With Jaguar being officially incorporated as Jaguar Land Rover Ltd in December 2012, it is perhaps time to look at the history of one of most recognisable cars on the roads of Britain.
Since its introduction in 1968, almost every successive XJ has gone on to pass the test of not only every petrol head, but too every avid Jaguar fan; and that in itself is no small victory.
Ever since the XJ’s appearance on the tarmac with its first instalment, the XJ6 Series 1, the car has captured the heart of every man and child, as Jasper Gerard of the Daily Telegraph explained in 2011:
“Posters awakened Seventies children to adult possibilities. Normal, well-adjusted adolescents were altered profoundly by the girl in those most economical of tennis whites, scratching an exposed buttock; I was seduced by an altogether darker and ultimately more ruinous image. It featured a Jaguar XJ6.”
Not only is the vehicle significant for the great reputation in which it now yields, but more importantly, the car is the final masterpiece of Sir William Lyons; founder, architect and one of the most important minds ever to break into the car manufacturing industry.
By the time of the second XJ series, something that Sir William did not lay his hand on, the vehicle was noted for its loss of beauty, lack of grace and cheap quality; much of the blame lay on British Leyland.
As noted by Gerard in his aforementioned article, by the end of the Seventies, the XJ was ‘iffy’.
By the early Eighties however, the XJ was given a significant facelift with the series 3 which was introduced in late 1979.
The new model offered not only a better design, but increased safety, three engine variants and the option of cruise control; something never before offered on a XJ.
The car went on to do so well that it was in fact produced right up until 1992 with over 130,000 vehicles manufactured from the assembly line in Coventry.
By 1997 however, the XJ X308 was introduced to the British roads and although it kept much of the same shape as its cousin, the X300, the vehicle featured a low roofline, sloping tail and wrap around rear light clusters; considered by many as an interesting move for the company.
The car did however share the same fate as the X300, as its production was short lived, with production ceasing in 2002.
Even the X350 after that, which went on to serve another five years, wasn’t enough to keep Jaguar fans fulfilled.
By 2009 however, Jaguar had got its act together and at the Saatchi Gallery in London, introduced the XJ351; considered one of the bravest and most impressive redesigns of car manufacturing history.
Produced at the Castle Bromwich Assembly plant in Birmingham, the vehicle was designed by director Ian Callum and offers four differing models (luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio and Supersport).
Not only that but the vehicle offers 20-speaker Dolby 7.1 surround-sound system, a bi-directional touch screen display and a panoramic dual-pane moonroof in the US version.
Today you can of course pick up a used Jaguar XF from accredited suppliers such as HA FOX Jaguar, who can be found all over the country.
The investment is well worth it.
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