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Views of new Jaguar XJ leak out

Thu, 09 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0700

Here's the proof that Jaguar has finally junked decades of styling heritage with its dramatically detailed new flagship, the XJ sedan.

Although there's a family resemblance to the new XF at the front and in the overall, swoopy fastback shape, Jaguar is entering new territory with the rear styling of the car.

In a European context, the rear lights nod toward Italian brand Lancia, and a breakthrough feature is the wraparound, dark-colored panel on the D-pillar, which follows the outline of the sloping rear glass. It will be a standard styling feature on all XJs.

There's hardly a hint of the curves and shapes that Jag is better known for, shapes that go back to the 1950s when body panels were fashioned by hand.

The XK and the XF started this shift toward contemporary styling; the XJ now tops it off.

There's no doubt that the new XJ possesses an incredible degree of road presence, helped by the more upright nose. It is a more sophisticated development of the XF's oblong grille.

These pictures are a taste of the new Jaguar flagship. The plan had been to keep the pictures secret until the official reveal at a gala event to be hosted by Jay Leno in London tonight. But leaks on the Internet, thought to originate from Poland, have forced Jaguar to reveal these images earlier than planned. will carry the reveal live today at 3:15 p.m., when technical details of the XJ will be released.

By Julian Rendell