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Shanghai show: Jag’s XJ teaser

Top Cat: Overhead view of the XJ saloon reveals a sloping roofline and short boot.

Jaguar provides more clues to the forthcoming XF-style XJ flagship saloon in China

21 Apr 2009

JAGUAR provided the first official look at its all-new XJ with a teaser overhead shot of the flagship sedan appearing briefly at the end of its media presentation at the Shanghai show on Monday.

The Indian-owned British marque will officially launch the all-new XJ in London on July 9 ahead of a Frankfurt motor show appearance in September and will begin appearing in showrooms from the end of 2009.

It is expected to arrive in Australia in the middle of 2010.

Jaguar Cars managing director Mike O’Driscoll confirmed to journalists in China that it would be sold in both short- and long-wheelbase form, powered by developments of the new series of petrol and diesel ‘Gen II’ engines seen in the XF.

The teaser photo clearly shows a new panoramic glass roof, but also tends to confirm that the XJ will continue acclaimed stylist Ian Callum’s coupe-like design theme of the recently-launched XF, with a sloping roofline and short tail.

This will give the fourth-generation XJ a decidedly sporty appearance but may inhibit access to the rear seat, which could limit its appeal for limousine duty.

Mr O’Driscoll also confirmed at Auto Shanghai that the car would be underpinned by the latest development of the company’s aluminium platform, which is understood to have been re-engineered from the current XJ to include the XK coupe’s rear suspension and extra bracing to improve handling.

Although the wheelbase is unchanged, there is said to be more rear-seat legroom, while other interior touches are expected to include the XF’s pop-up rotary gearknob on the centre console and an opulent level of leather upholstery.

Topping the range will be the high-performance XJR model, producing 380kW from its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, but the volume model in Europe at least is expected to have a new 202kW twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel with class-leading fuel consumption.

Other engines are likely to include a naturally-aspirated version of the V8 producing 287kW and possibly an entry-level 230kW 4.2-litre V8, all driving through a six-speed auto transmission.

Meanwhile, Jaguar is working on an electric-powered version of the XJ after the European Investment Bank agreed a new £307 million ($A566 million) loan to help it cut overall emissions by 25 per cent by 2012.

Jaguar has committed to build the green limo from 2011 using a similar drivetrain concept to the Chevy Volt, which means electric motors that are charged mainly by plugging in to the grid, but with an on-board petrol engine that can recharge the batteries on the move if required. It will have a top speed of 180km/h and be able to travel about 50km before needing to be recharged.

The drivetrain is reportedly being co-developed with Lotus Engineering, MIRA and Caparo.

Read more:

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