By on March 11, 2020

When rumors began to spread that Jaguar was on the cusp of axing its long-running XJ (seen above) in favor of an electric car with a more versatile body, the purist in everyone no doubt squirmed at the thought. The XJ is meant to be a flagship sedan, and part of that role involves looking like one.

Jaguar did end up discontinuing the model. Now, as the XJ’s replacement draws near, we can at least inform you that it won’t look like a made-over Citroën C6 that hums.

Spy photos of a prototype XJ attacking some snow in Northern Europe are making the rounds, revealing a bonafide car, and one that appears quite large. Maybe they should call it the Mark X. Check out these pics at Motor1 for proof.

Riding atop the new MLA platform destined for several Jaguar Land Rover models, the next-gen XJ carries classic rear-drive proportions: long hood, flowing roofline, and a short deck. It seems that deck is part of a liftgate, given the seams in the car’s camouflage wrapping. If so, at least it still looks like a sedan.

JLR’s new architecture is said to underpin an upcoming J-Pace large crossover as well as the next-gen Range Rover. Able to accommodate fully electric propulsion as well as plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid powertrains, the exact range of Jaguar’s future XJ offerings is not known. It may simply be an EV, though that would see the model suffer in less environmentally stringent overseas markets (not that the XJ’s volume hadn’t already fallen to “hey look, I found one!” levels).

Speaking recently to Autocar, Jaguar design head Julian Thomson said the company is aiming for a “fabulous-looking thing” for people to “lust after.”

“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,” he said.

Interior volume should see a healthy increase, what with the car’s wider track and longer wheelbase. Power will also be substantial, though exactly what output to expect — and from how many motors — remains unclear. Unlike some German manufacturers, Jaguar managed to avoid range gripes with its I-Pace electric crossover, so those figures should be reasonable at the very least.

The next-gen Jaguar XJ launches later this year.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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24 Comments on “Whether or Not It Sells, The Next Jaguar XJ At Least Looks the Part...”

  • avatar

    The fact that all cars in this category are not electric is pure inertia. These are not usually cars that are being used for road trips; silence and smoothness are core to the category; and prices are high enough to more or less absorb the cost of a big battery. To me an electric full-size luxury sedan is an absolute no-brainer.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I agree. All that low end torque, and the effortless, smooth power seems like a match. Nobody on here will make that connection though…they’ll just wax on nostalgically about 120hp V8s, vinyl roofs, single digit mpgs and cars that started rusting before you even signed on the dotted line.

    • 0 avatar

      You’d be surprised how many S-Class customers put big miles on their cars. It might not be the majority, but probably a bigger percentage than other cars. People that drive long distances like comfortable vehicles.

      • 0 avatar

        @MBella: I’ve put 96k miles on an EV. Does that qualify as big miles?

      • 0 avatar

        “People that drive long distances like comfortable vehicles.”

        Yes, they do! But comfort can often be defined differently for different people, like different strokes for different folks.

        For my wife and I a Tundra pickup truck, or a Sequoia, or even my old 2006 F150 SuperCab or her 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee were plenty comfortable for 13-14 hour stints behind the wheel.

        A sedan, any sedan, even her 1992 Towncar would feel cramped and too low to the ground after the first several hundred miles.

  • avatar

    “we can at least inform you that it won’t look like a made-over Citroën C6…” That’s too bad. How about a warmed over Genesis that costs a whole lot more?

  • avatar

    “These are not usually cars that are being used for road trips”

    And you know this how?

    • 0 avatar

      I agree the XJ is a great highway cruiser. Its comfortable, gets reasonable fuel economy. I averaged 30 mpg going from NYC to Atlanta traveling 85 mph on I81.

    • 0 avatar

      Because the overwhelming majority of them in the US are sold in just two markets—NY and LA—and used as daily commuter transport. People who the money to afford cars in this category fly, not drive, when they travel.

      Of course these are general statements and there will be exceptions, but the general case is what drives product planning.

      • 0 avatar

        But the people who have these in Metro NYC would tend to put lots of miles, if not be driven lots of miles on a weekly basis… LA and NYC as your prime market shouts HYBRID…

        • 0 avatar

          Almost nobody is driving 250 miles a day except livery drivers, and only a few of them buy in this category because the cars are so expensive. BEVs will have plenty of range for the daily slog from Greenwich into the city and back.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I like the fact that the new XJ will have a lift back. It’s a great alternative for folks who don’t want a CUV but need the versatility.

  • avatar

    I’m not interested unless the interior looks like the inside of a tree.

  • avatar

    Part of what probably might make more sense with BEVs in Britain is the fact that it takes less time and distance to travel the entire country. That doesn’t work for the distances for that same travel over here!

    • 0 avatar

      Most of the buyers in this category don’t drive long distances, they fly them.

      • 0 avatar

        I have a $90ish thousand dollar sedan, decently large, sufficiently powerful… and it chews up and spits out miles and doesn’t leave me tired. I put my husband on a plane and I drive to our destination. i LOVE a long drive in a LONG car.

  • avatar

    While American cars get smaller and smaller with smaller and smaller engines European cars get larger and larger with larger and larger engines. How world had changed since fall of Berlin Wall!

    The last thing I would like to do is to use Jaguar for road trips. I do not want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere where I cannot get rental car or AAA to tow my car back to the starting point.

  • avatar

    Do whatever you want. The XJ name hasn’t meant anything since the Tata redesign.

  • avatar

    But the people who have these in Metro NYC would tend to put lots of miles, if not be driven lots of miles on a weekly basis… LA and NYC as your prime market shouts HYBRID…

  • avatar

    Nice looking car, but I thought Buick got out of building sedans.

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