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Jaguar XJ
Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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Jaguar’s XJ6 began life as a sports car design, codenamed XJ4. When it was felt that a four-door saloon was required, the front and rear ends of the design were lopped off, and the XJ6 was born. In its Series I guise, the XJ6 was so ahead of its competitors in terms of refinement and handling that it proved to be a suitable successor to all Jaguar saloons in 1968; XJ12, launched in 1973, might have been the best saloon in the world then—it was certainly the fastest. Quality problems during the British Leyland era produced the unloved Series II; a Pininfarina restyle finished the 1970s with Series III.

Jaguar had wanted to replace the XJs for some time, embarking on the XJ40 project in the 1970s. The resulting model did not see the light of day till 1986, and with various revisions managed to survive in X308 guise into the 21st century, by which time it was cramped and outmoded.

The X350, the X308’s replacement, continued the XJ6 look but was a high-tech car made of an aluminium shell on an aluminium frame. Its retro design, however, failed to impress against strong German competition, and a wedge-shaped, forward-looking X351, with a modern exterior that departed from the original style, débuted in July 2009 in an attempt to put things right. Production of that model ceased in 2019 as Jaguar put the line on hiatus.

Marque: Jaguar

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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024