Jaguar XJ (X350) (2003–2006)
The Jaguar XJ (X350) (2003–2006) is a full-size four-door, front-engine, rear drive luxury sedan/saloon manufactured and marketed by Jaguar Cars for model years 2003-2009 as the third generation of the Jaguar XJ sedan — with an intermediate facelift in 2007.
The completely re-engineered third generation XJ was noted for its fully aluminum monocoque bodywork — with 20 yards of bonding aeronautic adhesive and approximately 3200 self-piercing rivets — yielding a curb weight of 1,539 kg (3,393 lb) in its lightest configuration.
Design and engineering
Like the Audi A8, the X350’s chassis and body were constructed from aluminum. While some steel was used in places throughout the chassis, the X350 has a stressed aluminum unitary body similar in general design to a conventional steel structure, but with two differences; its underbody components are bonded together with aerospace-grade epoxy adhesives while around 3,200 self-piercing rivets are used to create the new XJ’s unibody.
This differs from the A8’s construction which uses an aluminum spaceframe to which aluminum panels are then attached. However, the aluminum Audi A8 weighs a comparatively high 1,830 kg (4,030 lb) (3.0 V6 TDi) compared to 1,539 kg (3,393 lb) of the (3.0 V6) XJ. On its own, the current XJ’s bodyshell weighs about the same as a contemporary Mini Hatch. If the car were made of steel, it was estimated that it would weigh 40% more.
The third generation of Jaguar’s rear suspension changed from the previous double wishbone layout in favour of a multi-link arrangement. In addition the car has all round adaptive air suspension.
The X350 features outer headlights larger than the inner headlights as well as greater width length and height, compared to the previous model. Beginning in 2004, chrome trim in the window areas between the front and back doors was discontinued.
The vehicle was the first Jaguar to be built using self-piercing rivets.
The V8 engines remained in the new model, but were the revised and more powerful versions found in the 2003 S-Type. The 290 bhp 4.0 L and 370 bhp 4.0 L supercharged engines from the X308 Mk II were replaced by the S-Type’s 294 bhp (219 kW; 298 PS) 4.2 L and 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS) 4.2 L supercharged units respectively, while a new 3.5 L V8 was also introduced for the European market which was derived from the 4.2 L engine and produced 262 bhp (195 kW; 266 PS).
The 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) 3.2 L V8 from the previous model was replaced by the 3.0 L V6 from the X-Type and S-Type. The V6 powers the XJ6, while the XJ8 was powered by a naturally aspirated V8. The XJR was powered by a supercharged 4.2 L V8. The XJ6 and the XJ TDVi are the only X350 models not sold in the Americas.
In 2005, Jaguar introduced the diesel-powered XJ TDVi, featuring the same Ford-Peugeot-developed 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 found in the S-Type. The engine, known as the AJD-V6, produces 204 bhp (152 kW; 207 PS) and 321 lb·ft (435 N·m) of torque, and was fitted with electronically controlled active engine mounts to minimize vibration at idle.
Daimler Super Eight/Super V8
The Super V8, also known as the Daimler Super Eight, was the most expensive model, with the XJR second. The Super V8, which debuted in the 2003 model year in the new X350 body style, was essentially a long-wheelbase, supercharged XJ8 with the more luxurious Vanden Plas, or Daimler interior. Its primary competitor was the Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG. A distinctive wire mesh grille and chrome-finished side mirrors set the Super V8 and the XJR apart from the less expensive XJ saloons. In 2005, the Super V8 model was replaced by the Daimler Super Eight in all markets other than North America. The Daimler Super Eight was essentially the same car, but with the addition of a different grille, boxwood inlays in the wood veneer and several other interior luxuries as standard. Daimler’s US equivalent was no longer known as the Vanden Plas, but the Super V8. The Vanden Plas name was used on models that would be known as Sovereign elsewhere. Daimler has been the State Car for the British Prime Minister since the 1980s.
For 2007, the premium model was the reintroduced Jaguar Sovereign when the Super V8 and Daimler versions were dropped.
North American models
All North American XJ models came standard with a 300 hp (224 kW) naturally aspirated engine. A 400 hp (298 kW) supercharged 4.2 L V8 engine was optional. The valvetrain had a dual overhead camdesign with four valves per cylinder. The top speed was limited electronically to 155 mph (249 km/h).
Super V8 Portfolio
In early 2005, Jaguar announced its most exclusive and expensive XJ saloon since ceasing V12 production. Called the 2006 Super V8 Portfolio, it was a limited-edition trim level of the flagship Super V8 saloon. It debuted at the New York International Auto Show in March 2005, and was the most expensive Jaguar saloon produced to date, with a base price of US$115,995. The Portfolio features added power as well as exterior and interior enhancements, including a DVD player and 7-inch screens in the rear headrests. The Super V8 Portfolio, aimed at North American markets, became available in August 2005. It was available in only two new, limited colours: Black Cherry and Winter Gold.
The Super V8 Portfolio was powered by Jaguar’s supercharged 400 hp (300 kW), 4.2 L, 32-valve, AJ-V8 engine. Top speed was 155 mph (249 km/h) and the Portfolio has a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) acceleration time of under 5 seconds.
The X350 was face lifted for the 2008 model and unveiled at the end of February 2007. The car featured a mildly revised front grille and new front bumper assembly with a prominent lower grille. A Jaguar emblem within the grille replaced the previous bonnet-mounted hood ornament. The front lights had detail changes while the revised door mirrors incorporated side repeaters. The front wings featured side vents, and the side sills, rear bumper and tail lights were revised.
The interior featured redesigned front seats with additional support and providing rear passengers over a meter of legroom