The radical new Jaguar XJ will be revealed in London this July ahead of its launch later this year, and Jaguar wants to reclaim some of its traditional executive customers with the car.
Once the natural and patriotic choice for board directors everywhere in corporate Britain, the XJ has been replaced as the vehicle of choice by the Mercedes S-class. But with fresh styling, lightweight alloy construction, and new engines, the new XJ is designed to open up a new customer base.
Project X351, as the car is called, started as a reskin of the current XJ. But as the programme has developed, the engineering changes have become more extensive.
In fact, X351 will be the first Jaguar flagship to be launched with a retooled body and new engines. Traditionally Jaguar does what most other car makers do, and launches carry-over engines in a new body to keep costs down.
Much of the structure is also new; the rear structure has been changed to accommodate the XK's differential, which requires a new subframe and new mounts.