England is ready to take on the Germans. How did that turn out last time?
Jaguar knows that it really needs to update the XJ. The current model is now seven years old and only slightly larger than the refreshed XF. Plans to revitalize the XJ were wide ranging including a an SUV. Sales of the XJ have risen to 20,000 units per year, but that is only a fraction of S-Class sales. In order to compete with Mercedes, Jaguar will transform the XJ into a high-tech luxury indulgence. Jaguar design boss Ian Callum believes that proper luxury brands need to have a an indulgent car in its lineup. The F-Type is one, and the new XJ will be the other.
The decision to reinvent the XJ came after researching the success of the current S-Class. Despite all evidence pointing towards a market shift to SUVs, the S-Class has continued to sell well. Jaguar knows that in order to compete with Mercedes, it needs to improve its efficiency and autonomous driving technologies. The new XJ will be based on the D7a aluminum architecture that underpins the XF. To make it lighter, sections of the structure will be replaced by carbon fiber. An all-new V6 will power the new XJ with help from hybridization. Jaguar will go "screen crazy" on the interior with screens for the instruments and touchscreens for both the infotainment and transmission (which will be great when the battery dies).
We are happy to see that Jaguar will not be ditching its roots with the new XJ. Purists may bark that a hybrid XJ is not a good idea, but these are the same people who were mad at Jaguars current refresh. It wasn't too long ago that that Jaguars were completely out of date and filled with wood rather than technology. We think that this refresh will work out well and we can't wait to see what Jaguar comes up with. We don't expect to see this new XJ until spring 2019, but Jaguar promises a concept version for 2018, the 50th anniversary of the original XJ.