Our recent post about the Jaguar XJ-S got us going down memory lane. The greatest thing about what we do is being able to work on some of the greatest Jags and Landies ever. And, while it’s tough to pick an absolute number one in our hearts, the XJ-S got us thinking about one of our favourites, and Jaguar’s flagship model, the XJ sedans.
Today’s XJ represents the longest running series in Jaguar’s line-up with a direct lineage that dates back almost 50 years.
Like the rest of the world, Jaguar went through major changes in the 1960s. You can actually see the extent of the transition when you look at the Mark 2 Sedan and XK150 of 1960, versus the XJ6 Sedan and XKE of 1970.
And that 1970 XJ6 was part of the first series for the model. In yet another nod to Jaguar’s past, the Series I XJ6 is the last Jag sedan to have benefited from the input of Sir William Lyons, the company’s founder, who saw it as a sedan with the handling of an E-Type.
An Instant Hit
Launched in September, 1968, at the Paris Motor Show (look for big 50th anniversary celebrations next year, including the first appearance of the next-generation XJ for the 2019 model year), the XJ was an instant hit with fans, drivers and automotive journalists alike. It was named ‘Car of the Year’ by Car Magazine.
If there is a single testament to what the XJ series has achieved, it is that the model maintained many distinctive features of its styling and character from its introduction until the latest XJ was introduced in 2009. Through it all, the XJ has vigilantly clung to the attributes that got it all the attention and praise in the first place. It remains a beautifully-styled and appointed sedan, coupled to the spirited performance of a sports-car heart.
As the standard-bearer for Jaguar, today’s XJ is proudly represents the marque as one of the cars of choice in Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth’s fleet; the vehicle chosen to safely transport Britain’s Prime Minister (a bespoke armoured version, of course) and the car used by none other than ‘M’, the fictional head of MI6 and James Bond’s boss.