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2014 Jaguar XJ Introduction

The Jaguar XJ is a full-size luxury sedan with a harmonious balance of spirited performance, smooth operation and poise. It's available in both regular and long-wheelbase variants, making it superb for whisking away passengers in style. As with most world-class luxury sedans, the XJ is rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available.

For 2014, Jaguar XJ gets a number of upgrades. Long-wheelbase models get new reclining airline-style rear seats complete with a fold-down tray in back of the front seat, a new rear center armrest, and a massage feature for both front and rear seats. Jaguar XJL long-wheelbase models also ride on a revised rear suspension aimed at delivering a more comfortable ride.

2014 Jaguar XJ models are available with a new rear-seat entertainment package that uses two 10-inch high-resolution screens mounted on the back of the front seat headrests and comes with wireless headphones. An optional Meridian sound system is available for 2014, which features a conversation enhancing technology that picks up occupants' voices via microphones in the cabin and pipes the sound through the audio system's speakers. And an automatic stop/start feature comes on all 2014 XJ models.

A new, performance-oriented Jaguar XJR joins the lineup for 2014, after a five-year hiatus. Powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that cranks out 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, the 2014 Jaguar XJR will rocket from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to Jaguar. The 2014 XJR models are available in standard and long-wheelbase variants. Fuel economy for the 2014 XJR is rated by the EPA at 15/23 mpg City/Highway, the same rating as some of the XJ's less powerful models.

A new 8-speed automatic transmission comes on all 2014 Jaguar XJ models.

The 2014 XJ lineup offers a choice of engines: a 340-hp 3.0-liter V6, a 385-hp 5.0-liter V8, a 470-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8, a 510-hp supercharged V8, and the new 550-hp V8. All but the 550-hp engine carry over from last year.

The supercharged V6 comes standard with the Jaguar XJ and is used for the two all-wheel-drive models: XJ AWD and XJL Portfolio. Rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, the V6 gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27 mpg City/Highway in XJ, 16/24 mpg in the two all-wheel-drive models.

The XJL Portfolio is the only model that comes with a normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8. Smooth and powerful, it's a superb powerplant, rated at 385 horsepower and capable of thrusting the XJL to 60 mph in a very quick 5.4 seconds, according to Jaguar. It also delivers an EPA-rated 25 mpg Highway. It's the only engine that isn't supercharged.

XJ Supercharged models are fitted with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that makes 470 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque, and launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Fuel economy is estimated at 15/23 mpg City/Highway for both wheelbase lengths.

XJ Supersport and XJL Ultimate variants use a 510-hp supercharged V8 with 461 lb.-ft. of torque, and can catapult to 60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds. Like the more powerful XKR, these models achieve an EPA-estimated 15/23 mpg City/Highway.

All XJ models boast an exquisite cabin, with rich leather upholstery and a variety of luxury trims. In the past, Jaguar has fallen short of tech-savvy Audi and BMW when it comes to in-car connectivity. The good news is, Jaguar says 2014 XJ models will come with a new smartphone integration system, called InControl Apps, which promises seamless connectivity with iPhone and Android handsets.

Competitors of the XJ include Audi A8, the BMW 7 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the latter all-new for 2014. The XJR has fewer rivals, but goes up against the Audi S8, less expensive and less powerful, and the BMW 760Li, which offers plenty of power with its twin-turbocharged V12 but is $20,000 more than the XKR's long wheelbase model.

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