They may not be serving hamburgers at the corporate cookouts anymore, but luxury marques Jaguar and Land Rover still have the heart and soul of the British Isles. The 2008 purchase by India’s largest automaker Tata is yet to be readily apparent and each luxury brand is still about two-thirds UK sourced and about one-fifth German.
For 2010, each line gets some minor touchups (OK, the Jag XJ is all new, and Land Rover upgrades LR3 to a 4), but the biggest news is under the hood. New V-8 engines all around for the two brands, complete with more power and improved efficiency.
We recently spent time with the XF from Jaguar and the Range Rover Sport from Land Rover, each with all-new normally-aspirated 5.0-liter powerplants spinning the tires.
For the Jaguar lineup, the new eight is the third-generation AJ-V8 with power up to 385 ponies and 380 lb. ft. of torque.
The Land Rover version is coded LR-V8 and power is rated at 375 horses and 375 lb. ft. torque.
New supercharged engines have also made their way into the 2010 lineups with each marque being treated to 500+ horsepower from one of those bad boys.
Each new powerplant is still backed by a slick, smooth six-speed automatic gearbox with manual and sport shift modes. The XF even adds shift paddles to the steering wheel. Operated normally, the vehicles are silky smooth and dynamically quiet, but push the pedal a bit further forward and a familiar audible grunt will accompany the laws of physics settling you further back in your seat.
Craftsmanship and quality still shine through each of the examples we tested, with the Range Rover Sport arriving in HSE trim and the XF in the Premium package. Each vehicle is loaded to the teeth with the latest technology and engineering for absolute comfort, convenience and safety, including HD and Satellite radio integrated into high-end audio systems with surround sound, world-class leather and wood appointments, touchscreen GPS navigation systems with rear view backup cameras, rear seat entertainment systems with headrest-mounted monitors, side curtain airbags, adaptive front headlights, dynamic stability control, four wheel disc brakes with ABS, advanced active suspension systems and more, much more. The Range Rover Sport also features Land Rover’s Terrain Response system with presets for varying driving conditions.
In today’s battle of needs versus wants, needs are winning out more and more. But for those consumers ready to reward themselves with something they’ve been wanting, you need to take a look at the 2010 Jaguar and Land Rover models.
Pricey? Of course.
Impudent? Quite possibly.
Necessary? I will leave this one up to each of you individually.
The 2010 Range Rover Sport HSE starts at $59,645 with our tester coming in at $64,295. The 2010 Jaguar XF Premium begins at $56,150 and our test model finished out at $59,325.
My own personal DNA is just about the exact reverse of the makeup of the Jaguar/Land Rover brands (sans new ownership based in Mumbai – she lives in Duncanville). In the end though, what’s still very clear to me is, the Rover still roves and the Jaguar is still one badass cat.