A Limited Edition XJ – the Jaguar XJ50 – is launched to celebrate 50 years of the XJ, with a cosmetic titivation and Jaguar’s 3.0 litre diesel engine. Costs from £74,280.
Fifty years ago, Jaguar threw its saloon cars in to one basket and so was born the Jaguar XJ, perhaps the most impressive car Jaguar has ever delivered. It took Jaguar in to a new league of impressive design and performance, with true luxury rivalling anything on offer at the time and completely epitomised Jaguar’s Grace, Pace and Space tag line.
Fast forward 50 years and Jaguar are celebrating that anniversary with a current XJ special edition model – the Jaguar XJ50 – although we can’t help feeling it’s a bit of a half-hearted attempt to celebrate the birth of a car that in so many ways redefined Jaguar.
Instead of delivering something unique and celebratory (how nice would it have been to see a supercharged XJ Coupe?) the XJ50 is simply a titivated regular XJ. And a titivated diesel XJ too, despite the XJ offering some properly sublime powertrains – V12 included – during its 50 years.
But the XJ is a bit of a dilemma for Jaguar; still capable, able and appealing despite its age, it sells in numbers a single S Class dealer might consider a decent year, and although Jaguar are thought to be planning an electric XJ to head the range, the current XJ just doesn’t have much buyer appeal when faced with the alternatives from the Germans, and seems a bit of a lost soul. Which is a real shame.
The XJ50 gets a new set of 20″ alloys, grille and front vents in black, XJ50 badges, a body kit nicked from the Autobiography, two-tone quilted leather, XJ50 logos dotted around and anodised flappy paddles. There’s a choice of Fuji White, Santorini Black, Loire Blue and Rosello Red paint jobs and standard or long wheelbase options. And that’s it.
It seems a properly half-hearted effort to celebrate half a century of the XJ, but if you want an XJ50 Jaguar’s UK dealers will now sell you one, with prices start at £74,280. But when you can pick up a pre-reg XJ Portfolio with the same engine for not much over £40k, we’re not sure why you would.