LateNightCable Erster Beitrag: 16. September 2003 Letzter Beitrag: 16. September 2003 Before I delve into the analyisis, I will say, I think most everyone agrees that a Jaguar car should embody certain qualities. Feminine curves, and feline grace - Voluptous looking cars with a splash of glamour. So, I will judge the design of this new XJ on how well I feel it meets these criteria. I don't mean to sound like a curmudgeoun or anything, but the design of the Bentley Continental GT, the last car I analyzed, and this new XJ are kind of crumby. But we will break it down to see what works, and what doesn't. -- LateNightCable * Front ... In the front view, we see the grill, which is a welcome reprisal of earlier XJ grills. But, it's rounded shape and the ovoid headlamps, which convey softness, seem at odds with the more squarish architecture of this new XJ which is giving off the opposite vibe. They seem forced, as if they were wedged into the design more for the sake of brand recognition, rather than as a more natural inclusion. The lower bodywork blends seamlessly into the headlamps, which some would view as " integrated ", but I find it cheap and unfinished looking, made that way less for style, than for ease of production. The chrome strips on either corner also look kind of half baked. If the opening on the lower fascia were a more definate shape, and had some kind of break in the middle, it would tidy up, and " ground " the styling quite a bit. * Profile ... People just know the Jaguar XJ profile like they know the profile of the Porsche 911. Both being very destinctive. The XJ of the late 80's and early 90's was very square, but it's essential Jaguar look was preserved through it's profile. Sleek, low, with a sloping hood and tail. This new car possess none of that. The design is clearly focused on maximizing the practicality of interior volume, including luggage space. This is good from a purely practical stand point, but stylistically, it doesn't come across as very successful. In side view, it's a very chubby car, like an S or X-Type. But unlike those cars it lacks an elegant roofline to make the most of the situation. Follow the doorline with your eye towards the rear, and you see that the car actually gets thicker - a complete reversal of traditional Jaguar practice. I have always viewed Jaguar's lavish use of chrome as a mark of destinction, their decision to black out the pillars takes away so much, and is more in keeping with Ford than Jaguar. Even the XJR featured here, with it's blacked out window trim could use that destinctive Jaguar flash. The sloping tail has always been a important XJ cue, but in this iteration it's reduced to a stub. The upswept crease along the lower body " raises " the rear, but that is not what this car needs. * Rear ... The main issue I have with this back end are the taillamps, particularly the stiff outer edges. They have a very starchy, " pasted on " look about them. The rear deck is not nearly as sloped as in the past, so it needs to be " lowered " through other means. The license plate placed high on the boot lid is a mistake, as this simply " raises " the tail even higher. A lower placement would have at least given the impression of a lower tail. Also, the clear, squarish backup lights placed directly in the center of the taillamps is kind of odd. From this angle we can see the upswept crease along the lower body once more. Combined with the doorline, which is also slightly upswept, and contoured, it creates a rather awkward effect. There are too many creases going on attempting to slim this chubby XJ. It's a little busy. In closing, looking at this car, I get the impression of two different worlds, that of Old World artistry and charictor, and that of Modern day practical concerns, attempting to co-exist, but with muddled results. " Jaguaresque " styling cues overlayed onto an otherwise traditionally shaped car. This new XJ may be a more " practical " design than any previous one. But stylistically I find it badly lacking that essential Jaguar verve. " The new XJ is a luxury car with a true sense of gravitas. The proportions, stance and obvious dynamic quality clearly display that all important Jaguar DNA and give it real presence on the road. " -- Ian Callum, Director of Design I don't happen to agree with you Mr. Callum, what you have come up with has neither the proportions, stance, obvious dynamic quality, or the real road presence of past XJs' or any real Jaguar. Go back to the drawing board.