Half a century is an extremely long time, any which way you play it. From its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 1968, the Jaguar XJ has been in production in various forms and iterations, and it’s one among a select set of cars that have been around for over 50 years (the Mini Cooper and the Porsche 911 are other notable examples).
Six cylinders, in ‘V’ formation, do duty under the XJ50’s long hood. The smooth, diesel-fuelled 2993cc engine puts out 296 bhp and 700 Nm, which is more than enough to both waft to a board meeting or sprint to the neighbouring city. It’s a pity that you can’t spec one with Jaguar’s tremendous top-end petrol engine, a 5-litre, 8-cylinder behemoth with 518 bhp and 625 Nm.
At over five metres in length, this is not an under-the-radar automobile in the heft department (it is, however, rather British in its understated design, which has stood up reasonably well over the years). All that real estate means that you, as the proud owner, can stretch out in the back seat to your heart’s content. In case you feel like working on the fly, you get folding tables attached to the front seats; for entertainment, there are large screens and headphone sets. All told, the cabin is very swish.
Diesel or petrol engines notwithstanding, the XJ50 will bombard its way to a top speed of 250 kph, given the road and your appetite for risk. The 8-speed automatic gearbox makes sure this happens without fuss, and the brushed steel paddle shifters are around if you want to act like you’re in a sportscar.
For a car of its size, a 6.2-second sprint to 100 kph is most respectable.
It’s not surprising to learn that the XJ50 weighs almost two and a half tonnes. The weight doesn’t translate into sluggishness, happily – indeed, it aids the ride quality, which is very good.
Since it may be infra dig to leave your house without a fine set of golf clubs in attendance at all times, the capacious boot offers up 520 litres of cargo space. Alternatively, you could pack enough essentials for a luxe picnic for four, or luggage for a cross-country jaunt.
Yes, that’s a lot of numbers, because a car like this doesn’t come cheap. Rs 1.11 crore (ex-Delhi) is, however, rather good value when you consider that the XJ50’s competition will burn far bigger holes in your wallet – a BMW 7 Series runs you Rs 1.5 crore, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class asks for Rs 1.6 crore and a Lexus LS won’t get out of bed for less than Rs 1.8 crore. Granted, the XJ is a little lengthy of tooth, but it’s still a very luxurious machine – and you’ll have change left over for a second car, if you’re looking to expand your garage.