AFTER months of teaser pictures and shots of heavily disguised cars on Midland roads we can now show the real thing.
The wraps have finally come off Jaguar’s stunning new XJ saloon, revealing a radical new change of design direction for the Birmingham car maker.
We were promised a wow-factor car and Jaguar has delivered.
For the first time ever the traditional Jaguar shape which has been retained throughout the evolutionary development of the XJ to please traditionalists has gone.
In its place is a car which is set to appeal to a much wider audience than in the past, opening up a much needed larger marketplace for the luxury car maker.
In the same way that the award winning XF model – the replacement for the S-Type – broke the mould the new XJ is a breath of fresh air that throws down the gauntlet to rival luxury German car makers.
But while it takes design cues from the XF this is no stretched XF but a totally new model in its own right.
“The new XJ is truly beautiful, exhilarating to drive, and with its bold, enlightened approach to design, it meets the challenges of our fast-changing world. It re-imagines the ultimate sporting luxury car.” Jaguar Cars managing director, Mike O’Driscoll, told onlookers as the car was officially revealed for the first time last night.
With it’s coupe profile, wide front track and short overhangs the new car brings a daring new spirit to automotive luxury – it offers a seductive mix of striking design, breathtaking performance and engineering without compromise.
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, says: “The new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the quintessential Jaguar. Its visual impact stems from the elongated teardrop shape of the car’s side windows, that powerful stance and its wide track. It is the most emphatic statement yet of Jaguar’s new design direction”.
The all-aluminium flagship saloon features an innovative new panoramic glass roof as an integral part of the design concept, enabling the car to have a lower, more streamlined roofline, while dramatically enhancing the feeling of light and space inside.
Along with the XF it’s the most aerodynamic Jaguar ever, with the lightest body in its class. The aluminium body uses more than 50 per cent recycled material.
Interior features include stunning new virtual instruments, similar to those fitted to the new generation Range Rover, as well as a dual-view eight-inch touch-screen in the dashboard which allows the front seat passenger to watch television or a DVD while the driver watching the same screen sees only satellite navigation directions.
As in the XF a unique gear selector which you have to turn to engage the six speed auto gearbox rises up from its recessed position in the centre console as you start the car bringing a sense of drama to each occasion. As it rises 3D animations materialise in the virtual instrument cluster and on the central touch-screen.
The overriding impression from the interior is of a sense of personal space, a feeling enhanced by the clean, simple form of the leather-wrapped instrument panel sitting low across the vehicle. At the sides of the cabin, a bold architectural wood veneer sweeps forward from the doors to meet at the front of the car.
Buyers will be able to select from three specification levels – Luxury, Premium Luxury and Portfolio – allowing them to tailor the car to suit their tastes. Beyond this are the Supercharged and the top-of-the-range Supersport, the latter providing the ultimate expression of performance and luxury, with a specification that includes a leather roof-lining, semi-aniline leather seats and veneers with laser inlays.
Engines on offer in the UK include the 3.0-litre V6 diesel, the 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 and the all-singing all-dancing 5.0-litre supercharged V8 version which takes the car from standstill to 62 mph in less than five seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph.
But while the V8 might be the fastest it will be the diesel which will be the best seller with its impressive 40.1 mpg economy while still being capable of reaching 62 mph from a standing start in just 6.4 seconds.
The all-new XJ is available to order now. Prices start from £52,500 for the standard wheelbase 3.0-litre V6 diesel luxury.