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Back in July last year I attended a launch event for the new Jaguar XJ and was very surprised by the car that was presented to me. Ever since the launch of the original Jaguar XJ in 1968, the design changes with each iteration have been conservative to say the least. However, with this latest incarnation Jaguar has been what can only be described as radical, and the result is spectacular.
It’s clear that the new XJ has taken a few design cues from the already successful Jaguar XF, but this is very much a car and design statement in its own right. Although the rear of the car has come in for a degree of criticism, I have to say that I’m a fan of the new design from pretty much every angle. The front looks mean and purposeful, while the side profile is surprisingly sweeping and sporty. Even the slightly less striking rear has grown on me with the LED tail light clusters that wrap up and over the boot line.
There’s no doubt that Jaguar is a company that’s intent on turning around public perception. For a long time Jaguar cars had something of a reputation for being staid, stuck in the past, and slightly dull. However, no one could level such accusations at the modern range of Jaguars – the XK, XF and now the new XJ are modern, bold and cutting edge in their approach.
Ian Callum – Director of Design at Jaguar – is one of many at the company to relay the message that the latest Jags have been designed to reaffirm the company as a manufacturer of “modern sporting luxury cars”, and I have to say that Jaguar has achieved that goal, and then some. And if the new XJ is the final piece of that puzzle, it is, without a doubt, a significant piece.
Last week Jaguar invited me out to France to spend a couple of days driving the new XJ. I covered a few hundred miles in various incarnations of the car, and my time spent behind the wheel did little to dampen my enthusiasm for Jaguar’s new flagship. So, if you’ve had your eye on a new BMW 7 Series, or Audi A8, have a read of the next few pages before placing that deposit.