For 41 years, Jaguar’s flagship XJ retained the same basic shape, evolving from generation to generation to better suit the times.Then Ian Callum came along and designed the XF.
Before we go any further, allow me to say that I love the XF. It’s an excellent vehicle and a more than appropriate replacement for the S-Type. However, it was too good to be true, this is where things go wrong. Looking at the success of the XF, Jaguar executives told Callum to come up with a new XJ. We have the abomination that is the new XJ as a result.
As far as vehicle ideas go, tossing more than 40 years of classic design in favour of something radically different is right up there with making FWD Porsche 911s or a Ferrari sub-compact. It can be done, but that doesn’t mean it should be. The XJ is getting praise from many sources, and I can’t deny that if Jaguar had badged it differently and continued to offer a more traditional XJ alongside, I would struggle to complain about it.
I’m pretty sure that Jaguar purists will never buy a new Jag unless we go back to the traditional styling (Good luck with that). Furthermore, rumour has it that the next XK will abandon its unique styling cues and become what can only be described as a 2-door XJ.
Before you know it, Porsche will be making a square-shaped 911.
Jaguar XJ Series I picture credit: Serious Wheels