Jaguar’s forthcoming replacement for the XJ luxury saloon is nearing its launch date. The all-new model will make its official debut at the end of 2020, where it will act as a pure electric alternative to the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class saloon – although the latter will soon gain its own electric sibling in the form of the upcoming EQS saloon.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express Jaguar design director, Julian Thomson has revealed the focus behind the new luxury car as development reaches its latter stages. “It’s going to be a very, very luxurious, very, very calm, tranquil piece of transportation,” he says. “But it’s not overtly flashy, it’s not overtly expensive.
“It’s a car, which you make an emotional connection with. We don’t want all our people who get our cars to just sit in the back of them and just be driven around in them. They can be used like that, but at the end of the day, we know that these cars are there to be experienced and driven and enjoyed; enjoyable to sit in, relaxing to sit in, and beautiful to look at.”
New 2020 Jaguar XJ: design and platform
Our exclusive image shows how the new Jaguar XJ could look. Its styling will be an evolution of the outgoing car’s, retaining the same long, wide stance and narrow headlamps units, as well as the company’s trademark radiator grille and shark fin antenna.
Jaguar’s most recent teaser image suggested that the new XJ would also receive a sharper XF-inspired rump, with a full-width light-bar. While the rear of the test mule is masked under heavy camouflage, a subtle crease running across the width of the bootlid suggests this feature will appear on the production model.
The new XJ is also set to be a very different car to Jaguar’s first electric model, the I-Pace. Thomson suggested that the XJ would have a traditional saloon look with the classic long bonnet. “If a cab-forward looking car doesn’t suit a certain type of vehicle, I don’t think you should do it,” he said.
“We’re there to make the best looking cars we possibly can, so the new XJ, it does have a bonnet on it, and it’s a very, very elegant shape.” Thompson concluded, saying: “It’s probably a little bit more traditional than the I-Pace” – and this final statement certainly seems to be supported by our latest spy shots of the car.
New 2020 Jaguar XJ: platform and drivetrain
The new XJ will be made in the UK at JLR’s Castle Bromwich production site, safeguarding thousands of jobs over the next few years. It’ll also be the second all-electric model offered by the British brand, following in the footsteps of the award-winning Jaguar I-Pace SUV.