The new Jaguar XJ is one of the few new cars that can truly be described as a ‘mould breaker’.

It breaks the big Jaguar mould set in 1968 by the first XJ.

See more pictures and read details of the new Jaguar XJ here - Jaguar XJ: full details and pics

So venerated was the XJ’s design, that even when it was working on the current, all-aluminium XJ, Jaguar felt it couldn’t move away from the low-rise look.

In fact, company engineers had to work very hard to get the XJ’s aluminium panels to stay in shape when they were stamped out.

In truth, Jaguar was literally working against the grain of high-tech material by trying to bend it into an old-school shape.

The new XJ has been freed from such aesthetic restrictions. But it also marks an unexpected leap into the future. Viewed in light of the success of the conventionally handsome, and highly successful, XF saloon, the XJ is something of a surprise.

Rather than building on the XF, the new XJ is much more of a risky move. The low nose and high tail is expectedly modern. However, the devil is in the detailed execution.