Despite the iconic nature of their legacy, Jaguar often seems all-too content to take a backseat. Whether positioned against its corporate stablemate Land Rover, or strategically-targeted upmarket competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the British automaker seems almost content to speak to a niche audience.
But with a tendency to carve their own less-traveled path, Jaguar empowers themselves to take some chances without the intense scrutiny endured by other automakers. Consider the Jaguar XJ series, for example. An enduring favorite, the Jaguar went largely unchanged for more than forty years after being introduced in 1968. Sure, it benefited from progressive changes in automotive technology, but the overall architecture remained the same.
Fast-forward to 2011, and the redesigned and (yes) renamed XJ (sans ‘Series’) was a breath of fresh air. Jaguar introduced short-wheelbase models such as the supercharged XJ8 and XJR, as well as long-wheelbase offerings such as the XJ8 L. And while the aesthetic blend of classic and new was almost universally celebrated, we couldn’t have anticipated the changes to come further down the line.
Because who could have anticipated Jaguar’s decision to revamp its flagship sedan as an all-electric offering, intended to rival the Tesla Model S?
As far as power moves go, this rates among the most ambitious, considering Jaguar’s downplayed role in the automotive landscape. Effectively repositioning themselves against the evolving offerings from both Bavarian competitors and West Coast Innovation, Jaguar shows that they still have brass bollocks of legendary proportions.
While the all-electric I Pace will have to tide us over, the all-electric XJ is expected to be revealed in 2019 for the 2020 model year. Needless to say, it emphasizes the fact that we live in a very exciting time, in terms of automotive technology. Kudos to Jaguar for stepping up to the plate (or whatever the comparable cricketing terminology is).
With some sense of where the XJ is headed, let’s take this chance to live in the moment; to appreciate the XJ of today (as we know it) before it evolves into the XJ of tomorrow. To gain a first-hand perspective of the Jaguar’s signature blend of aggressive sport and opulence, let’s take a beat to explore the range-topping XJR, courtesy of YouTube Channel Auto Express: