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JAGUAR XJ L SUPERSPORT

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This car frightens me. Last time Auto Trader Towers took the Jaguar XJ for a spin I commented about the huge length of the body, this time we have the L version. That's an extra 13cms over the regular XJ, to you and me that means it sticks out in a regular parking space.

Jaguars in general frighten me and its not just their size. It's all in the way they drive, they are incredibly so fast.

I've driven supercars that don't seem to hoover up the road as quick as a Jaguar does. The Ferrari Scuderia hits 100 kph in about 3.4 seconds, the Jaguar XJ L Supersport in 4.9 seconds, but the Jag gives the impression of being much faster when you're holding the wheel. Under the hood, powering us through Dubai's streets, is a 5.0 litre V8 that offers 510 horse. 20 inch alloys keep enough rubber on the road to make flying around bends a lot of fun while the computer earns its money with the traction control. Yet all this is coupled with hushed refinement.

The look of the XJ is reminiscent of a whale shark thanks to the large mouth at the front, but instead of plankton being sucked up by the ton it's the Sheikh Zayed Road.

Jaguars are amazing cars to drive, right across the model range from the XJ, XF and XK. Each one of those cars hits the different market groups, our XJ L Supersport being the largest of the lot, more for the limousine market than the top management company car segment.

It is taken for granted that the XJ is beautiful to be behind the wheel, this is a car for the back seat passenger.

You should be reclining in the back receiving faxes, with two phones on the go, while on the way to a high powered meeting in the city. The type of car where the driver pulls up and the passenger hops out into a building.

Well that's the movies, I'm more likely get cosy and catch up on an hours sleep away from the kids and the whining staff, in the car park.

Jaguars today come with exceptional interior qualities. The XJ L SS cabin is wonderful, much more colourful and playful than the Mercedes S Class. The dials are digital, illuminated in electric blue, the gear stick is a round knob that rises from the central dash when the 'Start' button is pressed.

Mottled leather, Truffle Tipped they call it, surrounds the dash with carbon fibre veneers, Bowers and Wilkins brings music to life with 20 Kevlar speakers churning out 1,200 watts and the seats allow the car and driver to melt into one.

If you are in the back there is are DVD screens with Bluetooth streaming, business trays and more legroom than most premium economy seats on an aircraft.

Overall the XJ is contemporary luxury with a sensual fusion of soft leather, warm wood and cool chrome and an amazing car to drive.

Story by Matt German


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