An Icon Re-imagined
The new XJ designed by Ian Callum sends the Jaguar brand racing into the future. Mandi Keighran gets behind the wheel
I’ve always been fond of Jaguars and, like many, have always
associated the brand with their classics – the E-type, the C-Type and, of
course, the 1968 XJ.
Recently given the opportunity to test drive the new Jaguar
XJ, I must admit to an initial concern, however slight, that the brand was
breaking with its classic roots. How wrong I was. The new luxury saloon not
only brings the brand racing into the future, but also pays homage to the classic
lines, design features and powerful engineering of the Jaguars it succeeds.
Famed British car designer, Ian Callum, Design Director at
Jaguar, is responsible for the elegant new XJ. Callum’s most recent car, the XJ
is designed to appeal to a younger, contemporary market, and it certainly
seduced me, although the price could prove a slight obstacle.
The price of the new XJ is more than many inner-city apartments
(around AUD$198,800 – $367,800), but, then again, a description of the new XJ cabin
outdoes many apartments. Light and spacious thanks to a new panoramic glass
roof, contemporary chrome and piano black detailing with elegantly-crafted
leather and veneer surfaces, Dual-View technology 8-inch touch-screen that
projects DVDs to the passenger and vehicle functions or sat nav to the driver,
and a top-of-the range 1200W Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system
comparable to the best in-home entertainment.
It’s not only about looks and entertainment though –
sustainability is just as important. With a lighter aluminium body,
ultra-efficient Gen III petrol and diesel engines available, and economy
figures of 7.0l/100kms and CO2 emissions of 184g/km for
the standard car, the new XJ meets the expectations of the sustainably aware
It wouldn’t be a Jaguar
without the highest level of performance – and every feature of the new XJ
makes for responsive, dynamic handling. Not used to driving a big car, I was
definitely impressed with how easy I found it to handle.
“The new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the
quintessential Jaguar,” says Callum. “Its visual impact stems from the
elongated teardrop shape of the car’s side windows, that powerful stance and
its wide track. It is the most emphatic statement yet of Jaguar’s new design
It really is as Jaguar puts it – an icon re-imagined.
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