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Passing The Past: Jaguar’s 2010 XJ

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By John Sweeney

WHEN you consider its pedigree, the 2010 XJ is a brave and radical departure for Jaguar. It’s an obvious move away from the ‘tried and tested’ big cat shape, dating back to the original Williams Lyons styled XJ of 1968.

When one thinks of an XJ, what springs to mind? Well, to this author’s mind spring: a wide and imposing grille, long bonnet and boot lid, four headlights, lots of chrome and acres of walnut veneer.

And what, might I add, is wrong with all that? After all, the classic XJ shape is immediately recognisable as a Jaguar, and surely this strong association in the minds of buyers must be a fruitful one?

Yet, the problem is that, over the years, all of these features have become a series of, dare I say it, stylistic clichés.

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This presents a bit of a problem. When a design begins to be bound by styling alone, then what is to be done to improve it when technology and indeed the world around it changes?

Now, I must state that I’ve always had a great fondness for the classic XJ shape, but, as most actors would maintain, it’s never a good idea to be stereotyped.

Perhaps this is why, in both technology and styling, the new big cat is such a different beast to its predecessors.

When you consider what’s at stake, it’s plain to see that Jaguar is under no illusions regarding the importance of this new XJ for the company’s continued prosperity.

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Linked: Jaguar Cars new XJ

July 01, 2009
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About the Author: John Sweeney writes for Automobiles De Luxe online. A student of Management at the University of Lancaster, England, John has a propensity for buying old cars with 'character'. He has owned thirteen in six years of driving, which his friends tell him is far too many.

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RSSComments: 3  |  Opine Freely, But Smartly.  |  Trackback URL

  1. Your right, John. Though I should think that if Porsche can get away with an iconic (read: dated) shape with its 911-flagship line – Jaguar should’ve been able to pull off keeping the XJ’s sleek canoe form as well.

  2. Gunnar,

    That’s a good point about Porsche. Hadn’t thought of that! From my point of view, it’s a pity Jaguar didn’t keep the classic XJ shape alive, but then I am a traditionalist at heart!

    With all this economic uncertainty about, perhaps Jaguar just felt that a fresh start was a good idea?

  3. Porsche can keep the ‘dated’ form of the 911 alive because of the fanatical following that car has. As lovely as the classic XJ is, few were buying it. And often the complaint was directly related to that same classic shape, interior volume.

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