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Jaguar XJ will end production in July, electric successor possible in 2020

It could be the first of the big-boy flagships to offer a proper electric variant.

There are worse ways to sail off into the sunset.

Nate Reed/Roadshow

The Jaguar XJ is a solid, comfortable cruiser. But about a decade after its unveiling it's apparently time for Jaguar to chart a new course for its flagship sedan.

Jaguar will discontinue production of the current-generation XJ sedan in July, Autocar reports. More than 120,000 XJ sedans have been built since its launch nearly a decade ago, but its current sales have been underwhelming. Here in the US, it was never the most popular seller, but most of 2018 saw monthly sales barely passing the 100-unit mark, numbers not seen since before the latest generation debuted.

But don't expect the XJ to be gone forever. A Jaguar spokesperson told Autocar that the XJ name will live on, although that person declined to offer further details. According to reports, it's believed that the XJ will return in 2020 as a battery-electric car, which would give it a hefty zero-emissions advantage over other flagships like the Audi A8, BMW 8 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. However, as of now it's unclear what competitors' plans are regarding battery-electric flagship variants.

Our last foray with the XJ happened recently, coming in the form of a new top-tier trim called XJR575. Replacing the XJR, this new model uses a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 to produce (surprise, surprise) 575 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque. We loved how it drove, and its styling has always been on point, but daily ride comfort and the overall age of the vehicle reminded us it wasn't a perfect package.

That's one hell of a swan song for the gas-powered XJ, which has existed in some form since 1968. 

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