The bold new look of the 2010 Jaguar XJ

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As you can see from this photo, the 2010 Jaguar XJ is a gorgeous car. The company seems committed to bold, new designs, and even the official Jaguar web site is beautifully designed.

Reactions are coming in from the auto press. Car and Driver proclaims, “At last, a Jaguar XJ that doesn’t resemble the one that came before. And before. And before.”

Back in April, Jalopnik had this to say:

The current XJ, on sale since 42 AD, is a bloated attempt to pack modern luxury into an outdated design. If this shot is anything to go by, the 2010 Jaguar XJ isn’t. Hallelujah.

Jaguar released this image to coincide with the Shanghai Auto Show, but the car itself will actually be unveiled on the Queen’s soil on July 9th. Available with the pictured panoramic glass roof, a long or short wheelbase, A Europe-only V6 diesel or Jag’s usual selection of 5.0-liter V8s; the supercharged 2010 Jaguar XJR will produce 510 HP. Sales should start at the end of 2009.

The New York Times reported today on the unveiling of the new Jaguar today.

Jaguar has two emblems, and each is a version of its totemic animal. Their informal names, the Leaper and the Growler, suggest two aspects of the British company’s tradition. The Leaper is a long, lithe cat, usually seen as a hood ornament; it signifies feline grace. The Growler is a full-frontal cat face, its teeth bared aggressively; it represents raw power.

The Growler may be supplanting the Leaper at Jaguar, to judge from the company’s redesigned and radically different flagship sedan, the XJ, which was unveiled in London on Thursday.

The new XJ replaces a sedan — or saloon, as the British charmingly call it — whose basic shape had not changed since 1968. The old car’s proportions were like nothing else still on the road; it appeared as long and stately as its bloodline.

“The XJ completes the family,” Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, said in a telephone interview before the unveiling. The big sedan carries out design themes that Mr. Callum introduced on the 2007 XK sports car and on the 2009 XF midrange sedan.

Jaguar also has a new owner, Tata Motors of India, which bought the marque, along with Land Rover, from Ford last year. Jaguar’s ill-fated venture into cheaper cars, with the X-Type line based on the Ford Mondeo, is history. And in recent years Jaguar has vastly improved its ratings in consumer quality and satisfaction surveys by J. D. Power & Associates and others.

The new sedan has a Growler, not a Leaper, on the front. “Aggressive” is the word Mr. Callum kept using to describe the design. “We want Jaguars to be noticed again,” he said.

Kudos to Tata Motors and Mr. Callum on an elegant but powerful design worthy of this great brand.

  

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