These are early spy shots of the next-generation Jaguar XJ, snapped in the UK today under heavy disguise.
Beneath all the cladding lies a radically modernised version of the British luxury saloon, with styling that's expected to be more in line with the smaller XF's.
Engines are likely to include an entry-level V6 and V8 plus a supercharged V8 version. A registration check reveals that this mule is running the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8. But, crucially, the new XJ could also spawn Jaguar's first hybrid model.
Jaguar is believed to be working with Leyland-based engineering firm Torotrak. The firm has developed a mild hybrid system by fixing a starter generator between the engine and its own Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT).
Unlike most hybrid systems, which are inefficient at a steady cruise, Torotrak claims its system is more efficient in real-world driving conditions.
It says the system can offer a 35 per cent improvement in fuel economy when applied to a conventional automatic transmission. Combined with Jaguar's petrol V6 engine, the system could allow the new XJ to easily achieve 35mpg-plus.
Dick Elsy, who was recently appointed managing director of Torotrak, used to be product development boss at Jaguar. The firm has also signed a licensing agreement to supply IVT technology to Jaguar's owner Tata.
The XJ will play a big part in Jaguar's new styling direction. This new luxury saloon will represent a significant shift towards a sleek, modern-looking four-door saloon. Jag's design team wants to take the looks of the brand's saloons and sports cars in two notably different directions.
At around five metres long, the new XJ is built around the same aluminium monocoque as its predecessor. All the body panels will be new and this XJ is expected to be marginally longer than the outgoing model.
Inside, expect a modern, XF-inspired cabin with high-end technology and a focus on providing exceptional levels of comfort and refinement.
It's due to go on sale in 2010 and we're expecting to see the production car in the metal for the first time at next autumn's Frankfurt motor show.