2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport
2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2011 Jaguar XJ

With the trunk jam-packed and the family loaded into our jet black 2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport, I pulled out of the driveway and headed north for a vacation in cottage country; but not without some trepidation.

Gosh knows it wasn’t for fear of our personal comfort, as this long-wheelbase Jag, with a base price of $131,000, is a sybaritic cocoon of the first order; and not because I was afraid of getting smoked by some punk in a Honda. With 510 horses busting to get out of that direct-injection supercharged 5.0-litre AJ-V8, and a zero to 100 km/h of around five seconds, that wouldn’t be a problem either.

No, I was thinking about my credit card balance. With premium fuel at a buck and a half per litre, things could have gotten real ugly.

2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport
2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport. Click image to enlarge

As it turned out, this part of the story has a happy ending. Constructed entirely of aluminum with lashings of magnesium and high-strength steel here and there, our rear-drive black cat is a relative lightweight, if we can use that term, in the realm of big luxury sedans. It tips the scales at 1,961 kg, vs the Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic at 2,075 kg, the BMW 750Li at 2,105 kg and the Lexus LS 460 L AWD at 2,150 kg.

So as we flowed along with holiday traffic on Ontario’s Highway 401 and winding secondary roads, the XJL returned a saintly 10.3 L/100 km. This even included the occasional dip into the vast well of torque (461 lb.-ft. from 2,500-5,500 rpm) that propels this lengthy feline with uncommon swiftness and grace.

Granted, this is a best-case scenario, but it does prove that with light pedalling, these cars can be quite economical. Not that anyone purchasing this limo will be too concerned with fuel economy, at least in the fiscal sense.

Official figures for the XJL Supersport are 14.1 L/100 km city and 9.3 L/100 km highway.

2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport
2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport. Click image to enlarge

Penned by Jag design director Ian Callum with lead designer Giles Taylor, the XJ is a stunning piece – bold, languid, challenging in some respects, and yes, very big. The three-box look of its major competitors is left behind here as the XJ flows from its upright mesh grill to tapered tail in a long, graceful arc. One of the more contentious details is the blacked out C-pillar, although with a black car it is a non-issue.

Traditionally, Jaguars have been all about broad styling statements that incorporate the powerful and sexy haunches of a cat ready to pounce. In this sense, Jag’s new flagship is true-blue to the marque’s heritage, and while its styling forges ahead, it is still unmistakably a Jaguar.

With a 130-mm wheelbase stretch over the standard XJ, the L offers a corresponding increase in rear legroom. It is longer, lower and wider than the Mercedes S-Class.

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