Jaguar Cars unveiled its redesigned XJ last night at a London art gallery.

The automaker is now taking orders for first deliveries early in 2010. UK prices start at GBP52,500 for the standard wheelbase three-litre V6 diesel model.

Catching up with European rivals, the automaker has introduced a panoramic glass roof for its flagship.

Standard- and long-wheelbase (additional 125mm of legroom) models are available from launch. Boot (trunk) capacity is 520 litres.

The interior is detailed in chrome and piano black to complement leather and veneer surfaces.

Jaguar said the choice of interior colours, veneers and leathers was the widest it had offered. Three basic specification levels are offered - luxury, premium luxury and portfolio. Beyond this are the supercharged and top supersport versions.

Engine choices are three-litre V6 diesel and five-litre naturally aspirated and supercharged petrol V8s. The diesel achieves combined EU test economy of 40.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 184g/km; V8 performance was not mentioned in Jaguar's launch press release.

Various technologies are carried over from earlier Jaguar models to the new XJ such as air suspension, adaptive dynamics (continuously variable damping), active differential control and quick-ratio power steering. But there was no mention of the sort of driveline innovations that usually accompany a new European rival or a Lexus LS.

Inside, though, there are 12.3-inch high-definition virtual instruments and an innovative, dual-view technology eight-inch touch-screen that can project DVD movies or television programmes to the passenger while the driver views vehicle functions or satellite navigation.

Premium surround sound options include a 1200W Bowers & Wilkins system. Hard drive-based audio and navigation systems and comprehensive connectivity for portable audio and video devices via a media hub is also available.

Jaguar said its aluminium body technology results in an XJ at least 150kg lighter rivals.

Jaguar prototype has Alpine split screen