Ian Callum Talks About The Future Of Jaguar, All-New XJ Is “Nearly Signed Off”

Jaguar XJ 14 photos
Photo: Jaguar
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Ian Callum’s arrival at Jaguar saw the retro-centered design language of Geoff Lawson morph into something new, something that the Leaping Cat could be proud of. The Callum school of thought went official with the XK in 2006, and according to the head of design at Jaguar, there’s still a lot to do in order to make those cars as visually appealing as technically possible.
If there’s one nameplate that’s in dire need of an overhaul, that would be the XJ. The current generation was introduced in 2009, and despite the facelift that came in 2016, there’s no escaping he fact that it looks dated compared to rivaling large luxury sedans. And literally every other Jaguar model on sale today, including the compact executive XE and mid-size XF.

There’s been a lot of noise on this matter, with more or less official reports claiming remarkably different outcomes for the next-generation XJ. Speaking to Car Magazine, Ian Callum let it slip that the newcomer is “nearly signed off. We’ve gone through a lot of debate on the XJ and come up with something quite special,” highlighting that the production model won’t be ready in 2018. Incidentally, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the XJ, which means a concept car of sorts might happen as a taste of things to come.

From the interview, it’s also apparent that the XJ will ride on a platform developed with electrification in mind, ranging from mild-hybrid to full-electric powertrains. The Road Rover electric crossover allegedly coming in 2019 for the model year 2020 is also expected to use the yet-to-be-detailed platform.

With one eye on the glorious past of the XJ, Callum concluded: “As we work on the next one, I’ll make sure it holds onto the values of the first one and the latest one.” That said, what do you think about the future of the XJ? Will Jaguar come up with a rival for the Porsche Panamera from a dynamic standpoint or will it give in to qualities of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class?
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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