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New Jaguar XJ

evo bags spy shots of the big cat's biggest car

Jaguar is out testing its brand new XJ executive saloon, and for once we'll be able to decipher it as all-new thanks to revolutionary rather than evolutionary styling. Thank the XF's success for that, the model propping up the Jaguar range through the troubled car market and marking Jag out as one of the few manufacturers to report a rise in sales.

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The smattering of black cladding on this test car shows the styling enjoys a pretty big overhaul, but look closely and thin but shapely headlights can be seen, similar to those seen on the C-XF concept that foresaw the production XF. Apparently Jag designer Ian Callum is a big fan of the coupe-like Mercedes CLS, so expect some influences from that car on the XJ. The car should also bear a close resemblance to the XF, looking at the shape of this mule - it looks very much the longer, sleeker version of its 5-series sized sibling.

Underneath, things look set to remain largely similar to the current car. No bad thing; the aluminium chassis of the XJ is pretty sound, and at least on par with rivals. The retro looks of the current car's exterior manage to hide the technology that lies beneath. Jaguar's engine range is good too, the 2.7-litre diesel that sells well in the XF one that comes in for a fair amount of praise too, although Jaguar may extend its oil-burning range at some point in the future.

The new XJ is still under development, so expect to see a concept for the new car early in 2010 - possibly at the Detroit motor show, where the XK and XF concepts took their bows - with the production XJ going on sale a year later.

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