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Jaguar hunts sales with V8


But a new 3.5-litre V8 has been added to the fleet in an attempt to bolster sales.

Jaguar Australia marketing communications manager Tim Krieger confirmed the 3-litre V6 was “uncompetitive in the segment”.

“The key player in this segment is the 7 Series (BMW) and to be taken seriously you clearly need a V8 in the petrol derivatives,” he said.

“With the size of the vehicle it really needs a V8 and that's the thinking in putting in the 3.5-litre.”

The new V8 engine produces 190kW power and 335 Nm of torque.

The 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel remains the only six-cylinder engine in the XJ range.

“The diesel is going fine and is very competitive, but in the petrol segment for that size vehicle we need a V8,” Krieger said.

The 3-litre XJ6 started at $149,900, so with it gone, the new entry level is the XJ6 diesel at $154,900.

The XJ8 3.5-litre V8 comes in at $159,900, joining the short-wheelbase 4.2-litre XJ8 at $174,900 and the long-wheelbase XJ8 at $179,900, the XJR at $219,900 and the short- and long-wheelbase Super V8s ($229,900 and $234,900) completing the range.

The 2008 model XJ also gets some exterior styling updates around the front, side power vents, rear spoiler and full-width chrome signature blade and new rear bumper. They now sit on 19-inch Polaris alloy wheels.

The XJR and Super V8s get 20-inch alloys.

XJR also now comes with aluminium-finish power vents and black painted brake calipers.

Inside, there are new seats, increased rear leg and foot room thanks to redesigned front seat backs and the latest Bluetooth connectivity which allows up to five approved phones to be paired to the in-car telephone system.

Krieger said Jaguar sales were “on track” for this year's budget.

But the October figures show Jaguar has sold 763 cars this year, which is down 153 or 18.5 per cent on last year, while the whole market is up 8.6 per cent.

The biggest loser is the S-Type, which is down 22 per cent but is in run-out mode to make way for the new XK, arriving in May.

Krieger said they would be out of S-Type stock by early next year and that they already had about 80 orders for the XF.

“That's doing a little bit better than where we thought we'd be at this stage,” he said.

Four different XF models will be available: 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel, 3-litre petrol V6, 4.2-litre petrol V8 and 4.2-litre supercharged petrol V8 (SV8).

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company is believed to have attracted six offers to buy Jaguar and Land Rover which they are keen to sell in an effort to bolster a faltering bottom line.

Leading bidder is said to be India's largest car manufacturer, Tata Motors.