Jaguar is relying on the redesigned 2010 XJ to improve global sales by as much as 50% this year. Many are waiting for the replacement XJ sedan to go on sale next month in the US, the United Kingdom, China and Germany in both short- and long-wheelbase versions.
This marks the first time ever that Jaguar launches a vehicle simultaneously in four major markets, according to Mike O'Driscoll, managing director of Jaguar Cars Ltd.
Jaguar is hopeful that the XJ will help boost sales to 75,000 units this year. Jaguar sales fell 21% last year to 51,855 units worldwide, including 11,955 cars in the US, a 19% drop from a year earlier.
Gary Temple, president of Jaguar Land Rover North America told Automotive News in February, that the XJ is significant because since Jaguar halted the production of the 2009 XJ last summer, the brand has "almost been a one-model company."
Dealers have depended mainly on the XF mid-sized sedan, which went on sale in 2008. Driscoll said that even if sales of the XJ will be fewer than those of the less expensive XF and XK ranges, the XJ is expected to reignite interest in the brand due to the considerable car revisions. The sedan has a coupelike profile with a glass panoramic roof and blacked-out C-pillars.
The XJ interior has leather, bright trim and wood as standard. High-technology features include "virtual" gauges on a TV-like screen.
The XJ will rival the Mercedes-Benz S class, BMW 7 series and Audi A8. The 2011 XJ is priced from $72,500, including freight, and its price goes up to $115,000 for the long-wheelbase XJL Supersport. [via autonews - sub. required]