This new XJ was certainly a bit of a shock when it was initially unveiled; it was so different I wasn’t sure if Jaguar had done itself any favours. A couple of years later though, and the XJ is ageing gracefully. I have grown fonder of it over time, but by far the most unconvincing feature yet remains to be those rear gloss black C-Pillars. They still fail to integrate and sit flush with the rear windscreen convincingly.
Luckily though, since the Ultimate is primarily only available in black, those pillars are actually quite stealth!
For the rest of the exterior, the Ultimate is only available in the larger long-wheelbase format and sits on these uniquely designed, 20-inch two-tone wheels (which weren’t fitted to this car).
Up front the most noticeable difference is with the lower air intakes on the bumper with their chrome surrounds, whilst Ultimate badges can be found on the side vents. To complete the look at the rear, there are large chrome oval exhausts and a final ‘Ultimate’ badge.
The main difference up front in the XJ Ultimate’s cabin is the ‘Ultimate’ badge centred on the Reva hoop wood.
The herringbone wood trim themselves are unique to the Ultimate too but otherwise it’s standard XJ up front.
This means the dual-view centre screen is still here, and so the driver can view the stereo / sat-nav from their seat whilst the passenger watches a DVD from theirs.
The LCD Driver’s screen is also here too although I’m still not sold on this judging by how speedos can just give up the ghost with age even whilst driving. I remain slightly sceptical about an entire screen with everything else on it disappearing on the motorway!
Reservations aside, the mixture of design and materials used in the XJ continue to make it a great environment to spend time in, especially with the storage compartments lined with purple suede!
It’s a pleasant surprise; like when you see someone’s new suit jacket lining and discover that they actually have a sense of humour. It’s as if the whole cabin could be purple underneath if you were to scratch beneath all surfaces.
The interior air vents light up at night with a blue/turquoise ring, as well as the signature mood-lighting found in the door’s release and storage bins. The touch-sensitive glovebox and courtesy lights from the XF are also here.
Spec: Ultimate LWB Engine: 5.0 V8 Supercharged Petrol, 503bhp, 461lb ft Transmission: 8-Speed Auto Mpg: Official: 24.4mpg Achieved: 20mpg Performance: 0-62mph: 4.9 Secs, 155mph Colour: Ultimate Black Pictures marked with * were sourced from here. Pictures marked with ** were sourced from AutoTrader.