 2013 Lexus IS 350 F Sportdepressing sight it was. For those who know Husskinson as the charming bayside town, there is a certain allure of beach and bay. However, that does not extend to the motel untouched since the Whitlam administration, and its sad exterior. Anyone hoping for more from the interior would have been even more depressed. It’s a note to always check ratings and reviews before booking. Doors slammed and feet thumped overhead making sleeping nothing more than a distant hope.

I awoke next morning to take a walk on the beach. As I walked along the cracked cement path I longer to get Lexus IS 350 Jervis Bay gaycarboysinto the Lexus and drive off. Then I remember hubby still asleep. I got to the front of the motel and stood gaping at what looked like a crime scene. The car had been taped off during in the night. Barriers had been erected as if the graves of a serial murderer had been found in the park near the beach. We were trapped in the middle of a surf event we hadn’t known about. After an interesting wedding the night before, I had had enough. I marched inside and roused hubby. Fifteen minutes later we had backed through the tape, negotiated the barriers and were heading away from that awful nightmare.

 

We discovered the gorgeous villages in and around Berry and stopped for a Maccers brekky but were both so tired, all we wanted was our own bed. Many of the roads were closed for a charity bike ride between Sydney and The Gong. It seemed much of New South Wales wanted to be active, and all we wanted was sleep.

The Lexus performed beautifully but we did not. The trip marred a brilliant drive

Conclusion:

I like the IS 350 very much. It handles like the sporty Euros whose sales it aims to take. The package is a good one with a long list of standard inclusions. The cabin is on a par with the Germans and the exterior is stunning. The question is would I buy one over a new C Class or 3 series. I could only answer by driving one after the other, then looking at the standard gear. For me, the badge is irrelevant because I love the IS 350 very much.

Would I buy one? Please see above.

Price IS 350 range $72,286 – $92,656

Engine econ fuel 3.5 V6, 233kw, 278Nm, 9.7l/100k, std unleaded

Trans 8 speed auto driving rear wheels

0-100 6.6secs (unofficial)