Jaguar has announced its most luxurious car ever – and the new XJ Ultimate limited edition is the first Jag to feature a new 3.0-litre supercharged V6, available with either 335bhp or 375bhp. This engine will also power the upcoming F-Type sports car.
Video: Watch our video of the XJ Ultimate and Victoria Beckham Evoque
The XJ Ultimate was revealed by Jaguar's design director Ian Callum at a special event inside Beijing's largest JaguarLandRover dealership, where the C-X16 concept was also on display. It was also reavealed that the XJ will be fitted with a longitudinally-mounted version of the Evoque's 237bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine - and this model could come to the UK if there's sufficient demand. In the meantime, the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 will replace the naturally-aspirated 5.0 V8 from next year.
For the Ultimate edition, the XJ’s rear seats have been ditched in favour of two tailor-made, powered seats split by a champagne chiller, while a solid aluminium table with piano black trim folds out electronically. Rear passengers also get two iPads with wireless keyboards and headphones, plus extra screens in the front seat headrests. Engineers have tweaked the rear suspension to improve comfort, too.
A 20-speaker surround sound system has been designed by British audio specialist Meridian specifically for the car, while machined aluminium, unique veneers and bespoke LED lighting are also available. Setting the newcomer apart outside are exclusive 20-spoke alloys, chrome air intakes and stainless steel oval exhausts.
As well as the supercharged V6, the Ultimate Edition can be specified with supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol or 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engines. All get an eight-speed auto, and the car is set to cost in excess of £100,000.
Bob Grace, the President of JLR China gave an update on the company's performance in the Chinese market. There are currently 125 dealerships, which will grow to 140 by the end of this year. Around 20 per cent of all Land Rovers and Jaguars produced are now shipped over from the UK to China, with 73,671 vehicles sold in total between July 2010 and March 2012.
Jaguar also used the Beijing show as an opportunity to announce its new ETO division. This new division is responsible for building specialist Jaguars and Land Rovers, such as the Range Rover Ultimate, Victoria Beckham Evoque and XJ Ultimate. But it goes much further than just low volume vehicles - it means customers will now have a much wider choice of bespoke personalisation options for their cars. "if you can imagine it, we can build it," as one spokesman put it.