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Jaguar XJ: Cool, sexy and techy

It's finally here! A new Jaguar XJ that's not only technically advanced, but has a body that's worth drooling over.

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Derek Fung
Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.
Derek Fung
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Let's go shopping!

It's finally here! A new Jaguar XJ that's not only technically advanced, but has a body that's worth drooling over.

The last XJ was like the class nerd, smart and full of tech, but dressed in father's hand-me-down clothing. The new one's been taken shopping by its friends and given a set of duds that are 21st century.

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Aluminium baby

Like the previous XJ and the Audi A8, the new XJ features a body, both outer panels and under-structure, made out of aluminium. Without quoting exact weights, Jaguar says that the XJ is 150kg lighter than its key rivals, namely the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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Inside and out

The interior's also been given a thorough makeover. As with the XF, the refreshed XJ features the JaguarDrive gear selector — it's the dial in the centre console, which pops up when you start the car.

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LED lights everywhere

LED lights, such as those used in the XJ's tail-lights, may last longer and turn on or off quicker, but the main reason car makers are flocking to them is that they can fashion them easily into all manner of interesting shapes.

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Talking to you, talking to my car

Jaguar's integrated entertainment and information system is dubbed Media Hub and features CD/DVD playback, analog and digital TV reception, Bluetooth hands-free, an auxiliary jack and two USB ports. There's also a hard disk for storing sat nav map data, as well as for ripping CDs onto — Gracenote's music tagging database is thrown in for good measure.

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Go cat, go!

In Europe, at least, three engines will be offered. On the diesel front there's a 202kW 3.0-litre turbocharged V6, while for petrol lovers there's a choice of a 283kW 5.0-litre V8 and a supercharged version of that engine offering either 346kW or 375kW.

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Boom, shake the room

If your ears demand the best, or if you've simply got enough dosh, you can splash out on the 1200W Bowers & Wilkins sound system.

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Big cat or small cat?

The car will be sold in both long and short wheelbase form, with the former offering rear-seat passengers an extra 125mm of leg room.

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Dual-view

Sitting below the leather-wrapped air vents is an 8-inch touchscreen that can simultaneously display TV or movies for the passenger, while showing the driver the sat nav screen.

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Let there be light

All models will feature a panoramic glass roof, as well as a rear windscreen that looks like it wraps around the rear pillars — it actually doesn't, it's just black metal or plastic.

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The chrome's in here laddy

While the exterior may be largely chrome free — hurrah! — most of it has migrated inside, complementing the lashings of dead cow.

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More LEDs

The de rigueur xenon headlamps are joined by a set of LED driving lights.

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Olde worlde ambiance

If the creamy leather seats, chrome and dark wood panelling are too olde worlde for you, there's also the option of carbon fibre inlays.

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Riding on clouds

Those who prefer to waft over bumps and other road vermin can specify air suspension.

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Boot it

Jaguar says the new XJ's boot can swallow 520 litres or, more importantly, two large suitcases side by side. Presumably golf bags fit fine too.

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Just a reminder

Last time around Jaguar found it hard, nay impossible, to convince buyers that its car was actually as advanced as it was because the styling was firmly stuck in the late 1970s.

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Join the club

Worse still, the interior had the feel of an old gentleman's club.

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