2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed side view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear view

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front detail

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front fascia

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed wheel

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed wheel detail

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed badge

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear spoiler

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear fender

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed

  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed
  • 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed

Vital Stats

Engine:
5.0L SC V8
Power:
510 HP / 461 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
4.2 Seconds
Top Speed:
174 MPH
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,323 LBS
Seating:
2+3
MPG:
15 City / 21 HWY
Burying The Throttle On Germany's Autobahn



When an automaker tells us its "performance package" raises a vehicle's top speed from 155 mph to an even more astronomical velocity, we often have to take their word for it – public roads don't allow such madness in the States. But in Germany, where the Autobahn still remains unlimited in some parts, it is a whole different ball game.

Jaguar brought us over to Germany for track time on the historic Nürburgring circuit in its high-performance XKR-S Coupe. Being proper English gentlemen, rather than make us sit around and wait hours for our private driving slot, they handed us the keys to an XJ L Supersport (L designates the long wheelbase model) fitted with the new Sport and Speed package. Then they pointed us towards the Autobahn.
In the North American market, Jaguar offers its full-size XJ sedan with three different engines in the States. The standard XJ is fitted with a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 rated at 385 horsepower. Step up to the XJ Supercharged, and the blown engine makes 470 horsepower. At the top of the model range is the XJ Supersport, with the same supercharged 5.0-liter V8, but tuned to develop 510 horsepower.

2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed side view2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front view2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear view

Bundled in most markets, the two options tweak the top speed, add some aero improvements and enhance some cosmetics.

The XJ Supercharged and XJ Supersport both sprint to 60 mph in less than five seconds (4.9 seconds and 4.7 seconds, respectively), but each are electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph. While 227 feet per second is hardly a snail's pace, it will clog the fast lane in one Western European country. To allow the supercharged XJ a bit more stretching room, Jaguar announced the arrival of the Sport and Speed Packs.

Bundled in most markets, the two options tweak the top speed, add some aero improvements and enhance some cosmetics.

Already one sleek cat, engineers took the XJ sedan to the wind tunnel in an effort to further reduce lift. The four-door emerged with a new aerodynamic splitter beneath the front bumper and a new decklid-mounted lip spoiler to ensure a clean separation of air from the trailing edge of the bodywork (the low .29 drag coefficient remains the same). With the new stability in place, Jaguar has raised the electronic top speed limiter from 155 mph to 174 mph – the two supercharged model are now the fastest sedans the company has ever built.

2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed front fascia2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed wheel2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed badge2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed rear wing

But things didn't stop there, as Jaguar also made a few other tweaks to distinguish the faster sedans from their standard siblings. The signature radiator grille mesh, lower air opening and side vents gained a glossy black finish, and the brake calipers are painted red. There are also new 20-inch wheel designs ("Venom" and "Mataiva"), to further alter the appearance.

Lighter than the smaller high-performance XF-R thanks to its all-aluminum construction, the big sedan really knows how to scoot.

Inside the cabin, XJ Supercharged models receive sport seats with 18-way adjustments and active ventilation, premium suede headlining (in Jet or Ivory) and a bright metal stainless steel pedals with rubber grips – the XJ Supersport was already fitted with this equipment in North America. However, both models are offered with Jet Black leather with red contrasting stitching, an exclusive interior color combination. With the exception of the software regulating top speed, the powertrain on both models remains untouched.

Make no mistake about it, we really enjoyed the Jaguar XJL Supersport when we first drove it. Lighter than the smaller high-performance XF-R thanks to its all-aluminum construction, the big sedan really knows how to scoot. We merged onto the autobahn and mashed the throttle. It breezed up to relatively tame U.S. legal speeds in no time. We pressed a bit harder on the right pedal and it was soon cruising at 100 mph practically effortlessly, and with a very quiet cabin. Traffic was light, but not favoring a faster pace, so we followed a diesel-powered Audi A6 at a non-threatening distance through the rolling German hills at just over 115 mph for several minutes looking for an opening.

Autoblog Short Cuts: 2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed

Thankfully, just after we crested a small rise, the left lane opened wide. We pressed closer to the A6, and the driver quickly moved to the right. Our objective was to explore the higher speeds so we buried the throttle. The blown 5.0-liter V8 unleashed its fury and all 510 horsepower pushed us firmly into our seats as the digital tachometer climbed around its virtual dial. Acceleration to 150 mph was quick (actually, an indicated 241 km/h as the speedometer in our European test car was set to read in metric) but the pace began to slow as the thick air fought a battle against the engine's power output.

Internal combustion was winning. The speedometer rolled past 160 mph and then over 165 mph. For the record, there is nothing relaxing about going Mach .22 with four wheels on the ground as wind noise makes normal conversation all but impossible and every ounce of focus must be directed at driving. Our hands gripped the steering wheel firmly and we made mental notes about all traffic down the road, silently praying they stayed in their lanes – driving at these speeds is anything but peaceful.

2012 Jaguar XJ Sport and Speed

We remained on the Autobahn for another half hour or so, repeatedly blasting from 100 mph up to 165 mph over and over again.

The speedometer touched 275 km/h, or just over 170 mph, a few seconds later. The XJ L was still pulling, but traffic ahead was dancing between lanes. We had no choice but to lift off the accelerator and drop 50 mph off our velocity. So close.

We remained on the Autobahn for another half hour or so, repeatedly blasting from 100 mph up to 165 mph over and over again when traffic conditions would allow. The XJ L drank fuel at an alarming rate (as expected), and we covered the front with bugs, but it was every bit as stable as the Jaguar engineers had promised.

In the North American market, the Sport & Speed package is a $7,800 option on the XJ Supercharged. As the upgraded XJ Supersport already arrives with most of the interior upgrades from the factory, only the Speed package is offered as a $4,900 option. While most of us in the land of the free (but home of restricted highway speeds) will never come close to its top end, trust us when we say the package works exactly as advertised.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      Drop-dead gorgeous! Anyone buying the A8 or 750 is buying the wrong car!
        Tina Dang
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        +1 I'd definitely take it over the 7 and especially, without a doubt, over the A8. S-Class is first though IMO. But this Jag is gorgeous
        kcroc10077
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Agreed. I'd take this over both of those.
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        You sure about that? The A8 and 750 have AWD either standard or optional, the Jaguar has neither. If you live in a state with snow and ice that is a very major decision.
      Spartan
      • 2 Years Ago
      The XJ design is exactly how a modern Jaguar should look, sleek and mean. That thing looks like you should feed it raw steaks instead of gasoline.
      Howard
      • 2 Years Ago
      These minute video blogs are terrible. Either commit 5 minutes to a video or just stick to your word processor.
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car has some serious road presence I see a shiny silver XJ every now and then on my daily commute to work, it just looks gorgeous.
      ianw33
      • 2 Years Ago
      I absolutely love the turn around jag has had in the past few years. everytime i see newer models out in the wild, i do take pause and admire how good they look. The potent powertrains don't hurt either. Cts-v is still at the top of my "if i ever get rich and want a stupid fast luxury car" list, but those jags aren't far down the list
      Eric Gutierrez
      • 2 Years Ago
      The new Jaguars are beautiful cars. Jag's styling puts Mercedes, BMW and Audi to shame. The XJ is definitely one of my top 5 favorite cars right now. Also, about the review. I think you guys do a nice written review, but you should think about investing in some quality filming equipment. It would be a real improvement.
      The_Mell
      • 2 Years Ago
      A the beloved Autobahn - and another let's push the mythos post. Sorry guys, but not far from your film location on A48 i had one of my scariest driving experiences. Question: How much time does a 18wheeler need to change lanes? Answer: Less than a second if it's an evasive maneuver. Some days you are lucky if you do speed limit-10% instead of speed limit+10%...and for some reason i cannot understand people who want to do rocket science on a two lane public road strip...
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        telm12345
        • 2 Years Ago
        It is crazy - still, less death average on the autobahn (in ratio) than US roads.
          The_Mell
          • 2 Years Ago
          @telm12345
          Design. Autobahn have no intersections, you cannot collide with oncoming traffic and there are no trees to hug. Roads in the countryside are our 'killers'. Sadly a lot of deaths -or at least how i noticed them in news lately- are not 'primary accident victims' but people who get out of their crashed car or even helping first aiders. They are run over by another car hitting the crash scene...
      ShutoSteve
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Driving at 165MPH is anything but peaceful" That's because you're in a coventry lane cruiser that's meant to bumble around the neighborhood shops picking up jewellery, not actually be taken up to 165MPH. People who buy these cars buy them not to do the claimed "172MPH" but to SAY that their car does it. As for driving at 165MPH, I've done it quite a few times. I recently did it here in Japan in a Skyline GT-R. And it was actually quite peaceful. No wind noise, no problems other than a minor bump in the road halfway through the blast. Here's a video of my run: http://youtu.be/1dOfDwU4hmY Again, it all falls back to what the car is suited for.
        pavsterrocks
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        Didn't look peaceful -- harsh bumps, engine roar, and the beeping? I don't get the point of going that fast on a public road. Take it to the track! Someone might not see you approaching -- a motorcycle perhaps -- change lanes at 60 while you're doing 160 -- think you will have time to avoid killing him?
      rocketmoose
      • 2 Years Ago
      I couldn't get this car in any colour but black, just because of that hideous blacked out pillar. That single element ruins what is otherwise a damn good design.
        Ryan Allaman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocketmoose
        I agree. Although I am not a designer (or artistic at all), I don't understand the point of the blacked out pillar. Are there any designers out there who can clarify why it is there? The car is exceptionally beautiful sans that silly accent piece.
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocketmoose
        Seriously that black C pillar has been hated on from day 1 to the point that dealers were even painting them over on non-black cars. You would think that the new ones would be body colored now.
        Rhett Roberts
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocketmoose
        I hate the blacked out c pillar too!
      Ben Lee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still dont get that c -piilar. Looks like it was painted at home. Nothing elegant or attractive about the tail lights. The front lower intake could easily be on a Toyota(Corolla) Poser car for poser people
        Classic_Engr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ben Lee
        Considering the source, and your photo, the poser in this case is...you.
          Banf_1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Classic_Engr
          He has a point, you cannot simply overlook the fact that its not pillar-less, but it has a pillar that is painted over. That is not elegant, elegant was the 2000 XJ (which I used to own), with its fine craftsmanship details that mesmerize up close, that pillar-less effect works from a far, but is distasteful up close. Effectively being "poser-ish" as @Ben Lee referred to it as. Jaguars are supposed to be a poorman's Bentley. Judging by what Bentley has done of late, this is nothing remotely close to it. And I'f im not mistaken, the Lexus SC430 had those taillights first. The design of the car is well done, but it has no defined Identity.
      Andy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome, beautiful car. But my favorite line in the whole story: "...the left lane opened wide. We pressed closer to the A6, and the driver quickly moved to the right..." Lane discipline! Huzzah!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andy
        [blocked]
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