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Jaguar Unveils 2016 XJ Sedan; Host Of Interior Updates Highlights Modest Refresh

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On: Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 10:19AM | By: Carl Malek

Jaguar Unveils 2016 XJ Sedan; Host Of Interior Updates Highlights Modest Refresh

With the majority of its competition being either heavily revamped or all-new, Jaguar has followed suit and has unveiled the updated 2016 Jaguar XJ sedan, a car that aims to continue its assault against rivals from BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Lexus while bringing much needed features and some new ones to the XJ model family.

Unlike some of its rivals, the exterior updates for the XJ are more subtle, and it takes a sharp eye to pick out all the details on display here. The front fascia retains much of the stylish yet aggressive cues that we have come to expect from the current XJ, but Jaguar designers have given it several new features to make it standout. The radiator grille, for example, is much larger than before, and now features an all-new chrome surround that ups the bling factor slightly. The headlights have also been updated, and allow the XJ to finally fit in with the rest of its rarified segment by offering a full LED setup that even comes with "J Blade" daytime running lights. The rear facia shares this subtle theme and features a revised rear bumper, new LED taillights, and oval exhaust outlets.

The interior, thankfully, does not follow the exterior's reserved character and goes all out in terms of its updates for 2016. Jaguar engineers have bestowed the car with the latest iteration of its InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. Buyers wondering just how potent this system is will be pleased to hear that it is built around a quad-core processor and a beefy 60GB hard drive which allows the system to feature smartphone-style controls including pinch-to-zoom capability and swipe controls. This is a major improvement over the current unit, which is well known for its lag time between inputs and lacks much of the polish that has come to define BMW's I-Drive and Audi's MMI systems. As a neat bonus, the system’s navigation information can be fully displayed on the XJ's 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, eliminating the rather puny one-gauge view found in the current car. As for the design of the cabin itself, it retains much of the nautical motif that first made its debut in 2009, including the slick-looking air vents.

Performance hardware for the 2016 XJ depends on what part of the world you are in—European buyers gaining access to an all-new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel. Good for 295 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, the new engine is capable of sub-6-second 0 to 60 times while still allowing the diesel variant to achieve 30 mpg in European combined cycle driving. U.S.-spec models in contrast will not feature this engine, and instead carry over the current car's engine lineup, which means the 340 horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and the stout 5.0-liter supercharged V8 will be making an encore appearance along with the slick eight-speed automatic transmission. An updated electronic power steering unit should help improve steering feel across the board for 2016, and allows the car to offer an autonomous parking feature for the first time in its history.

In addition to its current trim lineup, the XJ will also bring two new options for the new model year: a performance-oriented R-Sport variant, and an ultra-luxury Autobiography version (which is the first time that the moniker has been used outside of its sister brand, Land Rover). The R-Sport represents the XJ's playful side, and will incorporate a trim exclusive three piece front splitter, side vents, and a subtle rear spoiler. The package will also include 20-inch wheels, gloss black accents, sport seats, a black headliner, and an R-Sport branded steering wheel. The Autobiography, on the other hand, is a salvo aimed at the Mercedes-Maybach S600 and will be exclusively available in long-wheel-base form. This gilded trim will feature chrome bumper accents, 20-inch Mataiva wheels, quilted leather seats, a leather headliner, oak wood accents, as well as illuminated treadplates.

Official pricing for the 2016 XJ lineup is expected to be announced later this year, with the first units arriving in dealer lots sometime in fall.

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