If you haven’t seen the latest James Bond film, “Skyfall™” yet, you may not be familiar with the masculine commodities used in the production of the movie. Throughout the film audiences are treated to sweeping shots of the iconic Aston Martin DB5, a host of Land Rover’s, as well as the beautiful 2012 Jaguar XJ. Below is the trailer for the film showcasing a Land Rover Defender, a Range Rover, and the Jaguar XJ.
The film is littered with macho product name-dropping from the cars down to the guns. James Bonds signature weapon of choice, the Walther PPK 7.65mm (also known as .32ACP in America), was selected by Ian Fleming during the conception of the James Bond series and its placement has directly influenced its success. Over the years advertising execs have realized the importance of product placement making it extremely common for auto makers and gun producers alike to incentivize movie producers to feature their products.
The Land Rover Defender is featured in the opening sequence while the Jaguar maintains a role throughout the film. The Range Rover does not have a notable presence. A total of 77 Jaguar/Land Rover vehicles were provided for the production of Skyfall™ while many were in use as production support vehicles only. Co-Producer Andrew Noakes stated: “Bond is quintessentially British and Jaguar and Land Rover are two of the most established and globally recognized British brands, so it was a natural step for us to involve them in the film.” I have suspicions that the relationship was solely for production quality and not a monetarily incentivized advertising ploy from Jaguar/Land Rover, but either way I am happy to see such beautifully appointed vehicles throughout the film. As a car guru, it is always exciting to have appealing cars featured in films regardless of the motives for their placement.
The 2012 XJ is Jaguars flagship luxury sedan that is designed to compete with the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes S-Class. Although both are very staunch competition, the Jaguar asserts itself as the largest of the three as of its redesign in 2011. The latest XJ features its most radical departure from its predecessor in nearly half a century. The XJ is quintessentially Jaguar yet doesn’t adhere to the previous XJ’s recipe card. The latest jag features sleek bodylines sculpted from aluminum that conserves 10 percent of the body weight of its competitors. As a result of the Jaguars diet, the handsome XJ has improved fuel efficiency, handling characteristics, and ride quality. This aluminum body trend can be seen across product lines in the form of the most recent Range Rover as well as the Audi A8 and Rolls Royce Phantom. Aluminum bodies are more costly to produce but yield exceptional performance and efficiency gains.
On the inside, the XJ is appointed in traditional Jaguar fashion equipped with an entire rancher’s reserve of quality leathers and nearly an entire mountain side of lumber. The XJ showcases an alluring 12.3 inch electronic gauge layout flanked with beautiful woods and metals throughout. Ipod and MP3 jacks are equipped to the Bowers & Wilkins 20-speaker, 1.2 kilowatt sound system that features a rich sound and noticeable depth of tones. Centrally located is the 8 inch touch screen that allows the driver to tune the radio or SatNav unit with minimal frustration. The design of the center stack, and the interior in general, flows very cohesively and clearly reflects Jaguars distinct attention to detail.
The XJ can be had in either a standard or long-wheelbase version which allows for more rear leg room if the vehicle will be intended for chauffeur driving. Standard models are equipped with “regular” leather, dual-zone climate controls, and heated and cooled front seats. In long-wheel base and supercharged models the XJ receives piped leather, four-zone climate controls, and massage front seats with 20 way adjustability. Jaguar also offers a host of colors and trims so that each XJ can be uniquely equipped. Standard safety features include six airbags, traction control, perimeter alarms, blind-spot identification, and tire pressure monitors. Active cruise control and active seatbelts will be factory standalone options.
Under the Jaguars comely aluminum skin hides a 5.0 liter V8 that can be trimmed from the standard 385hp version up to a 470hp or 510hp derivation that boast superchargers and various pulley sizes to make up the power gains. This same motor is featured in the 2013 Range Rover (https://dr1ven.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/2013-land-rover-range-rover/) and does an exceptional job of expediting the increased weight of the full-size SUV steeped in off-road pedigree. Hauling about a ton less in the XJ yields the 5.0 liter a very satisfying power-band. The 385hp base model offers output similar to the majority of its competitors, yet weights about 400 pounds less as a byproduct of its aluminum construction. This having been said, the 385hp derivation feels more than adequate and makes the supercharged versions seem a bit excessive. For 2013 the XJ will also be offered in a Supercharged V6 version as well.
The XJ is sold only as a rear wheel layout which is unfortunate for those like myself that live in cooler climates. The XJ uses what Jaguar calls their fully independent suspension that mirrors the XF’s set-up. This means that the front springs are stiffer steel springs while the rear end is suspended on air-ride suspension to allow for a cohesion of handling prowess and passenger comfort. Another potential advantage to the air-ride is the ability to adjust it under load which can be done from the driver’s seat.
Conclusively, the Jaguar XJ does everything it was intended to do. It is a quiet, refined luxury sedan whilst still maintaining a level of sporting drivability. The bodylines of the XJ are intoxicating and play off of traditional European coupes and imposing luxury land yachts. The combination of the contemporary style of the interior fitted to a pugnacious drivetrain make the XJ very tough competition. Whether the producers of Skyfall™ employed the Jaguar based on its credentials or its marketability, the Jaguar XJ seems to be an exceptional addition to the James Bond cast.
Base Price: Jaguar XJ ($71,650), XJL ($78,650); XJ Supercharged ($86,650), XJL Supercharged ($89,650); XJ Supersport ($109,150), XJL Supersport ($112,150).
Engine: Jaguar V8 5.0 liter. Non-Supercharged and Supercharged
Horsepower: 385hp; 470hp; 510hp
Torque: 380ft-lbs; 424ft-lbs; 461ft-lbs
0-60mph: 5.4 seconds; 4.9 seconds; 4.7 seconds
Standing ¼ mile: 14.1 seconds; 13.6 seconds; 13.4 seconds
Top Speed: 121mph; 155mph
Fuel Economy: 15/22; 15/21; 15/21
Credits: Emmett Vick and Autos.aol.com