All-new Jaguar XJ shows some skin at the 2019 Frankfurt MotorShow

Jaguar is certainly working on an all-new XJ flagship sedan model - we know this because the automaker teased its upcoming top tier three-box model back in 2018 and now it’s done it again, briefly, at the reveal event of the all-new Land Rover Defender. We didn’t get to see much, though, but it was enough to get us talking about the new big Jag, because it’s always been an interesting car and the automaker has some big formula changes planned for the next-gen model.

How much of the new Jaguar XJ did they show at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show and what will it look like?

The rear end of the next Jag XJ was briefly shown on the screens during the unveiling of the new Land Rover Defender. Specifically, just the rear corner of the car, that appears as if it will have a full light bar running across the full width of the rear end. Its design is in line with what Jaguar’s current models look like, but unlike current production models that feature a similar LED strip in their rear light clusters, it looks like the LED strip will be the entire rear light cluster for the next XJ.

What we can state for a fact, just by looking at this sole teaser shot, is that Jaguar will completely ditch the current XJ’s taillight design. In the current car, the lights are kind of vertical, and they go up from the base of the boot lid towards the C-pillar. In the new car, they will run width-wise, accentuating the car’s width when viewed from behind.

Next-gen Jaguar XJ Teased at 2020 Land Rover Defender Launch Event
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Regarding its overall design, we expect it to look like a bigger, more opulent and more modern interpretation of the current XF (in fact, some reports suggest it will be even bigger than the outgoing XJ).

But since it is designed to compete with the most luxurious and elegant of big sedans, we expect Jaguar will really try to make the XJ shine. Sure, crossovers and SUVs are the most popular types of vehicles right now, but the XJ name traces its lineage back more than five decades and it’s an important model for Jaguar’s (self) image.

It’s not like the current XJ (that went out of production this year) was a big seller. It wasn’t, but it was kept in the range as a kind of a halo car, an example of what Jaguar’s designers and engineers were capable of doing. And for a select few (not the usual big luxo barge buyer, it has to be said), the fact that the XJ was the sportiest and best driving vehicle in its class made it the only choice.

The next Jaguar XJ is going all-electric

2017 Jaguar XJ
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For the XJ’s ninth generation, Jaguar is going to veer off from the traditional formula and sell its flagship sedan as a pure-electric car. We don’t know if it’s only going to be made available as an EV or if the EV will be one of several versions, but an electric XJ is certainly happening.

The XJ’s reinvention as an EV makes a lot of sense. Large, expensive, luxury sedans aren’t as popular as they once were, since some of their market segment has been eaten up by expensive, luxury SUVs, so making it all-electric would make the car attractive for a different set of buyers. Besides, Mercedes will, in the not too distant future, launch the EQS all-electric sedan, and it’s one of many such models we expect to debut within the next few years.

It would obviously instantly become a Tesla rival, and a very credible one at that.

Jaguar is a bigger and much more prestigious manufacturer than Tesla, but at the same time it’s smaller and more creative than the likes of Mercedes and BMW. It will use its smaller size to its advantage here and have a very desirable, cutting edge all-electric sedan out before its rivals.

The car is being developed based around a new electric vehicle-friendly chassis architecture that will (at first) not only be used to underpin the XJ, but also a more car-like Range Rover model that is currently only known as ‘Road Rover.’

When is the next Jaguar XJ coming out?

2017 Jaguar XJ
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It was initially believed that Jaguar was going to reveal the next-gen XJ sometime in 2018, in order to celebrate the nameplate’s 50th anniversary, but that didn’t happen and it probably won’t happen this year either.

We’re pretty sure the ninth-gen Jaguar XJ will debut in 2020, though, and, just like the Land Rover Defender, it will most likely be shown at a major motoring venue such as the Geneva, Paris or Frankfurt motor shows. It will probably hit the market later in 2020, or in early 2021 at the latest.

Further reading

2017 Jaguar XJ
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Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar XJ.

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