Jaguar has revealed that the next generation of XJ will most likely be offered in one bodystyle, despite initial reports that two may be made available.

Ian Callum, Jaguar's design director, said "We're still in discussion on what we'll do with the next XJ, but the plan as it stands is one bodystyle in two wheelbases"

"I can't see us doing two body styles. The cost would be enormous and the message inconsistent. You have to believe in what you produce and to do two bodystyles would undermine that"

A potential reason for offering two bodystyles would be that in some markets, not least China which is rapidly becoming the biggest for the XJ, are less keen on the current style and want something more old-school.

The current XJ is arguably the boldest and most individual of Jaguar’s current range, new F-Type included, and emphatically signalled the company’s break with a design philosophy that had previously been evolutionary to the point of being retro.

It’s likely that there would have been strong opposition in some quarters to an XJ that threatened to go backwards in design terms, but equally, the commercial potential of China for the XJ is vital for the future of a luxury saloon breed whose appeal has faded in the western world at the hands of SUVs.

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Jim Holder/Matt Bird