Last week, I wrote about the new XJ. I am sad to say that my last paragraph seemed awfully prophetic. I stated that it could well suffer the same fate as the Mark Ten; it could end up being too big, too vulgar, and too brash for Britain. It could also have suffered the same problem as it's ancestor; that of employing styling motifs not suited to a car of it's size.
I was only too right.
The front end is superb, sublime, and lots of other things beginning with S. However, I refuse to believe that the back of the car is Callum's work. That man can style cars - the back of the new Jag hasn't been styled. Behind the rear doors is all wrong - that boot is at the wrong level, the rear window extends too far, it's too slopey, and I've seen better arses on chimps. And I haven't yet seen Ray Charles credited for his hand in styling it; the black D-pillar. Ultimately, the problem is that it doesn't really flow. It's too fussy and disjointed to really look good from the rear - the rear window is far too shallow in it's rake, and extends too far towards the back of the car. Don't in any sense get me wrong, I love four-door coupes, but (and it does pain me to say this) even Merc's CLS is more coherent.
What Jaguar SHOULD have done is a swoopy three-box design. Leave it as it is to the back of the rear doors, and after, say, the foremost edge of the rear lights. But the bit between these should have been more restrained, more upright, more - dare I say it - like a proper Jaguar. Had they managed to pull this off correctly it would have sold like hot cakes on a cold November morning in the snow. But it was not to be.
The interior also represents a radical departure for Jaguar - and having conferred with a number of friends I have discovered that the walnut makes the dash. I'd quote my mate Will, but what he said regarding the Sport interior (which lacks the walnut and eschews cream leather for an all black, Germanic look) isn't really suitable for public consumption. All recognise it as a Jaguar - but then my tests were conducted with a standard interior. A de-tree'd and black interior would produce very different results.
So. Jaguar have cocked up. Let's hope there aren't too many of my mindset out there. But there's still a faint glimmer of hope. I do get the impression that it would look good in black. Let's pray it's the only shade they decide to offer it in.