Even though it’s still a saloon, the latest Jaguar XJ looks like no other XJ before it. Gone is the low-slung three-box look, replaced by design director Ian Callum’s vision for a 21st-century luxury car.
Where the latest XJ does follow its predecessor is in the use of aluminium for its body panels and chassis. It’s an expensive process but one that, in the luxury class, only Audi’s A8 shares. Unsullied by the A8’s four-wheel drive system, however, the rear-wheel-drive XJ is one of the lightest cars in this class – barely 40kg heavier than the smaller (though steel-built) XF saloon even in long-wheelbase form.
Even though it’s still a saloon, this Jaguar XJ looks like no other XJ before it. Certainly the XJ is forward-looking and, as with most advanced designs, it doesn’t entirely avoid courting controversy. We know it’s subjective but, for the record, we like the XJ’s overall design stance, even if we’re not entirely convinced about its rear. Arguably the XJ’s most controversial feature – the black-clad C-pillars – are designed to blend seamlessly with the rear screen to give the impression that it wraps around, although it’s an idea that works best on dark-coloured cars.
To accentuate the XJ’s length and give it a ‘waisted’ look, the swage line that starts from the top of the front wheel arch fades away through the middle of the car, before reappearing over the rear arch.