Jaguar introduces all-wheel-drive XF and XJ
All-wheel-drive versions of Jaguar's XF and XJ saloons will be available in selected markets – which won't include the UK – from later this year.
Jaguar will offer the all-drive XF and XJ in North America, Russia, China and continental Europe.
Both cars will be powered by the new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine which will also go into the F-type, featuring a twin-vortex Roots-type supercharger mounted in the V of the engine. The 340PS V6 will be mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission (also standard on other XF and XJ models from the 2012 model year) and Jaguar's start/stop system.
The four-wheel-drive system has been developed with know-how from Jaguar's sister company Land Rover. In normal conditions most of the drive is delivered to the rear wheels, with up to 50% of the torque being sent forwards by a central multi-plate clutch as conditions dictate. The system automatically sends some power to the front wheels when pulling away from rest to avoid wheelspin.
Jaguar Land Rover has spent 18 months testing the system in a variety of conditions including frozen lakes and split-grip surfaces at its development facility in Arjeplog, Sweden.
The drive system has required a new front subframe, crossmember, engine mounts and exhaust system. At the front, the driveshafts pass through the engine sump so that the engine can be mounted low down to lower the centre of gravity.
Jaguar says the United States is the world's leading market for all-wheel-drive sales and initially more than three quarters of the AWD models produced at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich factory from October 2012 will be sold in the US.
With the new addition to the XF and XJ ranges Jaguar will compete in approximately 80 per cent of the luxury saloon market, four times its previous opportunity.
According to Jaguar all-wheel-drive accounts for less than five percent of the UK luxury saloon market, justifying the decision not to offer the all-wheel-drive XF and XJ in their home market.