Jaguar XJ scooped

Latest images reveal new luxury saloon will take its look from acclaimed XF.

It’s the big cat that’s got bosses full ofpride! Jaguar insiders have been talking about the new XJ for months –and, with these pictures, we can finally see why they’ve been soexcited.

This is our best look yet at the car described by Jaguaras one of the most radical it has ever produced. The new flagshiplimousine, set to make its world debut in July, has a bold shapedesigned to draw the limelight away from the Mercedes S-Class and BMW’slatest 7-Series.

In addition to its striking body, the newXJ will benefit from a futuristic interior, along with a range of morepowerful, hi-tech engines.

As you can see, the model takesthemes first seen on the widely acclaimed XF – Auto Express’s currentCar of the Year – and makes them even more dramatic. The stylish noseadds larger air intakes to the aircraft-inspired grille and angularheadlights, while the sporty, coupé-like roofline slopes towards theboot at a more rakish angle than on the XF.

Bold tail-lights and a smart chrome strip finish the rear. Underthe skin is the current XJ’s lightweight alloy chassis. But this hasbeen totally re-engineered at the back to incorporate a development ofthe XK coupé’s rear suspension, plus increase passenger space.

Insidethe car, many of the innovations seen on the XF are to be carried over,such as the rotary gearknob that rises from the centre console. Yetthere will be even more dramatic touches, and buyers can expect theleather and wood to have the kind of special feel usually reserved forthe likes of Bentley.

There won’t be any shortage of poweron board, either. Top-spec models are set to benefit from the XF’s new5.0-litre direct-injection V8 engine, which produces 385bhp in normallyaspirated form.

The flagship XJR has a supercharged version,pushing out 503bhp, as it targets the Audi S8 and Mercedes S63 AMG.This range-topping car will be able to cover 0-60mph in about fiveseconds and hit a top speed of 155mph.

However, a new 271bhp3.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine is expected to account forthe majority of XJ sales. This will be capable of returning an amazing40mpg – the same as the recently launched Diesel S version of the XF –thanks to the new XJ’s lightweight alloy construction.

Allmodels will have a six-speed auto box with steering wheelpaddleshifters. And they promise the excellent ride and handlingbalance for which Jag is famous. After a reveal in July, the XJ makesits public debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales startbefore 2010.

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