Blog: Dave Leggett'Angel of the north syndrome'

Dave Leggett | 9 July 2009

It's a big day tomorrow. Maybe not so big outside Britain, but for those of us here, of a certain age, it's a big one. The Jaguar XJ is getting a re-do and is being officially shown to grunt journalists (after a rollout to Jay Leno, some celebs and a few biggie journos this evening, as I write). But this one is going to be a shock for a few. It's already attracted some flak from some people who can't quite cope with the idea that the XJ, yes, the Xf'ingJ, Jag's flagship saloon, has actually cut loose from the design lineage that goes back to XJ6 in 1968 (and arguably, even further). This is a proper re-do. Clean sheet of paper. It's not trad Jag.

Pictures have been leaked all over the web today. It's a brave look. I think it might work, but a guy who has seen even more big launches than me has some wise words (see below link to Autocar, where there are also pics of the car). Is that C-pillar and use of crome quite right? Not sure. Might be inspired, might look odd. But as Mr Cropley says, let's wait and see it in the flesh, in the street.

It took a while for many people to except Gormley's 'Angel of the North', a massive sculpture off the A1 in the north of England. But accept it they did.

With my business head on, I wonder what sales prospects for the XJ look like? Tough market segment and a tough time. Will it turn heads? In a good way? I think - and sincerely hope - it will. Looking foward to seeing it tomorrow morning at the Saatchi Gallery.

Steve Cropley in Autocar


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