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New Jaguar XJ – Detail Review

Sat, 11 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0700

The new Jaguar XJ - we look in detail at what's on offer

The Launch

Despite our moans about some of the teases that went on in the run-up to the launch of the XJ, we can’t dispute that they worked for Jaguar. The interest was pretty much unprecedented, and one or two big car web sites crashed during the day of the launch because of huge numbers of visitors looking for information on the new XJ. We didn’t crash (thankfully) but our traffic doubled on the day, and thousands of you watched the launch live on Cars UK.

Jay Leno hosted the XJ launch

The launch itself was hosted by Jay Leno, who was witty and urbane – and a great choice to launch the new XJ – but he must have had Jaguar Execs wincing when he recounted tales of Jaguar’s woes in the past. It’s something they’d rather forget.

We also had Jaguar boss Mike O’Driscoll giving the audience a quick outline of the car before the reveal. But why on earth does the man at the head of Jaguar have to talk like a pseudo American? Sorry Mike, but the word is Aluminium not ‘Aloominum’, and Status is pronounced ‘Staytus’ not ‘Staddus’. It might have made the odd Yank feel more comfortable, but it grated horribly for the rest of us. We know Jaguar is a world company – and America is a vital market – but Americans don’t buy Jaguars because they think the boss speaks ‘American’.

The Press Launch

This was more detailed – as you would expect – and took place on Friday morning. Ian Callum – Chief Designer – talked eloquently and knowledgeably about the design process and detail of the new XJ. He talked about the ‘Raptor’ nose and the ‘Cat’s Claws’ rear lights. He spoke about the likeness of the detail on the front outer wing mimicking the lines of the Jaguar MK II (don’t mention the S-Type!).

Ian also talked about the XJ being a ‘Happy’ car. He claims he can tell if the design team enjoyed building a car just by looking at it. And he thinks the new XJ is a happy car. Quelle Surprise! But it is clear, once you get past some of the inevitable hyperbole, that the team at Jaguar really are chuffed with what they’ve achieved. And, we think, they have every right to be.

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By Cars UK