This Jaguar XJ test prototype — complete with internal roll cage and external sensors — is thought to be evidence of very early work on the next-generation XJ saloon.
It’s likely that this prototype is a hybrid of the new Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) floor and crash structure, combined with the upper structure of the current Jaguar XJ.
In its present form, the XJ was launched in late 2009 and is expected to be replaced by 2016. There’s no news on whether similar mould-breaking looks will be carried across to the new car.
By the time it is replaced, the XJ will be the only aluminium JLR model still based on the first-generation riveted-and-bonded aluminium architecture. The new XJ will be based on the PLA, which also underpins the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The PLA is also scheduled to be used as a basis for the Land Rover Discovery replacement.
JLR revealed that a third of its entire engineering staff were working on the aluminium PLA platform and the Mk4 Range Rover. The PLA is more flexible in the kind of vehicle it can underpin, plus major changes have been made to the production-line technology, including the advanced robotic rivet guns.