Life Support From Jaguar
Jaguar has announced the introduction of the Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase - its first ever armoured passenger vehicle. Advertised prices will start from £199,000 and offer protection from firearms and blast attack, robbery, kidnap and car jacking.
From the exterior the Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase is virtually identical to the standard XJ bringing absolute discretion to owners. However appearances can be deceptive, as the new Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase is heavily armoured, featuring significant modifications like bullet-resistant laminated glazing, underbody protection, steel-armouring and run flat tyres.
Though the Armoured XJ closely resembles the road going XJ, its chassis has been extensively adapted to compensate for additional weight and a potentially more aggressive driving style with reinforced springs and dampers. This ensures that it is just as agile and safe to drive as the production version as well as being lighter than its armoured competitors.
A fully retuned variable assisted steering system (VAPS) with an increased pressure flow power steering pump realigns the increased mass of the armoured vehicle to the steering effort inputs of the driver.
The car is also fitted with opposed 6 piston Alcon mono-block brake callipers to the front of the vehicle and 4 piston Alcon mono-block callipers to the rear, along with performance friction material brake pads and larger ventilated brake discs to substantially increase braking performance. Original air suspension has been replaced with passive suspension to account for the additional mass. The vehicle is equipped with specially strengthened and tuned Bilstein B46 dampers and bespoke Eibach springs manufactured from special ultra strength silicon alloy – a combination tuned to optimise the balance between ride, comfort and body control.
Designed to provide maximum protection to driver and passengers alike, the Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase features many security attributes to make each journey a safe one.
Bullet resistant borosilicate glazing is designed to withstand a comprehensive range of hand guns and assault rifles. The armoured body shell is reinforced with ballistic resistant steel and underfloor protection is provided by high-tech Kevlar fibre material.
The Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase offers protection against high velocity assault rifle rounds and also side blast with the overall design preventing any penetration of the passenger cell by shrapnel or blast fragments.
As much as Jaguar is recognised for its design and engineering of luxury cars, Centigon is synonymous the world over for vehicle armouring expertise. The Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase has been developed through a process of complete integration of Jaguar's and Centigon's design and engineering operations, backed up by extensive prototype testing and Jaguar’s stringent quality control and sign off standards.
The vehicle has undergone extensive ballistic and blast testing by the independent test agency QinetiQ and has been accredited to European standard EN 1063 levels BR5 & BR6. As the first ever fully engineered and warranted armoured vehicle from Jaguar Cars, prospective customers have the assurance of full factory support during purchase and throughout the vehicle’s life. Jaguar's new Global After Sales Support programme offers a high level of support in the most remote territories. Four scheduled visits per year by a dedicated Jaguar technician ensure complete customer satisfaction, and reassurance that their vehicle is maintained to the very highest possible standard.
Tyres with run flat capability allow the driver to travel safely up to 30 miles (50 kilometres) at speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h), when punctured or deflated. Security features include a tamper proof exhaust, intercom system, self sealing fuel tank, cabin with its own oxygen supply and a titanium armoured roof.
Nick Youdan, Global Armoured Vehicle Sales Manager, commented: "Dealing with real security risks in our everyday lives is becoming more commonplace. The new Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase has been designed to combine the design and engineering of a luxury car with the technology and security features for the most demanding business needs. Everything is in place to make each journey a safe one, and with a V8 engine providing powerful acceleration, and tyres with run flat capability as standard, getting out of trouble fast will never be an issue."
Owners of the armoured XJ are offered tailored armoured driver training programmes, helping them to understand the differences in vehicle handling characteristics that such a high level of protection brings with it.
Text: Classic Driver
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