After several months of teaser pics, Jaguar has finally taken the wraps of its Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 series fighter, the XJ. From what we can see from the pictures, Jaguar is continuing with its modern approach towards design. The front end of the car looks very similar to that of the XF model, but as a whole the car looks very fresh and contemporary. Gone are the round headlamps and retro design, that were among the dinstinctive features of previous generation XJ models.
The interior is also blessed with a brand new design. It seems a combination of a spacious cabin, high quality leather, good old-fashioned wood, and a modern layout of instruments dominates the interior of the new XJ. Also included in the new XJ is the brilliant rotating gear selector for the six speed automatic transmission.
Prices for the new XJ range from £52500 all the way to £88000, depending on the powerplant, options, and wheelbase (Long and standard wheelbases are available). The new XJ can be had with either a 3.0l V6 twin-turbo diesel, a naturally aspirated 5.0l petrol V8, or two supercharged versions of the petrol V8. Important figures for the engines are; 275 hp for the twin-turbo diesel, enabling a 6.0 sec sprint from 0-60 mph, while also returning a respectable fuel economy figure of 40.1 mpg and a Co2 output of 184 g/km. The 385 hp naturally aspirated petrol gets the XJ from 0-60mph 5.4 secs, while a more powerful supercharged version with 470 hp will do it in 4.9 secs. The most powerful engine, though, is the other supercharged 510 hp engine that can also be found in the XFR and XKR. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 4.7 secs.
When the XJ goes on sale early in 2010, it will face stiff competition from rivals that dominate the luxury sedan market such as the S-class Mercedes, BMW 7 series, Audi A8, not to mention the gorgeous looking Maserati Quattroporte, and the newly introduced but not so gorgeous Porsche Panamera. But Jaguar brings a good weapon to the game, namely an all aluminium construction. The use of this technology means that the XJ can weigh as little as 1650 kg, which is significantly lighter than its rivals (which also means that it's about 50kg lighter than the smaller steel-bodied XF).
A fresh design, being more lightweight than its competitors in combination with Jaguar's skill of making great-handling and fine-riding luxury vehicles, means that people will think long and hard about getting an XJ before going for the default Mercedes or BMW.