2020’s most radical new car – new Jaguar XJ ‘challenges the norm’. Jaguar pledges its pure-electric new flagship will be ‘transformative and different’.
Jaguar has begun the countdown to the launch of its next-generation all-electric XJ flagship saloon with the release of the first preview image of the new car at the Frankfurt motor show. The image of the new XJ’s rear was shown during a video played at the firm’s press conference, where sibling brand Land Rover revealed the new Defender.
It shows a classic saloon-style rear end, with thin rear lights that feed into a light strip running the full width of the bootlid. The model also features both the Jaguar logo and the company’s name spelled out.
The new XJ, based on Jaguar Land Rover’s new MLA architecture, will be revealed before the end of 2020 and go on sale soon after.
The new XJ will be revealed before the end of 2020
Jaguar design director Julian Thomson told Drive-My in Frankfurt that the new XJ will look quite different from a traditional full-sized luxury saloon. “Even saying F-segment long-wheelbase luxury saloon sounds awful. We don’t want to do that,” he said. “We want to do a car that explores the best of Jaguar.
“We want to make it a beautiful car, with an engaging drive, a luxurious interior. We’ll do each of these our own way. We won’t be putting a tape measure on rivals to just match, match, match.
“We want to present something that challenges the norm, offer an alternative that makes it better and more engaging on all levels to own and to drive. That’s what we’re all about: the love of the car.” Thomson said the next XJ’s design will “not be conventional”, adding: “I don’t think you can be. You don’t stick a poster on a wall of a German long-wheelbase luxury saloon, I don’t think. Jag’s positioning of cars is to lust after, to want and desire. We can absolutely do that and it’s a fabulous-looking thing, for sure.”
Thomson noted that the packaging of an EV offers increased cabin space but said that also presents challenges to designers.
He added: “We’re learning how to do the aesthetic. They’re heavier, need more structures for crash [safety]. The mass means you have normal building blocks in different places. These are things we’re learning.
“We feel we’ve had an advantage with I-Pace. We’ve learned a lot from it, not just with the technology but what we can do with space. EVs are serene and have a sense of calm, more of a spiritual quality. It’s as close as you can get to doing yoga in a car. We’ll bring that into XJ, bring a sense of cabin ambience that’s calm and refreshing.”
The firm recently confirmed that the XJ will be built at its Castle Bromwich plant and Drive-My understands it will be twinned with a new Range Rover crossover model. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) chief commercial officer Felix Bräutigam hinted that while the XJ will initially be an all-electric model based on MLA, there’s the flexibility for it to be powered by mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains, depending on demand in different markets. “JLR is relatively small but extremely flexible,” he said.
Discussing the development of the new XJ, JLR’s executive director of product engineering, Nick Rogers, said: “The XJ will be transformative and different. What was William Lyons thinking with the 1968 original? What he thought to do: be disruptive, different, have an identity and a real desire to be different. We like that, and to be unconventional and different is a fun way to be.”