Jaguar has had something of a renaissance in the last few years with the new XK coupe and convertible, and, more recently, the XF sedan. The transformation seems to be working-the automaker bucked the downward trend in the UK in 2008, with sales up an impressive 9 percent compared with 2007. Capitalizing on that good news, Jaguar officials have confirmed that the company will introduce a replacement for the lagging XJ sedan later this year.
The new sedan will abandon the conservative styling of the current XJ and embrace the more stylish designs of the XF and XK. The sedan will compete in the "four-door coupe" segment with the likes of the upcoming Porsche Panamera, the Maserati Quattroporte, the Aston Martine Rapide, and the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. According to Mike O'Driscoll, speaking at an event previewing Jaguar's upcoming engines, the sedan "takes, we believe, the luxury saloon to new heights in terms of its technical enhancements."
Powertrain choices will include the two new engines Jaguar will unveil this week at the North American International Auto Show as well as a V-8 gasoline and a V-6 diesel. In addition to two new engines, Jaguar will debut the XFR, as well as updated versions of the XK and XKR at the show.
Jaguar is working to refocus its lineup, abandoning the pursuit of high-volume sales. The automaker will instead build fewer but higher-quality vehicles to increase brand image and value. According to ODriscoll, it will "take performance to a whole new level."
"There's no doubt the economic situation has been serious," O'Driscoll said, "but we're putting Jaguar back on the map as one of the great brands in the world, and a national treasure... These new case take Jaguar to new levels, and we think we have a bright future ahead of us."