Design boss Ian Callum said an SUV won't over take the long-standing luxury saloon because it's 'more sophisticated'
Mark Tisshaw
30 October 2017

The Jaguar XJ will retain its place as the range-topping model in Jaguar’s line-up in its next generation, according to design boss Ian Callum. 

Callum said there was now a “consensus” within the company that the XJ, rather than a large SUV, will remain the firm’s flagship, even if such a model does eventually appear. To that end, a ‘J-Pace’ model, to sit above the F-Pace in Jaguar’s SUV range, is still expected, albeit with careful positioning. 

New Jaguar XK: design boss wants 2+2 GT to return

“An SUV was discussed but it’s not the mainstay of the brand,” Callum told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show

“There’s more sophistication for a flagship sedan than a flagship SUV. Only one brand can have an SUV as its flagship due to its origins and that’s Land Rover.” 

Callum said the very idea of a saloon needed to be reinvented, following the rapid rise of the SUV, the issue of electrification and the fact that markets such as North America have started taking to hatchbacks with the success of Tesla

Jaguar will continue with SUVs, though, according to Callum, and ensure they are always “sporty ones”. On the current XJ, Callum said its design remains popular because it is “different” to its rivals. He added: “The coupé profile is something I obsessed over. Some people don’t agree with it. Everything else is three-box; people simplify and categorise things. [If you do that], you lose the opportunity to define in your own way. The XJ covers that well.” 

Callum admitted the XJ was “a personal thing for me”, and he saw it as “a fundamental part of Jaguar”. He added: “It’s there and it says what Jaguar is about.” 

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Our Verdict

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ is a thoroughly modern luxury saloon, and a brilliantly capable one

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23

wmb

30 October 2017

...that the XJ is and should forever more remain the flagship vehicle of Jaguar! It would be like suggesting that since BMW and Mercedes  will soon both produce full sizes SUV's, the X7 and GLE respectively, that these would ever, could ever, replace the 7 Series and S Class as their flagship's! Those vehicles will, at best, IMHO, sit along ship those treasured vehicles, do to their status, as with the XJ, the essence of those brands. It seems though, that JLR has an opportunity to create an SUV to sit across from the Land Rover Ranger Rover and yet not necessarily compete with it! The RR is asked to be THE best luxury 4x4 in the world, which arguably it is. Yet the they increased competition from sporty, all weather, road biased, awd,  full size luxury crossovers, the Ranger Rover is more and more be asked to cover more terrain then it's original brief intended! That's why, again IMHO, a full size SUV'S from Jaguar makes since. Yet the wording of the article, with its quotes from Callum, seem to suggest that the closest Jaguar will be to full size SUV, will be a vehicle to sit next to the RR Sport and not the Range Rover! I may be wrong, and it wouldn't be the first and probably not the last time, but if that is true it seems that JLR maybe missing out on a great opportunity here.  

30 October 2017
wmb wrote:

 Yet the wording of the article, with its quotes from Callum, seem to suggest that the closest Jaguar will be to full size SUV, will be a vehicle to sit next to the RR Sport and not the Range Rover! I may be wrong, and it wouldn't be the first and probably not the last time, but if that is true it seems that JLR maybe missing out on a great opportunity here.  

I think a genuine X5 competitor from Jaguar is probably the best bet from a potential sales perspective. That would mean something closer in market positioning to a RR Sport. To me, that is no bad thing. 

30 October 2017

7 years on and the 'coupe profile' of the current XJ looks as clumsy as ever. Time has not healed the awkwardness of it. The painted C pillar still looks terrible. I think if they had gone the more traditional 3 box route it would have been a much bigger seller as the front and interior still look great.

But deary me, the back end is horrible (the silly lights and the big slab of featureless boot – ouch!). Callum could talk all day about how they justified it to themselves but everyone knows it's a total disaster of a rear end and I think he secretely does too.

30 October 2017
jmd67 wrote:

7 years on and the 'coupe profile' of the current XJ looks as clumsy as ever. Time has not healed the awkwardness of it. The painted C pillar still looks terrible. I think if they had gone the more traditional 3 box route it would have been a much bigger seller as the front and interior still look great.

The XJ has a similar profile to the Rover SD1, the latter sold well and was a genuine alternative to the usual 3-box competitors, especially with its avent-garde dashboard. So I don't think the coupe profile is necessarily a bar to sales success, it must be something else. Sometimes it's one single detail that puts potential customers off, in this case it could well be the black C-pillar. its purpose is perhaps to accentuate the floating roof, but the problem comes when the bottom of the black pillar does not connect with the bottom of the rear quarter window. But then Callum has been defending the black pillar for 7 years and no facelift could have it removed.

30 October 2017

For me it's the lack of petrol engines (or a hybrid option) in the current XJ, especially as a used buy.

The 5.0 supercharged is just not a realistic option.

 

30 October 2017

I think if they had gone for an SD1 shaped rear it would have looked great. The SD1 is one of the great large car designs and I think a modern take on it could be terrific.

The XJ boot opening shutlines are a complete mess, especially when combined with the blacked out pillars. When you have to fake something like those pillars you know you've made a big mistake. When you do it as part of completely new design and not as part of a facelift of an old design, you should get your P45. 

Saying that I do like the general shape of the saloons. Even if the XE and XF are almost exactly the same they still look better then what BMW and Merc and putting out just now.

 

30 October 2017
abkq wrote:

jmd67 wrote:

7 years on and the 'coupe profile' of the current XJ looks as clumsy as ever. Time has not healed the awkwardness of it. The painted C pillar still looks terrible. I think if they had gone the more traditional 3 box route it would have been a much bigger seller as the front and interior still look great.

The XJ has a similar profile to the Rover SD1, the latter sold well and was a genuine alternative to the usual 3-box competitors, especially with its avent-garde dashboard. So I don't think the coupe profile is necessarily a bar to sales success, it must be something else. Sometimes it's one single detail that puts potential customers off, in this case it could well be the black C-pillar. its purpose is perhaps to accentuate the floating roof, but the problem comes when the bottom of the black pillar does not connect with the bottom of the rear quarter window. But then Callum has been defending the black pillar for 7 years and no facelift could have it removed.

Wrong. Having grown up with Jaguars since being a young kid around a local dealership, I can tell you that the XJ is classic Jag and it really suits it. Sure, on some angles it may look a touch off, but overall when it pulls alongside I just think "yep, top of the line Jag" and it's just different to what the Germans produce. I love the way it dares to look different and that's what it makes it, in my opinion, pretty cool. Why have it look like a "me too" car. Being different is what makes the car...

30 October 2017

interesting to see the first comment so determined that jag should always produce an xj. While it would be a shame to see it disappear i fear it’s inevitable unless the next model is something very special. The xj of the 90s has in reality been replaced by the xf in terms of size. 

Current sales are poor and it seems the decision to replace the current xj has not been straight forward. A shame, but reality. 

jer

30 October 2017

It as to be a sport brake or hatch like the Panamera. They seem to get strong money for them. I noticed that the limo segment S class etc seems cheap compared to the large SUVs.

30 October 2017

I like the XJ, apart from the blacked out pillar. However I can't remember seeing one on the road outside the UK.

In Switzerland when it was on sale Ferrari's LaFerrari outsold the XJ (according to the official stats). Popular it is not!

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