As the ghost of Sir William Lyons breathes a tentative sigh of relief, parent company Tata Motors has officially confirmed that they will not be introducing an SUV into the Jaguar line-up. They have, however, announced a vigorous design shift for the austere British line which has already begun to manifest itself in the form of Jaguar’s first sport-sedan offering, the Jaguar XF. Publicly planning to add to the family, Tata has announced plans to release an updated version of the Jaguar XK in 2010, as well as a high-performance model known as the Jaguar XKR-R. In addition, the Jaguar XE, Jaguar’s long-awaited response to the Porsche 911, is rumored to be preparing for its first debut masquerading as a concept vehicle wearing the C-XE badge.
Unfortunately, the trademark Jaguar XJ was also purportedly caught in the maelstrom of No.2 pencil lead and has received what some say to be an extremely extensive overhaul. Spy shots of the 2010 Jaguar were too heavily cloaked in camouflage to reveal any hints at the new design direction, but it is rumored to possess heavy exterior similarities to the concept XJ. With no production photos available and an official release date still two years in the future, an overactive imagination coupled with the reality of the fates similar tradition-based brands suffered at the hands of well-meaning “innovators” has gripped the hearts of Jag purists in a cold, quiet, terror. Hopefully, Tata’s wise decision to pass on the oft-enticing luxury SUV market signifies a respect for Jaguar’s orthodox history and with any luck, the new XJ won’t be a drastic departure from the legendary design of decades past.