Ultimate social class
Hong Kong is still a key car market in Asia. Recession-hit marques might unveil their latest cars in booming Beijing or Shanghai, but they also know Hong Kong owners have developed brand loyalties for generations and are arguably more discerning.
Jaguar has always had a staunch following in this city, and the British marque previewed its new XJ Ultimate on Gloucester Road last weekend.
Launched last month at Beijing Auto, and priced at HK$4 million, the five-litre supercharged V8 is Jaguar's plushest car yet, with a predictably strong emphasis on back-seat comfort for mainland bosses.
The aluminium-bodied Jaguar XJs are designed to convey power, a hint of racy performance and ooze social class, but the Ultimate is plush.
Fitted with luxury touches that are the norms in Maybach, Bentley and Rolls-Royce, the Ultimate XJ looks an ideal airport drive, particularly for hotels, casinos and companies seeking to impress mainland investors.
The model is distinguished from other XJs by the glint of its oval exhausts and 'Ultimate' badges underneath the 'XJ' nameplate, and in the front power vents.
The marque seems to have thought of every comfort.
Bosses in the back can adjust the cabin temperature on the extended central console's four-zone ventilation control, and settle back in their hand trimmed, semi-aniline natural leather seats for a massage, or adjust their heating, cooling and lumbar settings.
Rear-seat passengers also have a work table with a high-gloss piano-black finish, and an iPad and keyboard housed and charged in leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats and linked to the car's 20-speaker Meridian Surround Audio System.
The saloon is even fitted with a rear Champagne cooler. 'Just as in private jets, the XJ Ultimate can store bottles that hold up to 75cl and chills them to the ideal temperature of 7 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius,' the marque says.
Jaguar plans to launch a three-litre V6 supercharged petrol version for the 2013 model year.