Jaguar, sold by Ford to Tata Motors during the recession, faced it all with a typically British stiff upper lip, continuing the transformation of its product line that began with the XK. The final car to benefit from designer Ian Callum's unique vision is the XJ, which goes into production in early 2010.
The XJ is Jaguar's flagship sedan, and will compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-class and BMW 7-series. The XJ's design had remained little changed for 40 years, but Ian Callum (seen here next to the car) radically updated the look, giving it modern proportions and a few tweaks to make it stand out from the crowd.
The XJ's engine, which will also be used in the XK and XF, not to mention Land Rover models, is a 5-liter direct injection V-8. The car will be available naturally aspirated, or with two supercharger options. The engine shown here has the top-level supercharger, making 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, enough to get the car to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, according to Jaguar.
The front headlights were kept intentionally simple. Designer Ian Callum mentioned that, with bi-xenon lights, he could make the headlight casings much smaller than with older halogen lamps, as heat isn't as much of an issue.
The cabin shows the fine coachwork that Jaguar wants to be known for. Similar to the XF, where a conscious effort was make to eliminate plastics, the XJ interior is all machined metal, leather, and wood.
Similar to the XF, the shifter for the automatic transmission is a knob that rises out of the center console. As for cabin tech, it's all operated with the touch screen, an update to the interface used in current Jaguar models.
The really remarkable tech feature of the new XJ is its virtual instrument cluster, displayed on a TFT. This screen changes depending on the needs of the driver, for example showing navigation information in the left virtual gauge when the car is under route guidance.