Designed To Be Engineered
Jaguar conducted extensive research programmes with existing customers and potential owners prior to commencing the new XJ programme.
The results of these identified that the XJ, the design of which originated in the 1960s, had to evolve to address the requirements of today's luxury saloon customers – including the demand for more interior space.
Addressing this without losing the distinctive proportions and character of the XJ was undeniably a challenge. Ian Callum, Jaguar Cars’ Director of Design, worked with his team to deliver a car that is bigger in all respects than its predecessor with a more spacious interior. The exterior proportions are subtly transformed to reflect the added space for occupants and their luggage.
"The new XJ is a dynamic looking car," says Callum. "And when you position it alongside major competitors, it is also clearly very elegant."
He continues: "This is a more modern car in terms of its proportions, and while for practical packaging reasons the boot and doors are larger, the slimmer glass-to-door ratio results in a truly contemporary design."
The new XJ design moves to a more cab-forward approach, positioning the front wheels closer to the corners, incorporating a shorter bonnet and a shallower rake angle for the larger windscreen.
The new bonnet retains the highly sculpted shape that is characteristic of the XJ over the years. Its leading edge – and indeed the leading edge of the wings – still wraps around the shape of the headlights, which themselves have evolved into a more distinct element of the front design.
The new XJ’s dynamic design is also evident in its profile, says Callum. "It has a lot more of a ‘wedge’ now, starting dynamically at the front and powering toward the back. All the power is on the back wheels, something that has always been the case with a Jaguar."
The XJ design team succeeded in accommodating a higher decklid while retaining the classic Jaguar ‘haunched’ design, hinting at the new car’s potential power and performance.