Sunday, December 2, 2012

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

First drive review: Jaguar XJ 3.0 V6 AWD

Posted: 01 Dec 2012 11:54 PM PST

Jaguar's first all-wheel drive XJ is impressive - but not on sale in the UK Something that can't come a moment too soon for Jaguar in colder climates. All-wheel drive models account for almost 50 per cent of the US market for larger saloon cars (even higher, at around 80 per cent, in the Snow Belt states and in Canada), and it's something Jaguar has always been without until now.That 'now' is a new Jaguar-developed all-wheel drive system being offered on the Jaguar XJ and Jaguar XF saloons for the 2013 model year in Jaguar's left-hand drive markets, but sadly not for the UK. The system is available exclusively with the firm's new supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.To fit the new system, which uses sister firm Land Rover's expertise rather than technology, into the XJ tested here required a thorough re-engineering of the luxury saloon's underpinnings.A new front sub frame has been fitted, along with a revised steering rack, a new exhaust system, new engine mounts, new front knuckles, new damper mounts, new front and rear differentials, a new prop shaft, new cross members, a new undertray, and acoustic heat shields to hide the noise from the transfer case.On the dynamic front, all-wheel drive XJs get unique tuning for the suspension bushes and dampers, a unique steering set-up and a re-calibrated V6 engine, which is the only engine that can be equipped with the new all-wheel drive system as it was developed with the technology specifically in mind, the sump designed specifically to work with the driveshaft.The all-wheel drive system features a transfer case control module mounted on the back of the revised eight-speed automatic gearbox. It's a continuously variable system, which can split the torque 100/0 per cent front or rear, and any combination in between, depending on the situation.

Every new Jaguar will have a 4WD option

Posted: 01 Dec 2012 11:48 PM PST

All new Jaguar powertrains to be engineered with four-wheel drive capability

Every future Jaguar will be developed with all-wheel drive capability engineered into the architecture, global brand director Adrian Hallmark has revealed.

"I can't think of any model that wouldn't benefit from not having the option of it," said Hallmark at the launch of the XF and XJ 3.0 V6 all-wheel drive models, Jaguar's first.

The XF and XJ had only ever been engineered as rear-wheel drive cars, but Jaguar took the decision to respond to market demands from the likes of the US snow belt states and Canada for all-wheel drive cars when developing its new 3.0-litre V6 engine.

No other Jaguar engine will be mated to all-wheel drive technology due to the engineering costs versus return on investment. It is for this reason the all-wheel drive technology will not be engineered for right-hand drive and sold in the UK, a market where demand for V6 petrol saloon cars with all-wheel drive is tiny.

But in developing future models, Jaguar will be able to plan and engineer in its all-wheel drive technology right from the outset.

"At the moment, we can't take the full grid of engines, models and drivetrains and tick every box and offer them all. We have to prioritise. In the future, we know what it takes to get all-wheel drive," said Hallmark.

Jaguar's baby saloon is next priority

Posted: 01 Dec 2012 11:29 PM PST

Jaguar's global boss hints that baby saloon will take priority over upcoming crossover

A smaller saloon to rival the BMW 3-series is a bigger priority at Jaguar than developing a crossover, global brand director Adrian Hallmark has hinted.

"Even though the SUV market is growing, the saloon market is still twice the size, especially in the US," said Hallmark. "A crossover would make more noise for us than a saloon, but we already have SUVs in the company and we're not in a rush to add to that.

"You might not make as much profit on a saloon than an SUV, but you don't expect the likes of Audi stop making the A4."

Hallmark also pointed out the "successful strategy" the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes had made of expanding the appeal and profitability of their staple saloon line-ups with coupe, cabriolet and estate variants, as well as a wide range of powertrains. "You have got to be flexible in that segment," he added.

No comments:

Post a Comment