23/04/2012 08:52 | By Richard Aucock, contributor, MSN Cars

Jaguar XJ Ultimate revealed in Beijing



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Jaguar has revealed a super-luxury new version of the long-wheelbase XJ at the Beijing Motor Show. The car takes rear passenger comfort in the sporting Brit luxury saloon to a new level.

The new XJ Ultimate has a brand new rear passenger area that has been completely refitted to offer limo-like levels of luxury and comfort. Jaguar has done this with China in mind: the world's largest new car market places great emphasis on rear seat comfort.

Jaguar has not revealed prices of the new XJ Ultimate but it will be the most expensive Jaguar saloon ever sold: it is expected to cost more than £100,000.

Read Jaguar car reviews

How has Jaguar improved the rear cabin of the XJ?
The Jaguar XJ Ultimate has a set of two super-luxurious rear seats that match the front seats for comfort and adjustability: they are a huge step on from the basic rear bench previously offered in the Jaguar XJ.

The two new seats offer electric adjustability for backrest recline and lumbar support, and have a built-in back massage facility. The seats are also air conditioned, and trimmed in soft-touch semi-aniline leather.

If legroom within the long-wheelbase XJ L isn't enough, there's a special button in the rear that slides the front passenger seat right forward - provided someone isn't sitting in it, of course...

Between the two seats is a full-length centre console that's finished in leather and lit with Jaguar's famous phosphor blue illumination. This Bentley Continental GT-style feature even includes a champagne chiller (which, says Jaguar, cools bottles of champagne to the 'optimum' 7-10C degrees temperature...).

The champagne flutes haven't been forgotten either: they are located in a stowage area in the huge centre console - and can be rested on a pop-up rear table that also emerges from the centre console at the press of a button.

This table is made from solid aluminium with piano black trim, adding to the high-tech appearance of the Jaguar XJ Ultimate.

Jaguar XJ Ultimate (© Jaguar)

What technology does the Jaguar XJ Ultimate feature?
Jaguar has included two iPad 3 consoles in the XJ Ultimate. These are controlled via a wireless keyboard and are both housed and charged in leather-lined docks located in the rear of the front seats.

Sitting above the iPads are twin eight-inch screens mounted in the front seat headrests, as part of Jaguar's Rear Seat Entertainment package. Wireless headphones mean each passenger can watch from a separate source: it's compatible with DVD, digital TV or external media players.

A wireless controller located in the centre console manages the rear seat environment, including the twin screens. It also has individual climate control functions for each passenger.

Victoria Beckham designed Range Rover Evoque

Has Jaguar fitted a premium stereo to the XJ Ultimate?
The XJ uses the premium Meridian stereo also seen in the Range Rover Evoque. The Cambridge-based firm has tailored the stereo specifically for the XJ and included its Meridian Surround Sound System technology.

With 15 channels and 20 speakers masterminded by digital sound processing, Jaguar claims all four passengers will enjoy a 'user-centred' sound. There's also cabin correction and dynamic volume control that accounts for (and filters out) background noise.

It's powerful, too: Meridian says the 20 speakers pump out sound eight times their physical volume...

Jaguar XJ Ultimate (© Jaguar)

What engine does the Jaguar XJ Ultimate use?
The XJ Ultimate is the first Jaguar to use the firm's new 3.0-liter V6 supercharged petrol engine. Also designed for the new F-Type sports car, this new engine produces 340hp in the XJ Ultimate, along with 332lb ft of torque.

This enables the XJ Ultimate to accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds, and run on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Jaguar says economy will be comparable with other V6 motors, despite V8-matching performance.

Jaguar will also offer the 510hp 5.0 V8 SC petrol engine and the 275hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel.

Lamborghini Urus SUV unveiled at Beijing

Is the Jaguar XJ Ultimate any more comfortable on the move?
Jaguar has responded to criticism that the current XJ is too sporty for true rear-seat comfort and made the air suspension more compliant. This will improve ride comfort for rear passengers.

MSN Cars travelled in the rear of an XJ at the recent New York International Auto Show and can confirm the setup is on the firm side. We didn't mind as it still felt purposeful, but in this exalted arena of luxury cars, buyers are demanding.

Jaguar previously couldn't match models such as the Mercedes S-Class for rear-seat ride comfort. Here's hoping the revisions mean it is closer to matching the cocoon-like ride of the remarkable Benz.

Jaguar XJ Ultimate (© Jaguar)

What does the Jaguar XJ Ultimate look like?
Changes over a standard long-wheelbase XJ L are subtle. Twin highly polished chrome oval tailpipes are matched at the front end by chrome lower air intakes.

Huge 20-inch 'Maroa' alloy wheels feature a dark grey inner surface and, again, highly polished outer face, while there are 'Ultimate' badges below the XJ bootlid tag and on the front wing vents.

The first 20 Jaguar XJ Ultimate models will be finished in a special Celestial Black colour: after that, any colour can be chosen.

Jaguar literally does mean any colour, too: this model can be had with bespoke paint, which Jaguar can match to any sample provided by the customer - be it a handbag, a favourite coat or even just a small sample of material.

Read Jaguar car reviews

Victoria Beckham-designed Range Rover Evoque

Lamborghini Urus SUV unveiled at Beijing

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