Posted Apr 23rd 2012 8:01AM
The upper end of the Chinese market is all about chauffeured luxury automobiles, and given the prevalent Anglophilia in the Far East, Jaguar would be remiss not to jump at the opportunity being seized by so many of its competitors. So it is only fitting that the stoic British marque chose the Beijing Motor Show to announce what is billed in every sense as the Ultimate version of the XJ sedan.
One of two products launched in Beijing by the new Engineered To Order division of Jaguar Land Rover (alongside the Victoria Beckham edition Range Rover Evoque), the XJ Ultimate packs everything a pampered passenger could desire: individually adjustable rear seats with power everything (separated by an illuminated and leather-trimmed center console), motorized fold-down tables, chilled champagne bucket and flutes, iPads with keyboards mounted to the backs of the front seats and a 20-speaker Meridian sound system. Exclusive finishes like Herringbone veneer, machined aluminum and LED lighting round out the package.
All that gear is set in motion by Jaguar's 510-horsepower supercharged V8, riding on an adjustable suspension and 20-inch wheels. While the Chinese market may be the target for luxed-out limos like this one, the XJ Ultimate isn't exclusive to China. In fact, 30 examples (all in black) are earmarked for the United States, with price tags pegged at US$155,000. Click to read the pair of press releases on the XJ Ultimate and the Engineered To Order department.
Related Gallery2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate
2013 JAGUAR XJ ULTIMATE – AN ULTRA-LUXURY SEDAN WITH A HAND CRAFTED INTERIOR
- Only 30 Jaguar XJ Ultimate models will be available in the United States
Priced at $155,000*. Available in late 2012
- The XJ Ultimate represents the pinnacle of the luxurious, innovative XJ experience with heightened levels of opulence for rear-seat passengers
- The exclusive color for this vehicle in the United States will be Black Amethyst. Discreet external detailing and badging differentiates the Ultimate from other XJ variants.
- Two individually tailored rear seats are trimmed in semi-aniline premium leather with power adjustment and recline, lumbar support, massage function and climate controls
- A rear business table, machined from solid aluminum with piano black trim, powers into position at the touch of a button
- A pair of bespoke champagne flutes resides in a dedicated storage area beneath the powered table
- A champagne chiller between the rear seats cools the bottle to the perfect temperature and automatically presents it when the cabinet is opened
- A full-length, leather-trimmed center console features phosphor blue accent lighting and stowage areas to extend the car's business usability
- Each rear-seat passenger is provided with an iPad® and keyboard, housed and charged in dedicated leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats
- A 15-channel, 20-speaker surround sound system engineered specifically for the XJ by British audio specialists Meridian® gives an unparalleled audiophile listening experience
- Rear-seat entertainment package with twin headrest-mounted screens and wireless headphones
- Exclusive interior finishes including Herringbone veneer, machined aluminum and bespoke LED lighting
- To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the XJ Ultimate features revisions to the suspension to optimize rear ride comfort
Unique 20-inch 'Maroa' forged alloy wheels feature both technical grey and highly polished finishes
- The XJ Ultimate is equipped with Jaguar's 5.0-liter V8 supercharged 510 hp engine fitted with a new automatic eight-speed transmission
The flagship Jaguar XJ ushered in a new interpretation of the company's established reputation for dramatic design and – with its lightweight aluminum architecture – responsible performance. Now, the XJ Ultimate focuses on two further Jaguar hallmarks: innovation and luxury, extending the model's emotive appeal.
Based exclusively on the long-wheelbase XJ, the interior changes applied to the Ultimate focus on the rear accommodation, extending the car's appeal to provide a fully-appointed luxury business class experience for the most discerning customers. The XJ Ultimate offers the appointments of a private jet in a package to suit a wide range of requirements.
A full-length, leather-trimmed center console separates the two individually tailored rear seats which feature power adjustment, ventilation, massage and lumbar functions. A table, machined from solid aluminum with piano-black and chrome detailing, rises up from the center console at the touch of a button to provide a working area, its role supplemented by the provision of two third-generation iPads® with wireless keyboards that are housed in leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats.
Switching the focus from business to pleasure is the champagne chiller mounted between the two rear seats. This cools the bottle to what experts agree is the perfect temperature before 'presenting' it forward when the chiller is opened. Two specially commissioned champagne flutes reside in a purpose made cabinet beneath the center table.
A full rear seat entertainment package with twin headrest screens and wireless headphones completes the experience in combination with a new 20-speaker surround sound in-car entertainment system developed by British audio experts Meridian®.
To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the XJ Ultimate features revisions to the suspension to optimize rear ride comfort, with no compromise to dynamic ability.
The exterior detailing of the XJ Ultimate offers discreet clues to the high status of this model with sculpted lower air intakes chromed to match the grille, polished stainless steel oval exhaust pipe finishers, unique dual-surfaced alloy wheels and subtle 'Ultimate' badging.
The Jaguar XJ introduced a ground breaking coupe design ethos, taking Jaguar's established principle of long, unbroken feature lines and applying them to a decidedly 21st century form. Dramatically different, the all-aluminum XJ captures the essential Jaguar design elements of elegance, muscularity, sleekness and strength.
The detail changes applied to the XJ Ultimate serve to subtly enhance the inherent rightness of the car's design, making it clear that this is the luxurious flagship of the range.
The lower front air intakes are reshaped and chrome finished, matching the powerful Jaguar grille, while LED daytime-running lights underline the assertively shaped headlamps.
The exclusive color for this vehicle in the United States will be Black Amethyst. The 20-inch "Maroa" style forged alloy wheels are unique to this model and feature a dual-tone color scheme. A dark grey, technical finish is applied to the inner surfaces of the spokes which contrasts with the bright, polished surfacing on the outer edges, combining to create an appearance that is both glamorous and purposeful.
Anyone following an XJ Ultimate will be in no doubt that the model is a cut above, as it is distinguished by new oval tailpipe finishers in polished stainless steel that echo the front air intakes.
Jaguar has always prided itself on creating unique cabin environments and the interior architecture of the XJ is like no other, combining graceful and unexpected forms with quality materials that reward the senses with their tactility, visual splendor and luxury.
The XJ Ultimate's position as a luxury flagship is apparent from the moment the door is opened. A bespoke wood veneer, crafted using straight ebony, has been formed into a Herringbone pattern with mirror image upper and lower halves separated by a strip of piano black veneer. The Herringbone pattern forms fillets in the doors and at the front of the car runs around the base of the windscreen to create a dramatic feature that mimics the form of classic wooden-hulled power boats. The clock mounted in the dashboard is also unique to the model with a brushed aluminum face, embossed details and 'spun' bright finish.
The XJ Ultimate is offered with two interior color combinations for the sumptuous leather that covers virtually every surface. Leather is also used for the headlining. Color options include a complete "Jet" black interior or "Ivory" white seats and lower surfaces contrasted with "Mineral" color upper interior surfaces. The 'Ultimate' emblem which sits in the center of the sweep of Herringbone veneer across the dashboard can be changed to read whatever the owner wishes.
The XJ Ultimate brings a particular focus to the rear seat passengers to create an ambience that carefully balances the requirements of the modern, on-the-move client with "surprise-and-delight" features that underline the XJ's 'work hard, play hard' personality and reward the discerning owner who appreciates the sense of fun with which Jaguar imbues all its products.
Tailored rear seating
In the Ultimate the standard XJ rear seat has been replaced by two unique and individual seats designed specifically for this model. Elegant, cosseting and ergonomically optimized, the tailored seats are covered in semi-aniline leather which offers a more luxurious and tactile finish and allows the hide to retain its essential qualities of look and feel, complemented by the hand-finished stitching.
The seats feature winged headrests, powered recline and four-way lumbar adjustment functions to allow passengers to achieve the seating position perfect for them. The comfort levels offered by the seats are enhanced through the inclusion of on-demand massage, heating and cooling functions.
The occupant positioned behind the front passenger seat is also provided with a stow-away button that automatically powers the empty chair forwards to increase still further the XJ's generous legroom. The front seats follow the same unique design as the rears and offer identical functions with an additional range of electric movement allowing 20 by 20 adjustment.
The seats are divided by a center console running along the length of the car. Fully trimmed in soft-grain leather, piano black veneer and chrome, the console houses a number of features exclusive to the XJ Ultimate. At the touch of a button a table machined from a solid piece of aluminum with a gloss black and chrome finish rises up to then be pivoted into position in front of whichever passenger requires its use.
Chilled to Perfection
Raising the table reveals the first surprise and delight features of the XJ Ultimate, a pair of champagne flutes in a bespoke flock-lined recess and lit by phosphor blue ambient lighting. Within the center console are Champagne flute holders, designed specifically for these glasses and machined from solid aluminum.
The champagne flutes are discreetly integrated between the rear seat backs. A hidden champagne chiller is adjacent to the flutes. Lined in the same flock as the champagne flute holders, like a bespoke suit lining, it holds one standard sized champagne bottle. When the cabinet door is opened the bottle is effortlessly presented forwards to the passengers. The champagne is kept perfectly chilled at the optimum temperature range of 45°F-50°F.
Rear-seat passengers are also provided with a range of entertainment options to enjoy while sipping their champagne. The XJ Ultimate is fitted as standard with Jaguar's Rear Seat Entertainment package which comprises two eight-inch high-resolution screens mounted on the back of the front seat headrests.
These can display inputs from a number of sources; the DVD player, digital TV tuner or an external media player that can be synced through the Rear Media Interface, which provides USB and RCA®-type connections. Sound can be provided through the wireless headphones, allowing each passenger to watch separate entertainment sources.
The rear seat environment, including the entertainment, is managed by a wireless controller housed in the center console which also allows passengers to alter their individual climate zones and seat heating and cooling functions.
Meridian® Surround Sound
The XJ Ultimate is fitted as standard with the latest generation of in-car audio systems. Specifically developed for the XJ by British ultra-premium audio experts Meridian®, marking a new partnership for Jaguar, the Meridian® Surround Sound System fitted to the XJ Ultimate uses the latest technological developments to deliver music reproduction that is second to none.
Meridian® designs and manufactures audio systems that combine innovative technology with the most natural of approaches: comparing their musical reproduction to the sound of the original musical performance. The 15-channel amplifier, 20-loudspeaker system features Meridian's® unique digital sound processing technology that allows every person travelling in the XJ Ultimate to enjoy a musical experience that places them in the center of the sound field. Meridian® achieves this through its Trifield™ technology which creates an all-enveloping sound field that makes each listener feel that the music is exclusively focused on him or her.
Meridian® technology achieves a level of natural detail, realism and performance usually associated with speakers eight times the physical volume. Meridian® Cabin Correction and Dynamic Volume Control precisely and effortlessly minimize resonances and monitor extraneous noise levels to allow the audio to be unobtrusively maintained at a constant volume in order for it to be perfectly heard whatever the circumstances.
In addition to the entertainment on offer, the XJ Ultimate also provides a pair of third-generation iPad® devices with a wireless keyboard. The iPad® devices are housed within specially designed leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats and hidden behind roller doors, also finished in tailored leather. The units are automatically charged whenever the ignition is on. Also included in the cabinets is the wireless keyboard to allow the tablets to be used without being removed from their docks.
PERFORMANCE AND DYNAMICS
To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the XJ Ultimate features revisions to the air-sprung rear suspension for optimized ride comfort. While this provides a truly relaxing experience for rear seat passengers, the XJ Ultimate loses none of the model's core dynamic abilities and so is as rewarding to drive as it is to be driven in. The XJ's lightweight aluminum construction means a weight saving over its rivals of as much as 330 lbs. This offers great advantages in terms of agility, acceleration, braking and driver feedback and involvement. The aluminum architecture also provides benefits in terms of emissions and fuel consumption, allowing the XJ to provide astonishing performance with respectable fuel efficiency.
*Price shown is MSRP. Excludes destination/handling, tax, title, licence, retailer fees and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicles availability may vary. See your local authorized Jaguar retailer for details.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER INTRODUCES BESPOKE ENGINEERING DIVISION
BEIJING, CHINA - (April 22, 2012) - Today, at the Beijing Auto Show, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) showcased the Jaguar XJ Ultimate, a car developed by the company's specialist Engineered To Order (ETO) division. The division is responsible for extending the Jaguar and Land Rover brands with a series of 'special edition' models as well as a range of personalization options allowing owners to tailor their cars.
Dr Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover explained, "The specialist ETO division is the next step in the evolution of JLR as a fully-integrated premium automotive business. It is an extension to JLR's world class engineering capability and further proof of JLR's passion to meet customers' demands."
Following the recent success of two earlier ETO-built cars – the limited edition Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate and the 300km/h (186mph) XKR-S, the fastest and most powerful production sports car Jaguar has ever built – the ETO division is now focusing on further expanding the company's product offering.
Initially, as well as handcrafting the ultra-luxurious Jaguar XJ Ultimate, ETO will also be responsible for the Range Rover Evoque Special Edition, a collaboration between Land Rover and the British fashion designer Victoria Beckham. This hand-finished, bespoke vehicle with unique matt finish paint and rose gold accents is limited to a maximum of 200 vehicles worldwide.
The designers and engineers in ETO will work alongside the JLR Product Development teams on future products with a focus on offering additional luxury, performance and capability, exploring different facets of the brands' personalities.
The Jaguar XKR-S is a very different animal, engineered by ETO to push the outer edges of the performance envelope and explore the capabilities of the company's lightweight aluminum architecture. The engineering involved went far deeper than simply liberating more power from the company's renowned supercharged V8.
ETO worked with the Jaguar Design team to create the specific exterior changes – informed by Computational Fluid Dynamics – that allowed the car to cut the air cleanly and solidly at very high speed and developed bespoke machined aluminum suspension components to give the car even greater levels of agility and driver involvement, refining the entire package at Jaguar's Nürburgring testing facility.
Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate (2011)
The Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate took the already luxurious Land Rover flagship model and added a level of craftsmanship and unique exterior and interior appointments to create a truly first-class experience.
ETO was responsible for the handcrafted interior that used some of the finest soft-feel leathers and unique veneers for the four individually tailored seats as well as the seamless integration of the iPads®, machined aluminum laptop table and drinks chiller.
ETO also created the bespoke paint colors and alloy wheels individual to this model and, as a final unique touch, a teak-floored rear load space to evoke the decking of luxury yachts.
ETO will support the Jaguar and Land Rover brands by offering specialist products ranging from design and performance enhancements, to the development of a wider portfolio for customers to personalize their vehicles, and an extended capability in engineering armored and specialist vehicles.
News Source: Jaguar