Jaguar is introducing all wheel drive versions of the XF and XJ, although not initially in the UK.
It is a sign of things to come, as Jaguar will almost certainly offer a luxury off-roader, or SUV, within a few years. It might seem odd that the company which is a sister brand to Land Rover should offer an off-roader, but there really is no alternative. Most luxury saloon buyers have switched to SUVs, and so Jaguar has to offer them what they want.
However, back to the current cars. The XF and XJ AWD will use the new 3.0 340 PS supercharged V6 engine. The main market will be the USA: in the northern part of the country (the so-called "snowbelt" states), 4x4 is now seen as almost as essential as ABS brakes. Jaguar expects 75% of AWD sales to be to North America. Other important markets will be China and Russia – basically countries which have cold winters and don't buy many diesel cars. Hence Britain, where most large cars are diesel and we buy an SUV if we want 4wd, is a bit of a non-starter for the new Jaguars.
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar, said: "Jaguar has revitalised its core range and is now undertaking an intensive programme of introducing new models, strategic powertrain and technologies to reinvigorate the Jaguar brand around the world.
"The new AWD products are another example of how we are taking the Jaguar business forward by thinking globally and targeting specific market opportunities by addressing specific regional requirements."