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Jaguar To Build Hybrid Replacement For Flagship XJ?
Jaguar's XJ flagship sedan has always been one of the most stylish offerings in the ultra-luxury sedan segment.However, its aging platform and engine lineup have helped put the big cat behind recently updated offerings from Germany and Japan. The folks at Jaguar aim to correct these flaws, and appear to have commited to building a replacement that could be powered exclusively by a hybrid powertrain.
According to a new report in Autocar Jaguar executives have debated whether to mothball the nameplate outright or reimagine it as an interesting alternative to SUVs, thanks to a higher riding platform that would make better use of the current car's all-wheel drive system. Ultimately they decided on another angle: to see the XJ repositioned as a "super-luxury" sedan. This would help put some life in XJ sales with the current model being on the market since 2009. A facelift in 2016 was designed to add some longevity to the design but the recently launched XF sedan has inadvertently caused the XJ to take a back seat in sales to the car having only opulence in its list of advantages. Jaguar's Design Director, Ian Callum, admitted that the XF has a more spacious-feeling cabin, a trait that was once exclusive to the XJ. Callum also said that, as a result, 'indulgence' is the distinguishing character that has come to define the opulent four door.
"You need a car like that, something that acts as a bookend for the brand," Callum told the publication. "I think we will always have that."
In addition to its higher levels of opulence and luxury, the next generation mode—whatever it's ultimately called—is expected to be a rolling showcase featuring the latest electrification technologies from Jaguar Land Rover as well as lightweight construction that would include multiple material types. Look for the majority of customer focus to be centered on a model that could possibly feature a V6 hybrid powerplant of an Ingenium V6 paired with one or more electric motors for increased performance and fuel economy. This would help Jaguar meet stricter emissions requirements while maintaining the car's reputation as a flagship vehicle that well-heeled buyers would desire.
While it is currently unknown when the next generation model will arrive, the current pace of development suggests that it is still several years away from production reality; the report claims that it could arrive as early as 2019. Look for the car to be previewed a year earlier at a future auto show in concept form, with either the Geneva Motor Show or the New York Auto Show serving as just two possible venues for its appearance.
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