Jaguar disguises its new 2009 XJ as a BMW!

Published: 14 May 2009

Don’t ever say the engineers and development experts at Jaguar don’t have a sense of humour. Our man in Germany today snapped the new 2009 XJ out on the roads masquerading as a BMW! They’ve copied the black-and-white psychedelic disguise and even the twin kidney grille to put spies off the scent of the new XJ, which goes on sale later this year.

They didn’t fool us though… Jaguar is busy preparing its new saloon in time for launch this autumn. We’ll see the XJ for the first time on 9 July 2009 at a special unveiling in London, followed by a show debut at the Frankfurt motor show. 

Why are Jaguar using BMW disguise?

A quick glance at the monochrome swirls confirms it’s a brilliant trompe l’oeil – it’s incredibly hard to spot the surfaces and details beneath the disguise. But some joker has clearly had a giggle modelling a Munich kidney grille on the front.

Design boss Ian Callum recently told CAR they spend ages creating camo on CAD in the studio to make sure it a) effectively hides the car and b) doesn’t affect airflow and cooling of items on test. Sounds like a fun assignment to us.

A quick recap: key facts on the new 2009 Jaguar XJ

Now the armadillo disguise has been shed, we can see more of the XJ style. It’ll take plenty of cues from the XF saloon but mixed up with a more modern style. The overhead teaser shot revealed in Shanghai suggests a novel C-pillar glazing solution, akin to the black wraparound panels used on a Mini’s A-pillars.

Other key facts are:

Launch in autumn 2009
Codename X351
Aluminium construction, lightest limo in class
Latest family 3.0 D and 5.0 V8 petrols
Diesel will offer class best CO2 output
Refreshingly modern interior: pop-up JaguarDrive gear selector, eyelid air vents
Fully glazed roof option

Stay tuned for more Jaguar news in the run-up to the 9 July unveiling. In particular, we’ll be trying hard to get a peek inside the XJ’s cabin – insiders tell us it’ll be the most radical part of all.

>> What’s your favourite prototype disguise? Click ‘Add your comment’ and let us know

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet