There's nothing wrong with the current Jaguar XJ that a modern interior and exterior wouldn't fix. Thankfully, in 2011, that's just what it will get - the next XJ will pair the current model's high-tech aluminum unibody with contemporary styling. From a design standpoint, the 2011 XJ will adopt the same theme as the just-introduced XF sedan, so expect an ultra-aggressive tumblehome and slim headlights similar to those found on Jaguar's 2007 C-XF show car. Jaguar's design staff has the Maserati Quattroporte and the Bentley Continental Flying Spur in its crosshairs, so they can't afford to be conservative.
The XJ's interior will be a mix of familiar elements. Jaguar's love-it-or-hate-it touch-screen interface returns, and the XF's rotary transmission selector migrates here as well. Proximity sensors are predicted for many controls, and a full-length glass sunroof will be offered.
Power will come from a new 5.0-liter V-8 engine that will make about 400 hp; a supercharged XJR version should produce roughly 100 hp more. Both engines will be mated to a seven- or an eight-speed automatic transmission. A concept version of the next XJ should debut at the Paris show in October.
YOU CAN STOP SPINNING IN YOUR GRAVE, SIR LYONS:Finally, an XJ that looks as up-to-date as it drives. It can't come too soon.