The new Jaguar XJ. Love the design, right?

Whether it’s the long coupe-like body, sleek roofline or details like the tear drop shape of the side windows, the minute you see the new Jaguar XJ there’s something that makes it hard to take your eyes off this car.

She definitely has the look.

In fact, so striking is the 2011 XJ’s styling that the Chronicle’s “DriveTime” team awarded Jaguar’s new flagship sedan with its inaugural “Design of the Year” Award, announced earlier this year in conjunction with the 2010 North American International Auto Show.

Idea for the award being that every year, among the scores of new automobiles that make their way to the road, there’s always one (that one) that simply leaves your breathless.

Even then, we described the Jaguar as the kind of automobile that prompts you to pull up at a stoplight to see whose driving and has you thinking “what if” when you have an opportunity to sit inside and get a feel for the interior details.

For us, no automobile introduced last year better stirred up the kind of emotions than the new XJ.


With its striking exterior styling, the new XJ is a sharp departure from the previous model. Very different, but still true to the heritage of the Jaguar brand. The XJ shares many of the exterior styling cues of the new XF, but on a much bolder level that gives it the sedan the true feel of a “big body” coupe as a four door sedan.

A standard panoramic glass roof is an integral part of the all new XJ’s design, which gives the car a lower, more streamlined roofline, while dramatically enhancing the feeling of light and space inside.

Other key details include the LED light clusters wrapped over the rear fenders, and chrome power vents set into the fenders and the unique LED tail lamps designed to be reminiscent of the claws of a cat.

Inside, its details such as wood inlays in the door, the chrome and piano black surfaces, and the “virtual instrument” panel featured in the 2010 XJ that really define the “new” Jaguar

But the heart and soul of Jag’s new flagship sedan is how all of its striking design elements come together with the automobile’s engineering as I learned after recently spending some time behind the wheel in the Malibu Newton Canyon.

Fitting location for the test drive considering the roads in the area and our central locale for the event − George Rosenthal’s 250 acre Malibu Estate 1,400 feet above the coast, which is home to the business mogul’s personal vineyard and some rare collectibles like actual pieces of the Berlin Wall.


Moving around the Rosenthal Malibu Estate is reflective of the sense of exclusivity you get in the new Jaguar XJ when you settle into the cockpit and press the pulsing red start button to fire up the engine.

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