Tonight, at a big event at the Saatchi Gallery in London’s Kings Road Jay Leno – together with Jaguar boss Mike O’Driscoll – took the wraps off the car that could make or break Jaguar.
Have they pulled it off? Certainly in looks and style they have. The new Big Cat has sensual, contemporary lines and manages to look purposeful and stylish, and offers a real credible alternative to the big German barges for the first time in a generation.
The front of the new Jaguar XJ is, not surprisingly, a take on the XF theme. But then an identifiable ‘family’ nose is important to car makers, and although it’s not our favourite angle of the XF, it’s still a fine face.
Round the back is arguably the most contentious. To us it is very Bentley inspired, with perhaps a touch of French or Italian lights. But it is original and good looking. It’s a ‘grower’. We saw the first official pictures less than 24 hours ago, and at first glance we thought the back was too bulbous. But we’ve changed our minds. It is distinctive and original (if perhaps a little derivative) and sets the new XJ apart from the competition.
We’re not sure about the blacked-our C-pillars at the side of the rear screen. They look a little cheap and incongruous. But as many XJs will be specified in dark colours it’s probably not an issue. And it is of course entirely subjective.
Inside Jaguar has ditched the ‘Gentleman’s Club’ flavour of old and come up with an even better interior than the XF. There are some very clever detail touches and the big panoramic roof will bathe the interior in light. You get the ‘Rising Knob’ (no, I’m not quite that excited about the XJ) gear change from the XF, but you also get virtual instruments and plasma screens and a wealth of Gizmos to delight.
Options are huge and the new Jaguar XJ even gets the ‘low’ version of the Supercharged engine from the XF that has just launched in the US, so you get four engine option – a 3.0 litre diesel, naturally aspirated 5.0 litre or two versions of the supercharged 5.0 litre in short or long wheelbase.
As Jay Leno said ” You can sell a young man’s car to an old man, but you can’t sell an old man’s car to a young man”. This is a Jaguar for the 21st century. It looks terrific.
And if it drives as well as it looks Jaguar are on the way back to the top.
(We’re off to see the new Jaguar XJ in the flesh in the morning, so a more comprehensive rundown will be the order of the day then. In the meantime, if you want to read all Jaguar’s press release details, have a look at the New Jaguar XJ Press Release).
And see our New Jaguar XJ Photo Image Gallery.
|Model||Standard Wheelbase||Long Wheelbase|
|XJ 3.0 V6 Diesel Luxury||£52,500||£55,500|
|XJ 3.0 V6 Diesel Premium Luxury||£55,900||£58,900|
|XJ 3.0 V6 Diesel Portfolio||£62,900||£65,900|
|XJ 5.0 n/a V8 Petrol Premium Luxury||£62,900||£65,900|
|XJ 5.0 n/a V8 Petrol Portfolio||£69,900||£72,900|
|XJ 5.0 s/c V8 Petrol Supersport||£85,000||£88,000|