2011 Jaguar XJ

2011 Jaguar XJ

We told you about the radical Jaguar "LimoGreen" hybrid project several months ago, and now more details and even some renderings of the 2011 Jaguar XJ are starting to emerge.

The latest is the teaser photo above, from Jaguar itself. Combined with dozens of Jaguar XJ spy photos, it's clear that Jaguar's new XJ full-size sedan will metamorphose into a shape inspired by the striking and popular 2009 Jaguar XF.

The new 2011 Jaguar XJ will be previewed on July 9, and Britain's CAR magazine suggests it will sport a unique D-pillar treatment to give its roofline a floating, coupe-like appearance. (The D-pillar is the roof support furthest back on a sedan.)

Though it will look entirely different from the outgoing and very stodgy model, the 2011 XJ will be built on the same aluminum bonded sections--meaning it will be the lightest entry in the class.

That lower weight will help it conserve fuel and emit less carbon; the goal for the project is 120 grams per kilometer or less, which is on a par with the average European subcompact.

We're most interested in the hybrid powertrain, though it won't necessarily be offered on launch. Unlike the approach taken by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar is said to be using will be a series hybrid design.

That's right, a Jaguar that uses the same principles as the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. It will include an advanced electric motor, a small battery pack, and a compact "auxiliary power unit" (an engine that drives a generator).

The range-extender engine is being developed by Lotus.  Its engineers will "keep the engine spinning at a speed and load range that's best for peak efficiency, which allows all the engine's components and systems to be optimized for these running conditions."

How large might such an engine be? Well, except for the V-8 in later Esprit models, Lotus is known for designing and building small, highly efficient four-cylinder engines of 2.0 liters or less (or adapting them from Toyota building blocks).

Non-hybrid engines will be carried over from the 2010 Land Rover lineup. For the U.S. market, the 2011 XJ will feature a 5.0-liter V-8 with roughly 350 horsepower. A supercharged version will crank out 500 hp or more. Only rear-wheel-drive will be offered.

As for the interior, the 2011 Jaguar XJ is said to sport an XF-like interior that includes larger digital displays, iPhone integration, and night vision, among other high-end options.

restyled Jaguar XJ illustration from Car and Driver, by Motor Forecast

restyled Jaguar XJ illustration from Car and Driver, by Motor Forecast