First Look: 2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate

By Brandon Turkus

April 23, 2012

The Jaguar XJ is a popular executive limo the world over, thanks to its classy looks and sumptuous luxury trimmings. For 2013 though, it just got a bit more luxurious, thanks to the new Ultimate trim.
Starting with the plush, 510-horsepower XJL Supersports, Jaguar has upgraded pretty much every interior surface, paying particular attention to the back seats. Both rear thrones are finished in semi-aniline leather, with power controls, lumbar adjustments, and massaging/heating/cooling controls. A leather-trimmed center console hides a pop-out table along with a pair of champagne flutes, while a chiller can keep a bottle of 1921 Dom Pérignon at the perfect serving temperature.
Ebony wood trim has been finished in a Herringbone pattern, and covers just about everything that's not finished in leather or piano black trim. There will be two color themes, with either a completely Jet Black interior or an Ivory White/Mineral split. Based on the images alone, we can't help but be partial to the black.
There’s no shortage of goodies on the electronics front, either. Both front seats feature headrest-mounted monitors with wireless headphones, while the backrests house iPad docks and keyboards.
The mechanical/aesthetics of the XJ Ultimate sees more than a few revisions. The air suspension has been optimized for ride comfort, while twenty-inch Maroa alloy wheels, unique to the Ultimate, set off the exterior appearance. Other changes include subtle “XJ Ultimate” badging, along with additional trim work.
Jaguar will be selling only 30 XJ Ultimates in the United States, with an undisclosed number going to other major markets. All 30 American market vehicles will be finished in Black Amethyst paint, and will retail for $155,000. The XJ Ultimate will be available at the end of 2012, although it’s likely that all 30 units earmarked for the US will sell out well before that. Get your checkbooks out, One-Percenters.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Jaguar.
•          Only 30 Jaguar XJ Ultimate models will be available in the United States
•          Priced at $155,000*. Available in late 2012
•          The XJ Ultimate represents the pinnacle of the luxurious, innovative XJ experience with heightened levels of opulence for rear-seat passengers
•          The exclusive color for this vehicle in the United States will be Black Amethyst. Discreet external detailing and badging differentiates the Ultimate from other XJ variants.
•          Two individually tailored rear seats are trimmed in semi-aniline premium leather with power adjustment and recline, lumbar support, massage function and climate controls
•          A rear business table, machined from solid aluminum with piano black trim, powers into position at the touch of a button
•          A pair of bespoke champagne flutes resides in a dedicated storage area beneath the powered table
•          A champagne chiller between the rear seats cools the bottle to the perfect temperature and automatically presents it when the cabinet is opened
•          A full-length, leather-trimmed center console features phosphor blue accent lighting and stowage areas to extend the car’s business usability
•          Each rear-seat passenger is provided with an iPad® and keyboard, housed and charged in dedicated leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats
•          A 15-channel, 20-speaker surround sound system engineered specifically for the XJ by British audio specialists Meridian® gives an unparalleled audiophile listening experience
•          Rear-seat entertainment package with twin headrest-mounted screens and wireless headphones
•          Exclusive interior finishes including Herringbone veneer, machined aluminum and bespoke LED lighting
•          To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the XJ Ultimate features revisions to the suspension to optimize rear ride comfort
•          Unique 20-inch ‘Maroa’ forged alloy wheels feature both technical grey and highly polished finishes
•          The XJ Ultimate is equipped with Jaguar’s 5.0-liter V8 supercharged 510 hp engine fitted with a new automatic eight-speed transmission
The flagship Jaguar XJ ushered in a new interpretation of the company’s established reputation for dramatic design and – with its lightweight aluminum architecture – responsible performance. Now, the XJ Ultimate focuses on two further Jaguar hallmarks: innovation and luxury, extending the model’s emotive appeal.
Based exclusively on the long-wheelbase XJ, the interior changes applied to the Ultimate focus on the rear accommodation, extending the car’s appeal to provide a fully-appointed luxury business class experience for the most discerning customers. The XJ Ultimate offers the appointments of a private jet in a package to suit a wide range of requirements.
A full-length, leather-trimmed center console separates the two individually tailored rear seats which feature power adjustment, ventilation, massage and lumbar functions. A table, machined from solid aluminum with piano-black and chrome detailing, rises up from the center console at the touch of a button to provide a working area, its role supplemented by the provision of two third-generation iPads® with wireless keyboards that are housed in leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats.
Switching the focus from business to pleasure is the champagne chiller mounted between the two rear seats. This cools the bottle to what experts agree is the perfect temperature before ‘presenting’ it forward when the chiller is opened. Two specially commissioned champagne flutes reside in a purpose made cabinet beneath the center table.
A full rear seat entertainment package with twin headrest screens and wireless headphones completes the experience in combination with a new 20-speaker surround sound in-car entertainment system developed by British audio experts Meridian®.
To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the XJ Ultimate features revisions to the suspension to optimize rear ride comfort, with no compromise to dynamic ability.
The exterior detailing of the XJ Ultimate offers discreet clues to the high status of this model with sculpted lower air intakes chromed to match the grille, polished stainless steel oval exhaust pipe finishers, unique dual-surfaced alloy wheels and subtle ‘Ultimate’ badging.
The Jaguar XJ introduced a ground breaking coupe design ethos, taking Jaguar’s established principle of long, unbroken feature lines and applying them to a decidedly 21st century form. Dramatically different, the all-aluminum XJ captures the essential Jaguar design elements of elegance, muscularity, sleekness and strength.
The detail changes applied to the XJ Ultimate serve to subtly enhance the inherent rightness of the car’s design, making it clear that this is the luxurious flagship of the range.
The lower front air intakes are reshaped and chrome finished, matching the powerful Jaguar grille, while LED daytime-running lights underline the assertively shaped headlamps.
The exclusive color for this vehicle in the United States will be Black Amethyst. The 20-inch "Maroa" style forged alloy wheels are unique to this model and feature a dual-tone color scheme. A dark grey, technical finish is applied to the inner surfaces of the spokes which contrasts with the bright, polished surfacing on the outer edges, combining to create an appearance that is both glamorous and purposeful.
Anyone following an XJ Ultimate will be in no doubt that the model is a cut above, as it is distinguished by new oval tailpipe finishers in polished stainless steel that echo the front air intakes.
Jaguar has always prided itself on creating unique cabin environments and the interior architecture of the XJ is like no other, combining graceful and unexpected forms with quality materials that reward the senses with their tactility, visual splendor and luxury.
The XJ Ultimate’s position as a luxury flagship is apparent from the moment the door is opened. A bespoke wood veneer, crafted using straight ebony, has been formed into a Herringbone pattern with mirror image upper and lower halves separated by a strip of piano black veneer. The Herringbone pattern forms fillets in the doors and at the front of the car runs around the base of the windscreen to create a dramatic feature that mimics the form of classic wooden-hulled power boats. The clock mounted in the dashboard is also unique to the model with a brushed aluminum face, embossed details and ‘spun’ bright finish.
The XJ Ultimate is offered with two interior color combinations for the sumptuous leather that covers virtually every surface. Leather is also used for the headlining. Color options include a complete "Jet" black interior or "Ivory" white seats and lower surfaces contrasted with "Mineral" color upper interior surfaces. The ‘Ultimate’ emblem which sits in the center of the sweep of Herringbone veneer across the dashboard can be changed to read whatever the owner wishes.
The XJ Ultimate brings a particular focus to the rear seat passengers to create an ambience that carefully balances the requirements of the modern, on-the-move client with "surprise-and-delight" features that underline the XJ’s ‘work hard, play hard’ personality and reward the discerning owner who appreciates the sense of fun with which Jaguar imbues all its products.
Tailored rear seating
In the Ultimate the standard XJ rear seat has been replaced by two unique and individual seats designed specifically for this model. Elegant, cosseting and ergonomically optimized, the tailored seats are covered in semi-aniline leather which offers a more luxurious and tactile finish and allows the hide to retain its essential qualities of look and feel, complemented by the hand-finished stitching.
The seats feature winged headrests, powered recline and four-way lumbar adjustment functions to allow passengers to achieve the seating position perfect for them. The comfort levels offered by the seats are enhanced through the inclusion of on-demand massage, heating and cooling functions.
The occupant positioned behind the front passenger seat is also provided with a stow-away button that automatically powers the empty chair forwards to increase still further the XJ’s generous legroom. The front seats follow the same unique design as the rears and offer identical functions with an additional range of electric movement allowing 20 by 20 adjustment.
The seats are divided by a center console running along the length of the car. Fully trimmed in soft-grain leather, piano black veneer and chrome, the console houses a number of features exclusive to the XJ Ultimate. At the touch of a button a table machined from a solid piece of aluminum with a gloss black and chrome finish rises up to then be pivoted into position in front of whichever passenger requires its use.
Chilled to Perfection
Raising the table reveals the first surprise and delight features of the XJ Ultimate, a pair of champagne flutes in a bespoke flock-lined recess and lit by phosphor blue ambient lighting. Within the center console are Champagne flute holders, designed specifically for these glasses and machined from solid aluminum.
The champagne flutes are discreetly integrated between the rear seat backs. A hidden champagne chiller is adjacent to the flutes. Lined in the same flock as the champagne flute holders, like a bespoke suit lining, it holds one standard sized champagne bottle. When the cabinet door is opened the bottle is effortlessly presented forwards to the passengers. The champagne is kept perfectly chilled at the optimum temperature range of 45°F-50°F.
Rear-seat passengers are also provided with a range of entertainment options to enjoy while sipping their champagne. The XJ Ultimate is fitted as standard with Jaguar’s Rear Seat Entertainment package which comprises two eight-inch high-resolution screens mounted on the back of the front seat headrests.
These can display inputs from a number of sources; the DVD player, digital TV tuner or an external media player that can be synced through the Rear Media Interface, which provides USB and RCA®-type connections. Sound can be provided through the wireless headphones, allowing each passenger to watch separate entertainment sources.
The rear seat environment, including the entertainment, is managed by a wireless controller housed in the center console which also allows passengers to alter their individual climate zones and seat heating and cooling functions.
Meridian® Surround Sound
The XJ Ultimate is fitted as standard with the latest generation of in-car audio systems. Specifically developed for the XJ by British ultra-premium audio experts Meridian®, marking a new partnership for Jaguar, the Meridian® Surround Sound System fitted to the XJ Ultimate uses the latest technological developments to deliver music reproduction that is second to none.
Meridian® designs and manufactures audio systems that combine innovative technology with the most natural of approaches: comparing their musical reproduction to the sound of the original musical performance. The 15-channel amplifier, 20-loudspeaker system features Meridian’s® unique digital sound processing technology that allows every person travelling in the XJ Ultimate to enjoy a musical experience that places them in the center of the sound field. Meridian® achieves this through its Trifield™ technology which creates an all-enveloping sound field that makes each listener feel that the music is exclusively focused on him or her.
Meridian® technology achieves a level of natural detail, realism and performance usually associated with speakers eight times the physical volume. Meridian® Cabin Correction and Dynamic Volume Control precisely and effortlessly minimize resonances and monitor extraneous noise levels to allow the audio to be unobtrusively maintained at a constant volume in order for it to be perfectly heard whatever the circumstances.
iPad® Integration
In addition to the entertainment on offer, the XJ Ultimate also provides a pair of third-generation iPad® devices with a wireless keyboard. The iPad® devices are housed within specially designed leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats and hidden behind roller doors, also finished in tailored leather. The units are automatically charged whenever the ignition is on. Also included in the cabinets is the wireless keyboard to allow the tablets to be used without being removed from their docks.
To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the XJ Ultimate features revisions to the air-sprung rear suspension for optimized ride comfort. While this provides a truly relaxing experience for rear seat passengers, the XJ Ultimate loses none of the model’s core dynamic abilities and so is as rewarding to drive as it is to be driven in. The XJ’s lightweight aluminum construction means a weight saving over its rivals of as much as 330 lbs. This offers great advantages in terms of agility, acceleration, braking and driver feedback and involvement. The aluminum architecture also provides benefits in terms of emissions and fuel consumption, allowing the XJ to provide astonishing performance with respectable fuel efficiency.
*Price shown is MSRP. Excludes destination/handling, tax, title, licence, retailer fees and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicles availability may vary. See your local authorized Jaguar retailer for details.
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About Jaguar
Jaguar Cars Limited is a premier manufacturer of luxury sedans and sports cars offering unparalleled design with tremendous performance. The company's vision throughout its storied history has been simple: To produce beautiful, fast cars that are desired the world over. Jaguar strives to provide a world class ownership experience to every owner. Today's Jaguar lineup consists of the XJ luxury sedan, XF sports sedan and the XK coupe and convertible sports cars. Jaguar designs, engineers and manufactures exclusively in the United Kingdom, at the Castle Bromwich manufacturing plant in the British Midlands. Jaguar is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs.
About Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC
Jaguar Land Rover is a business built around two great British car brands that are designed, engineered and manufactured in the United Kingdom. Jaguar Cars Limited, founded in 1922, is one of the world’s premier manufacturers of luxury sedans and sports cars. Since 1948, Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that define “breadth of capability” in their segments.
Jaguar manufactures all their cars exclusively in the United Kingdom, at the Castle Bromwich manufacturing plant in the British Midlands. Land Rover and Range Rover models are built in the United Kingdom at the Solihull and Halewood plants. Land Rover exports to 169 countries and Jaguar exports to 63 countries, with global sales for both brands exceeding 240,000 vehicles annually. The Jaguar Land Rover business employs 16,000 people in United Kingdom, including 3,500 engineers at two product development centers.
Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA and Canada and is represented by more than 330 retail outlets.