Jaguar made its recent North American introduction of the 2011 XJ in Hollywood. With 500 billboards, airport signage and targeted advertising, it’s an example of how Jaguar is going after a younger, hipper audience — one that is involved in trends, entertainment, advertising and luxury.
“The XJ exemplifies a love of form with its elegance and beauty of line — the emotional that goes beyond the functional. We are looking forward to modern trends, a design form to create our future,” said Giles Taylor, senior design manager for Jaguar.
Jaguar designs are hand-drawn, not conceptualized on a computer. They always will be, notes Taylor, who says his communication tool is the pen. “I sketch because I love form; I love the three-dimensional. We have expressed ourselves with the new XJ in a very daring way. The ultimate charisma of our brand is emotional and artistic: forms that go through wind very fast.”
Taylor compares the design of the new 2011 Jaguar XJ to a well-fitted suit: one that fits a woman’s body perfectly, like Chanel and Yves St. Laurent. “These were the founders and artists of their own companies. Just like Sir William Lyons (founder of Jaguar) these are people who understand form, line and elegance,” he said.
Taylor explained that Jaguar wanted the 2011 XJ to have a very low profile, to look well planted. “The window shape came first,” he said. After that, the design team became braver and added touches like the linear front fender that grabs the front wheel.
“Jaguar has a lovely sense of repose — a Britishness. It catches the light. The waterfall shoulders the grille graphic in the front,” he enthused. The taillights (three vertical lamps called cats claws) were designed so that the XJ could be identified in the dark.
Regarding the interior, Taylor noted that the XJ is all about a sense of well-being, hence the gentle curve of the console to corset the passenger. “Our customer can discern right down to the smell of the leather and the stitching patterns,” Taylor said. The XJ also offers a carbon fiber trim option for the younger customer.
As with Prada handbags and Ferragamo briefcases, Taylor notes that less is more. “If you do it well, that’s enough.