The Jaguar XJ was introduced in 1968. This luxury saloon immediately made an impression and went on to be a highly successful model. Being designed under supervision of William Lyons, the company founder, the Jaguar XJ became the flagship model of the Jaguar marque. The Jaguar XJ first generation (1968-1973) used a 2.8-liter and 4.2-liter XKI6 engines provided with automatic transmission. In 1970 the 4.2-liter XJ6 engine with a Borg-Warner Model 12 unit was offered. The new transmission came with 3 different forward positions that improved acceleration and shift quality. The distinctive feature of the XJ model was the twin fuel tanks provided on each side of the trunk. The leather upholstery and power assisted steering were included into the list of standard Jaguar XJ parts. With reference to Sir William the XJ saloon was 'the finest Jaguar ever.'
The new XJ version came in 1972 powered by 5.3-liter 12-cylinder engine with the top speed of 140 mph. At that time the four door XJ was the world's only vehicle with 12-cylinder engine. The XJ second series (1973-1979) was introduced in the 1974 model year at the London Motor Show. The engines range was enriched with the 3.4-liter XK engine. The subsequent sedans had standard wheel base. Only the long wheel base model featured the 4 inch extra cabin length. In 1975 the North American versions were offered with the revised Jaguar XJ accessories, including the front bumpers, and in 1978 the additional electronic fuel injection was added in the place of Zenith-Stromberg carburetor. The Vanden Plas model came in the American market in 1982. Nowadays, its designation stays in use for the top-level XJ saloon in the United States.
In the North American market, the second generation Jaguar XJ was introduced in the 1996 model year. The vehicle was offered with a bunch of power-enhancing parts, and featured a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine and 4-speed automatic transmission. It was available only with the long wheelbase (117.9 inch). The XJ visibly differed from the XJ6 by a 'V12' badge on each side of the central pillar and by golden crest on the radiator grille. The third generation XJ (known as the X350) came in 2003. Traditional in appearance, the vehicle was technologically advanced, its the all-aluminum body improved performance and fuel economy. The XJ was offered with the 3.5- and 4.2-liter 8-cylinder engines. The supercharged 4.2-liter 8-cylinder engine was available as well. The car was fitted with a new 6-speed automatic transmission that ensured better fuel economy. The 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine was produced as well, although after the introduction of the 2.7-liter 6-cylinder diesel engine the V6 petrol version was discontinued. In the United States automotive market neither V6 petrol nor diesel engines were available.
A Jaguar original, the XJ brings all of the tradition and prestige of the past into one luxuriously refined package. Some things never go out of style, and the Jaguar XJ's throwback body design is one of them. It is an image as synonymous with taste as the company itself. Nowadays, the XJ provides a lightweight aluminum body, navigation, top-quality Jaguar parts, and futuristic digital gauges. But the veneered wood trim and luscious leather interior are still on display, hankering back to the original intent of the model. Authentic class is ever present with the ride that has become the flagship of one of the world's most recognized brands.
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