click above image for 14 pics of the 2008 Jaguar XJ

Many radio stations have been advertising HD Radio for some time, but until now BMW has been the only volume automaker to implement the technology in production vehicles. Jaguar has decided to enter the fray, offering HD Radio as an option for the 2008 XJ. The suggested retail price is a hefty $500, but we don't think many XJ owners will buckle at the price.

Within the radio industry, HD Radio is gaining momentum, with 1,200 AM and FM stations broadcasting with digital signals, and 550 of those stations being subscription-free, FM multicast channels. The main stumbling block for HD Radio right now is the cost of the hardware, which is why luxury automakers are the first to adopt the technology.

We got a feel for the power that is HD Radio with some of the cars in the Autoblog Garage, and we are blown away at the quality. We found the quality of the HD radio signal to be extremely clear, and the crispness of talk radio surpasses by far anything offered by XM or Sirius. Hit the jump to read Jaguar's press release.

[Source: Ford Media]

JAGUAR JOINS DIGITAL HD RADIO REVOLUTION

Redesigned 2008 Jaguar XJ Sedan First Jaguar Offered with Digital HD Radio Technology

IRVINE, Calif. April 4, 2007 – Leading-edge technology coupled to modern luxury means that Jaguar will be amongst the first in the U.S. to offer innovative digital HD Radio technology in its redesigned 2008 luxury XJ sedan. Equipped with the HD Radio system, XJ owners can enjoy a higher-quality AM/FM radio system that features more channel choices, crystal-clear sound and new data services.


HD Radio technology is the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo. Across the country, more than 1,200 AM and FM stations are broadcasting using HD Radio technology, more than 550 are offering subscription-free HD2 multicast channels on the FM dial. These channels feature fresh new music and news formats, showcase young artists and local bands as well as air non-English language programming and more.


HD Radio broadcasters also offer valuable information that appears on the HD Radio receivers' display screen, such as song title and artist, traffic and weather updates, news, school closings and other emergency alerts. These HD Radio capabilities will provide XJ drivers an even more enjoyable drive experience. In addition, there are no additional fees or costs associated with these channels.


"We are excited to bring even more luxury features to our customers with HD Radio receivers," said Marti Eulberg, executive vice president of Marketing and Sales, Jaguar North America. "Jaguar XJ is renowned for its lavish interior and signature styling as well as advanced technology. With the dramatically higher audio quality provided by HD Radio technology, the XJ experience is even more technically sophisticated."


"We are proud that HD Radio technology will add an additional level of sophistication to Jaguar's flagship XJ sedan," said Jeffrey McGannon, vice president, business development, iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer and licenser of HD Radio technology. "Jaguar is at the forefront of a national revolution in AM/FM broadcasting. Given that customer demand is increasing rapidly, we predict that the number of HD Radio stations will continue to grow and expect it to exceed 3,000 within the next few years."


HD Radio receivers are available on the 2008 XJ line-up as an option. It has a Suggested Retail Price of $500. For more information on HD Radio, please visit www.hdradio.com.