Jaguar XJ (2010): new spy photos

Published: 16 September 2008

Jaguar is working flat out on the development of its new XJ flagship – caught here heading back from the track to the company’s test facility on the perimeter of the Nurburgring in Germany. We’ve seen quite a few XJ mules in 2008 both in the UK and in Germany, but this is the first one caught undergoing new engine trials, indicating Jaguar’s rate of progress.

New engines – would that explain this XJ mule's rather ugly nose?

Yes indeed. What’s immediately apparent – apart from the car’s wider front and rear tracks, which we’ve already spotted on previous test mules – is this car’s modified air intake treatment, which in turn gives us important clues to how the face of the production XJ will look.

Details on the XJ’s powertrain line-up have been heavily guarded, but our sources say that as well as all-new versions of the Jaguar’s new-generation 5.0-litre V8 (both blown and naturally aspirated) and heavily revised versions of the bi-turbo 2.7-litre diesel, the company is also working on a forced induction 3.0-litre straight six.

With an estimated 300hp output, the new straight six is said to match the current 4.2-litre V8 engine but post far more wallet-friendly economy and emission figures.

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What else is going on beneath all that black cladding?

Codenamed X351, the big Ian Cullum-designed Jaguar sits on a heavily revised version of the current XJ's all-aluminium chassis. Advances by the company’s material engineers will introduce more advanced bonding, riveting and laser welding of the chassis architecture.

Result? Engineering sources we've spoken to vow it will create an exceptionally light and stiff body, with the associated dynamic and economy benefits.

So what will the new 2010 XJ look like?

Insiders claim the new XJ will take the radicalism of the recent XF and turn it up even further with a rakish roofline, letter-box glasshouse and kicked-up rear end that’s more Aston Martin Rapide than the current traditional clubby saloon.

Expect the XF’s rectangular grille to reappear, flanked by LED active headlamps and complemented by current motifs like the side scallops and thin wrap-around tail lamps. The new XJ will have its own distinctive character – unmistakably Jaguar, but very different to the XF, in other words.

Click 'Next' to read more of CAR's scoop of the new 2010 Jaguar XJ


Will it still be all gentlemen’s club on the inside?

Not a chance. The interior will reflect the sheetmetal’s crisp new styling with an XF-inspired minimalist cabin, complete with elevating ‘twist and go’ rotary gear selector, swiveling air vents and proximity controls.

There will still be hefty emphasis on plush opulence with hand-crafted leather and wood, but the attitude with be 'very 21st century' rather than the dated old-school look and feel of the current car.

'No one,' a Jaguar insider told us, 'is going to look at this car and think "retro" I guarantee it.'

SWB and LWB Jaguars to come

As with the existing XJ, there will be the choice of standard or long-wheelbase models, with the extended version enjoying an extra 200mm inserted between B- and C-pillars. Jaguar claims even the standard car will offer exceptionally spacious rear accommodation.

What do you think of the new Jag XJ? Click 'Add your comment' and have your say

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars