Is Jaguar Preparing To Ax The XJ?

Jaguar has a lot of exciting models in its lineup – fresh wheels that offer tempting (even compelling) alternatives to the usual suspects from Germany and Japan. The XJ, however, is not one of them. And its future is uncertain.

After speaking with Jaguar’s North American product manager David Larsen at the New York Auto Show this week, Motor1 reports that… there’s little to report on the British automaker’s flagship sedan.

Introduced seven years ago, the current XJ is the oldest model in the Jaguar lineup and (save for the soon-to-be-replaced Audi A8) in its segment as well. It’s also the company’s slowest sellers (and one of the most lethargic in its segment). That doesn’t leave Coventry with many reasons to keep it around, so it’ll either have to replace it or retire it soon enough.

“We had a facelift with 2016, so it is approaching the end of its lifecycle,” Larsen told Motor1 regarding the XJ. “We’re looking at, you know, future opportunities of where that could possibly go.” He would, however, neither confirm nor deny rumors on the prospect of its replacement.

The automaker may find its energies would be better spent elsewhere, letting the XJ – long having served as its main sedan line – go the same way as the XK. Which is, to say, upstaged and outmoded by smaller stablemates.

It wouldn’t be the only luxury automaker without a competitor in the segment, after all. While Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Maserati, and Lexus all vie for slices of that particular pie, neither Acura, Infiniti, nor Volvo bother with it. And Jaguar could soon switch from one category to the other.

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  • Elmediterraneo

    They just had to turn it into a Panamera competitor

    • Bash

      and for that, they have to make a new car! and a new name I guess. the XJ has heritage the way it is as a sedan and not as a 4 door coupe. imo

      • anonymous

        Or call it XJS.

        • Bash

          I like the sound of that!

      • supermanuel

        No, it doesn’t need a new name just because it’s targeting a different sector. The current XJ has never really been successful as an S Class/7 Series competitor. The leg and headroom has always been a negative against those models. Against the Panamera though the XJ looks positively spacious. It just needs a slight shift of focus and a more realistic market positioning.

        • Bash

          Sure it needs a new name to differentiate it from the previous gen XJ, its just logical to give it a new name to help the shift of focus.

    • rover10

      It makes eminent sense to develop a Panamera equivalent, as Jaguar have a reputation for creating sports saloons. However, It must loose the high roofed sedan style,for a low slung silhouette just as Panamera, nothing less will succeed.

      • supermanuel

        The current XJ already looks like a 4 door coupe anyway IMO. It certainly needs a bit more grace than Callum is capable of giving it, but the current concept is already pretty close to the 4 door coupe market. It wouldn’t take a whole lot of tweaking.

        • rover10

          No, the current XJ is too tall to compete with Panamera, the dimensions are considerable enough to make a distinctive difference. One thing is clear, the current design management are more than capable of delivering a true sports saloon.

          • supermanuel

            Yes. I know the current XJ is ‘too tall’ as it is for the 4 door coupe market, thank you. However, I think you should know that the new Panamera is 1423mm high and the XJ is 1460mm high. That’s a difference of 37mm, 3.7cm, an inch and a half, give or take. I suspect that many would agree with me that an inch and a half isn’t a significant difference at all and could be easily dealt with without a dramatic shift in the XJ ‘concept’.

            Interestingly, the SWB S Class is 1496mm high, higher than the XJ by the same amount that the XJ is higher than the Panamera.

          • rover10

            As an ex-designer an inch and a half is significant. To avoid this conversation going any further, a panamera profile and width, is exactly where Jaguar need to go. However, it doesn’t need to be a direct replacement,and could cost considerably more than the current XJ.

    • Benjamin B.

      I can see that… F-Limo

  • Yawn

    This is one of Ian Callum’s weakest designs. I doubt anyone will miss this generation XJ.

    • supermanuel

      I’d miss it. I think it’s one of Callum’s strongest designs, especially compared to the new XF and the XE which are intensely insipid (quite an achievement). I agree with others that any replacement needs to be pointed more at the Panamera than the S Class but that is easily done within the XJ branding, no need for a name change. A sleek, low slung, coupe-esque sedan with a decent wheelbase and an absolutely stunning interior would do very well in China wouldn’t it? Trouble is, Jag hasn’t produced a stunning interior for a very long time now.

  • fabri99

    Jaguar needs a flagship sedan. That’s what they do, sports cars and high-end sedans. THE END.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      And crossovers.

  • Bob

    Give me this with a modern interior instead. Ian Callum’s designs don’t age very well.

    • supermanuel

      The trouble is only about 50 people around the whole actually wanted one of the ‘neo-vintage’ Jags so that was a dead-end for them, stylistically, and you can see why they pushed the restart button. The problem with the new range of cars is that they are predominantly bland and generic with uncomfortable little detail quirks (or mistakes) and mostly dreadful, poor quality interiors. I wish Callum would just retire already and let someone else find a new character for Jaguar that means something.

      • Bob

        You’re absolutely correct. I actually wish the B99 concept was accepted by Jaguar and taken as inspiration for a new generation of Jaguars.

  • Bash

    Im cool with that! lol

  • Mynameis Taylor

    The XJ simply isn’t a good looking car. I absofuckinglutely hate that fussy c-pillar

    • PB

      Yeah. Awkward and unnecessary. Even looks sort of unfinished.

  • Felipe Politano

    I believe they should turn it into two distinct flagship sedans: a fully electric XJ and a Panamera-like XK. They could share platform, interior and all to save development money… but that would be much more in line with the Jaguar brand nowadays (and the marketplace as well).

    • supermanuel

      Good call. I like the idea.

  • BlackPegasus

    It’s different and unique. I say keep it around.

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    i am not a big fan of xj but it is nice to see some uniqueness around.

  • Nordschleife

    I think they should just do a swoopy 4 door coupe on the XF chassis and give it its own interior and make that the flagship. That way they are spending less as they already have the platform for it and can charge more like all the other 4 door coupe automakers do.

    • supermanuel

      That could work.

  • Karl

    This would be so sad if those rumors turns out to be true. I think this is one of the most attractive design out at the moment. Very elegant and stately indeed. A replacement would suffice.

  • Kill the design, keep the format: high speed living room.

  • gshemant

    Amazing that this design has managed to look decent after almost a decade since its introduction

  • paul hayhoe

    Got one and the best car I’ve owned, much better than my old xf or honda legend or Volvo or Vauxhall​ senator etc I’d have another tomorrow.

  • An Existing Person

    This car has surprisingly aged very well. It still looks as elegant as it did when it came out.

  • Mark S

    Go all out Panamera competitor with more room and a lift back. Jaguar is making some real strides with it new products, but more attention needs to be paid to refinement, interior design and quality.

  • Benjamin B.

    What limo will PM Theresa May ride around in now?

    • Steve Crawford

      When brexit is complete lucky she will have a pogo stick to get round on.

  • BOB

    Ya… But Next gen XJ is on it’s way. It will have sedan like lines, but will have much more sporty character.

  • mccarluvr123

    I know a lot of people think otherwise, but for me the current generation XJ is still the best-looking car in its class. It has incredible road presence and, to my eyes, hasn’t aged at all since it was revealed back in 2009. I don’t even give S-Classes or A8s a second glance anymore, but this still makes me stop and stare. Sure, it isn’t as modern or technologically advanced as any of its competitors, and I’ve never been a fan of the c-pillar either. But in spite of those drawbacks, and even though it lacks any of the classic Jaguar design cues, it still has that certain something that all Jaguars have and that I can only describe as effortless class.

  • PB

    It was an OK crack at breaking the pattern of redesigning the 1969 XJ6 that successive Jaguar owners couldn’t let go of, but it still didn’t quite work. They couldn’t decide if they wanted a luxo-barge or a gentleman’s’ sporting saloon and in the end they achieved neither. As long as they keep the XJ name there’ll always be that sense of replacing the XJ6 and hanging on to the past. The Jaguar name has suffered before from owners trying to find too much identity in past glories. They could learn a bit from the German makers about reconciling the past with the future in design and planning.

  • Kash

    They won’t axe it unless the next gen falls flat. The nameplate alone warrants one last chance, and since it is so old, basing the decision to continue the car solely on the last year or two of sales would be silly. Now if we look at things like the XF, a car that was also developed under Ford and now has a all new replacement developed with Ford, if it’s selling as well as Jag would like then a new Xj should follow suit.

  • TheBelltower

    I wish they would completely revise the design language of their sedans. It’s been around too long and has never sold well.

  • MP4-12C

    In my opinion its currently best looking car in Jaguars lineup. Previous XF looked awesome, but the current one looks kind of generic, same goes for XE. Axing XJ would be a strange move as this nameplate has been around for so long…

  • anonymous

    I like the current XJ but it’s a bit long in the tooth. But axing XJ isn’t the best option for Jag. For their next flagship, make it a sleek 4-door coupe and call it XJS.

  • XJ

    “AX” the XJ…. you mean “AXE” the XJ… Carscoops…!
    Normally not a problem but the AX was a small Ctiroen, so when I read “AX the XJ” had to think twice…

    IMO the XJ is a classic shape. I prefer it to the Porsche sedans but not so the Aston Martin Rapide, which is admittedly in another league. Still remember Clarkson’s race against sunrise in the XJ…

  • MarketAndChurch

    Just put the name on an SUV and have it target the Bentayga. Or make it a built-to-order limited series too, where they also have a sedan targeting the Ghost, and a coupe targeting the Continental GT. All three XJ-branded vehicles priced between 200 to 300k would give SVO more work, plus it would evolve the moniker from a sleek sports saloon into just whatever constitutes a flagship in 2017.

    But as BMW is finding out, it’s pointless having a large car. The only market for a large car is down market, between 35k and 70k, well below the starting price of a largely disappearing segment. (mercedes always the exception of course)

  • Tumbi Mtika

    No! Replace it!

  • AstonMartin

    Blasphemy! The XJ is dead, long live the XJ.

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