Ultimate luxury – but at what cost?

 
Ryan Borroff
How much is too much? How much should a flagship luxurious saloon car cost? What about the world’s most luxurious Jag?

At £120,000, Jaguar’s XJ Ultimate isn’t cheap. Powered by JLR’s 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine, this limo is capable of 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. From the outside it has the coolest, darkest 20-inch grey alloy wheels, oval tailpipes and unique “Ultimate” badging. But none of that matters, because this car is made for passengers.

It’s a bit like stepping into the kind of nightclub that’s frequented by supermodels, F1 drivers and cheeky royals, naked or otherwise. The cabin is dark and glossy and illuminated with a cool phosphor blue lighting.

There’s a halo of beautiful, glossy dark wood veneer, which runs around the car, across the dash and along the top of the doors. The buttons and controls are framed with chrome so polished my wife was able to use one of them as a mirror to put her lipstick on. Everything else is trimmed in smooth, black, semi-aniline leather and machined aluminium.

The VIP room is in the back. And so it should be – this car was designed as a limo for the kind of people who keep their own aeroplanes. As a place for unwinding between stressful meetings or stadium gigs, it’s quite a haven.

The centre console gives you more control over your environment than your average five-star hotel room. You can direct the aircon to just about anywhere you like. Pull on a lever on the side of the centre console to reveal a mini bar: what looks like a shiny, piano-black, lacquered centre panel rises up then swivels around to become a table, revealing two champagne flutes. Your bottle of vintage Pol Roger? It’s slowly revealed when you slide down the chiller door behind the seat back. The champagne bottle is bathed in blue neon, chilling in its purple velvet-lined cooler cabinet. And it doesn’t even feel too hip hop or bling.

Each rear passenger is provided with an iPad. When you’re finished reading the latest breaking financial news on City A.M.’s website, you can start working straight away. The keyboard is housed and charged in a dedicated leather-trimmed dock in the rear of the front seats. So, when the day is done, you can kick back with a TV or a movie while the seat massages your back.

If you’re still into your music, as the ageing rock star this car is aimed at will be, then there’s a Meridian audio system with a 15-channel amplifier. Twenty loudspeakers with digital sound processing technology keep you centre stage.

The XJ Ultimate is the kind of car that you’d expect Bono to hop into after a gig. Is it expensive? You bet it is. But it’s packed with gadgets that mark it out against its competitors. And it’s so cool it’s sub-zero. Just don’t forget your shades.

THE FACTS:

JAGUAR XJ ULTIMATE

PRICE: £121,980
0-62MPH: 4.9 secs
TOP SPEED: 155mph
CO2 G/KM: 270g/km
MPG COMBINED: 24.4mpg

THE VERDICT:

DESIGN *****
PERFORMANCE ****
PRACTICALITY ***
VALUE FOR MONEY **