There’s no getting away from the fact that the new XJ is the biggest design departure from Jaguar in recent history, and has left behind the shape that has been synonymous with the XJ for over 40 years. The most obvious change is the coupé style sweeping lines that flow across the car – gone is the distinct bonnet, cabin and boot design that has been the norm for Jaguar’s luxury saloon for decades.
The materials used in construction are as modern as the car’s lines. The all-aluminium structure on the new XJ is completely weld free, with the whole car held together using cutting edge bonding processes and riveting. In fact, the previous XJ was also constructed from aluminium, but it simply didn’t have the modern design to go with its modern construction.
The use of aluminium has also allowed the XJ to be a reasonably green car, using 50 per cent of recycled aluminium in its production. Around 85 per cent of the XJ is recyclable at the end of the car’s life too, so if you want to salve your environmental conscience after opting for that supercharged 5.0-litre V8, you can take comfort in the fact the recycling attributes of your new car!
The outside of the XJ may be radical, but it’s the inside where an owner will be spending most of their time, and here Jaguar has excelled itself. The new XJ has one of the most beautifully designed cabins I’ve ever seen, and definitely holds true to Callum’s ideal of a modern, sporting luxury car. Sitting in the driver’s seat, it felt as though the cabin was wrapped around me, with everything exactly where I’d want it to be.
The array of materials on offer is dizzying, but opting for carbon or piano black inlays really does add to the modern look of the cabin, especially with the line of the inlays running around the whole of the cabin, surrounding the front occupants. There’s plenty of aluminium on display too, with the highlight being Jaguar’s trademark gear selector dial. However, even the centres of the round air vents are metal rather than plastic, and add to the quality feel whenever you touch them.
Despite the low roof line, the cabin in the XJ never feels dark, thanks mainly to the panoramic glass roof that stretches from the top of the windscreen all the way back to the rear passengers. Even with black leather interior (which would be my preference), the light flooding through the roof and metal highlights ensure that the cabin never looks dull or claustrophobic.
The blue lighting theme that was seen in the XF is carried over into the XJ with even better effect. Although the luminous blue, analogue clock wasn’t to everyone’s taste, I quite liked it, especially at night.