Fifty years is a special anniversary for anyone. . . or anything! Jaguar is celebrating five decades of the XJ with a special edition, now available locally.
Exterior enhancements include Autobiography-style front and rear bumpers, 19-inch split seven-spoke wheels, black grille mesh and special XJ50 badges on the boot lid and fender side vents. Four colour choices include Rosello Red, Loire Blue, Santorini Black and Fuji White.
The XJ50’s cabin is accented with an anniversary logo embossed in the centre armrest and a commemorative plaque in the walnut veneer, which wraps around the base of the windscreen, mimicking the form of classic wooden-hulled powerboats.
Branded treadplates in the front door sills illuminate with XJ50 logos while shift paddles and pedals are finished in bright metal. Seats are swathed in soft-grain diamond-quilted leather with Jaguar Leapers embossed in the headrests, and the front row features 18-way electric adjustment and five massage programmes as standard.
The XJ50 is sold in South Africa in both standard and long wheelbase guises, and power comes exclusively from a 221 kW 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine.
Other standard features include self-levelling rear air suspension, LED headlights with Adaptive Lighting and soft close doors among many others.
Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design, says: “The Jaguar XJ story is one of design, desirability and performance and over the past 50 years it has become a true giant in the automotive world and it’s only right that we pay homage to it in this special way. When I started at Jaguar, the XJ was already an icon of car design, so to have been part of this story that has been told over half a century has been an absolute privilege.”
In 1968 the XJ made its debut at the Paris Motor Show, with Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons revealing his vision for a sedan with the handling of an E-type sports car.
Four years into its life it became the world’s only mass-produced 12-cylinder four-door car and, with a top speed of 225 km/h, it was also the fastest four-seater of its time. For half a century the XJ has been the preferred vehicle to transport politicians, business leaders, royalty and even rock stars.
The new Jaguar XJ50 is available in South Africa now and is priced from R1 815 000 for standard wheelbase and R 1 921 200 for long wheelbase.