Autocar's chief road tester Matt Prior recently joined Jaguar's development guru Mike Cross to take a ride in the new Jaguar XJ.
The pair took the flagship Jaguar XJ Supersport LWB on the roads around Welshpool, giving Matt a chance to sample the car from the passenger seats as Cross completed sign-off work for the car's ride and handling traits.
"We wanted the agility and the steering to feel the same as the XF, but it's a smoother car," says Cross. "But what I'm most pleased about is that the XJ has a nice, agile feel to it."
Asked about rivals, Cross says Jaguar wants the XJ to tread a middle path: "If you imagine that traditional German cars are at one end of the scale and the Maserati Quattroporte is at the other end, we want to be in the middle," he says.
Prior concludes: "I struggle to think of much to criticise and feel desperately sycophantic when Cross asks what I honestly think about the car.
"Honestly? The ride feels right. Noise levels are right. The looks? Right enough for me. Cabin design? Maybe, just maybe, I was a smidgen underwhelmed when I first got in it, because there isn't the in-your-face sparkle and delight of the XF. But I find that, like the exterior, it's a grower."
Read the full story of the Jaguar XJ drive in this week's Autocar magazine.