Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2011 Jaguar XJ

Poised to pounce and newly transformed, the Jaguar XJ four-door sport sedan screamed out some power chords as we throttled it around Rock and Roll-ish West Hollywood, California. Jaguar chose the heart of the LA music scene to show the company has gone back to its sporting roots: Think of Austin Powers and the Mod ’60s on steroids.

Penned by Jaguar Director of Design, Ian Callum and his team of designers in Coventry, England, the new XJ draws visual cues from a wide variety of sources. Glance at the big sedan from some angles and you’ll see teardrops, sibling automobiles and its namesake animal, the Jaguar itself. Squint a bit while looking at the vehicle in profile, and you’ll imagine a shape slightly reminiscent of “the leaper,” the Jaguar leaping across the rear flank of the trunk, er, boot – the same cat that once resided as a hood ornament.

Jaguar Cars managing director Mike O’Driscoll, explained the company’s recent return to the sporting style and culture: “We lost touch with our soul. We have returned with the XK, the XF and now the XJ to the proper sporting cars that we were known for.”

Man walks into a saloon the other day…
For forty years, the XJ has served as the quintessential Jaguar. The large saloon, as it is known across the pond, has served a variety of uses ranging from executive transport to professional car (hearse and limousine custom builds) to family sedan for the ever-so-well-heeled. If the outgoing XJ had a North American counterpart, perhaps it would be the Lincoln Town Car. That’s hardly what we call sporty, but neither was the outgoing XJ.

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