The Big Cat of cars is about to get sharper claws, as Jaguar introduces all-wheel drive. From model year 2013 XF and XJ sedans with the 250kW, three-litre V6 engine will be available with full-time all-wheel drive in selected markets including North America, Russia, China and Continental Europe.

Jaguar's new all-wheel drive will initially only be available with the V6 engine, driving through an eight-speed auto transmission with idle stop.

According to the maker, it continuous monitors grip levels and driver inputs to both pre-empt and react to wheel-slip, allowing the system to anticipate wheelspin and prevent it, improving stability in low-grip scenarios.

Under normal conditions it sends most of the drive to the rear wheels.

The car feels just like a 'normal' Jaguar to drive, but under extreme conditions torque split can be up to up to 50:50 front/rear.

Suspension and steering systems have also been revised so that the all-wheel drive Jaguars match their rear-wheel drive counterparts' driving characteristics.

Jaguar vehicle line director Ian Hoban said: "Our all-wheel drive system preserves all the handling, steering quality and ride refinement of our rear-wheel drive cars while adding a new depth of ability in low-grip conditions.

"The system delivers all the traction benefits you'd expect, but the AWD XF and XJ are still very rewarding cars to drive - which was exactly our intention."