It's finally here! A new Jaguar XJ that's not only technically advanced, but has a body that's worth drooling over.
The last XJ was like the class nerd, smart and full of tech, but dressed in father's hand-me-down clothing. The new one's been taken shopping by its friends and given a set of duds that are 21st century.
Like the previous XJ and the Audi A8, the new XJ features a body, both outer panels and under-structure, made out of aluminium. Without quoting exact weights, Jaguar says that the XJ is 150kg lighter than its key rivals, namely the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The interior's also been given a thorough makeover. As with the XF, the refreshed XJ features the JaguarDrive gear selector — it's the dial in the centre console, which pops up when you start the car.
LED lights, such as those used in the XJ's tail-lights, may last longer and turn on or off quicker, but the main reason car makers are flocking to them is that they can fashion them easily into all manner of interesting shapes.
Jaguar's integrated entertainment and information system is dubbed Media Hub and features CD/DVD playback, analog and digital TV reception, Bluetooth hands-free, an auxiliary jack and two USB ports. There's also a hard disk for storing sat nav map data, as well as for ripping CDs onto — Gracenote's music tagging database is thrown in for good measure.
In Europe, at least, three engines will be offered. On the diesel front there's a 202kW 3.0-litre turbocharged V6, while for petrol lovers there's a choice of a 283kW 5.0-litre V8 and a supercharged version of that engine offering either 346kW or 375kW.
If your ears demand the best, or if you've simply got enough dosh, you can splash out on the 1200W Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
The car will be sold in both long and short wheelbase form, with the former offering rear-seat passengers an extra 125mm of leg room.
Sitting below the leather-wrapped air vents is an 8-inch touchscreen that can simultaneously display TV or movies for the passenger, while showing the driver the sat nav screen.
All models will feature a panoramic glass roof, as well as a rear windscreen that looks like it wraps around the rear pillars — it actually doesn't, it's just black metal or plastic.
While the exterior may be largely chrome free — hurrah! — most of it has migrated inside, complementing the lashings of dead cow.
The de rigueur xenon headlamps are joined by a set of LED driving lights.
If the creamy leather seats, chrome and dark wood panelling are too olde worlde for you, there's also the option of carbon fibre inlays.
Those who prefer to waft over bumps and other road vermin can specify air suspension.
Jaguar says the new XJ's boot can swallow 520 litres or, more importantly, two large suitcases side by side. Presumably golf bags fit fine too.
Last time around Jaguar found it hard, nay impossible, to convince buyers that its car was actually as advanced as it was because the styling was firmly stuck in the late 1970s.
Worse still, the interior had the feel of an old gentleman's club.