The new $72,000 flagship sedan unveiled Thursday by Jaguar and that crushed aluminum soft-drink can in your recycling bin have a lot in common. The lowly can may someday be part of your new Jag.
About half of the aluminum body of the new XJ revealed at a reception in London will be recycled metal, Jaguar says. That's a much higher percentage than for the model it replaces — and the automaker is aiming for more. Recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to make new metal.
The aluminum body saves about 300 pounds compared with similar-size luxury rivals, Jaguar said. The car also has a standard glass roof intended to make the interior feel light and airy.
The new Jaguar, due on sale early next year, is the first model revealed since India's Tata Motors bought the storied English automaker from Ford Motor. It is a complete update of the previous XJ.
"It definitely breaks the mold of past XJ sedans," says Joseph Phillippi of Auto Trends Consulting. It's "long, low and lean," less formal than its current incarnation. The $72,000 starting price is about $7,000 more than today's XJ.
The XJ will come with a choice of three 5-liter V-8 engines in the U.S. The base is a 385-horsepower direct-injection powerplant that covers 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds. It also can come with 470-horsepower or 510-horsepower direct-injection supercharged engines. The six-speed automatic transmission has paddle shifters. XJ will have three suspension settings: normal, "dynamic" for sporty driving and "winter" for slick roads.
The average vehicle has 8.6% of its empty weight in aluminum, a number that's increasing, says Charles Belbin, spokesman for Novelis, which supplies sheet aluminum to Jaguar.