Jaguar's Chief Designers give insight into the design language of the XF and all new XJ.
CHIEF DESIGNER GILES TAYLOR INTERPRETS THE FORCEFUL, FLUID DESIGN LANGUAGE OF THE ALL NEW XJ.
“Form follows function, but in a sleek and dynamic way. We wanted the XJ to look effortlessly fast.”
“There are three important design elements that give the XJ a real strength and boldness of character when viewed from the front. The primary statement is the large grille. We wanted this enlarged graphic to deliver a gravitas and confidence to the front of the new XJ. It extends much lower than previous grilles and is integrally connected to the powerful bonnet sculpture. You get the feeling that the whole car emanates from this large chrome intake.”
“The high-positioned, slim headlamp graphic: the eyes of the car. They are designed to integrate fully with the sculpture of the bonnet with this wonderfully expressive line that sweeps down to create a subtle element of aggression and menace.”
“We wanted a strong sculptural feel to the upper surfaces. The bonnet power bulge forms a strong part of the power message. The metal must appear taut, like stretching a silk drape, so the functional elements of the car are enveloped in this lithe, tensile skin.”
“We have actually increased the width of the front track over the previous XJ. This allowed us to develop extra visual width to the frontal proportions and this is vital in achieving a more planted, sporting stance.”
“The panoramic glass roof continues from the windscreen. Along with the flowing A-pillars the eye is carried seamlessly up onto the superstructure of the car. The design team referenced the original 1968 XJ, which possessed this visual lightness of cabin structure with lots of glass area and elegant, slim pillars. The new XJ roof deliberately appears unsupported at its rear edge, almost floating. This inferred lightness conveys a solidity and stability to the lower portion of the car as a result.”
“There’s a fluidity to the way the rear lamps work from the rear face onto the top surfaces that provides a real forward momentum as well as accentuating the XJ’s length.”
“Your eye is brought right to the rear tip of the car along the shoulder, this tensile, light-catching band, over the rear wheel. There’s this sense of movement as these features reinforce where your eye should be going.”
“We wanted to achieve a clean canvas with the rear face of the car in order to reinforce the luxury motif of the chrome leaping Jaguar which immediately presents itself as a piece of jewellery to the eye.”
“The speed association with the proportion of the lovely, fast cabin line – which is only a few degrees off an XK Coupé – is all about putting the sporting credentials back into XJ. The fast roofline was an essential starting point and it leads naturally to the beautiful, sleek side-window graphic, which is generally recognised as the primary design statement.”
“At Jaguar Design, we’ve labelled these lines as the cat’s claws. They provide not only daytime appeal but, importantly, a distinct, recognisable night-time graphic. When the car comes past it has to say: ‘New Jaguar, new XJ.’”
“At the rear of the car there’s a very strong design statement to do with recent trends for a more minimal approach to luxury products. It’s about executing very clean, tensile surfaces alongside THE pure, architecturally derived graphics.”
XF CHIEF DESIGNER WAYNE BURGESS EXPLAINS HOW DESIGN REFLECTS THE LUXURIOUS,DYNAMIC NATURE OF THE XF.
“The theme of luxury is inherent in the surfaces we have on Jaguars. There’s a certain tautness while also having an element of voluptuousness to it.”
“You have these feature lines that flow back from the grille and lead your eye up over the
A-pillars and out to the rear. That’s something fundamental about the way Jaguar’s design language works and what gives Jaguars this elegance, because your eye is never really interrupted on its journey around the car.”
“This car has an incredible power plant. It’s a five-litre supercharged V8 engine with 510PS. To exaggerate the XF’s already dynamic appearance there are these large, chrome-rimmed outboard air intakes, which are like the flared nostrils of an angry beast. They visually tell you: this car’s got these big air coolers for this big supercharged engine.”
“Because this car goes so much faster, the front bumper is deeper than the standard car as we wanted to reduce front-end lift. There are also little aero winglets that project forwards to help to keep the front lift down. Also, on the bonnet we have the supercharged bonnet louvers – these are also functional to cool the engine, but again, this is a visual clue that there’s something special under the hood and it’s more than just the standard XF.”
“The XFR has unique 20-inch wheels, with turbine blade graphics. We’ve also embossed the supercharged logo onto the hub – a little bit reminiscent of an ingot with a hallmark, a stamp of quality.”
“There’s not a lot of bright work on the XF, but where we have used it, we’ve tried to use it in an absolutely exquisite manner. So a thing like the metal around the side glass is achieved in a single aluminium pressing. There are no joints. That’s quite unique for a car in this class.”
“At the rear of the vehicle, because of the deeper front bumper, we have to balance the reduced lift on the front with a little vestigial deck-lid spoiler. The aerodynamics are so good on the XF we didn’t need to do a lot.”
“We have quad chrome tailpipes, which is an R signature – you’ll also see them on the XKR. There’s a new valance as well which is sculpted around the tailpipes to just give you that extra bit of visual recognition that this is something more powerful than your standard XF.”