WITH visual hints of some of the great Big Cats of the past, including the fabulous Mk IX, the Jaguar XJ stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of pure styling oomph.
And the power dressing is not let down by what is under the bonnet.
The XJ R-Sport version I drove was a pure dynamic eye opener for such a large car with 155mph performance underpinned by a 0-60mph sprint factor of 5.9 seconds.
It's all done via a 3.0-litre V6 diesel feeding a super-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, proving that the German manufacturers have certainly not got it all their own way in the world of top drawer cars such as this.
Although not a brand-new design, the XJ keeps up in this heavily contested market sector with items such as a new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system offering door-to-door navigation, seamless iOS and Android connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot and 26-speaker, 1,300W Meridian Digital Reference audio system.
Its reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster now offers full-screen navigation display.
The uprated 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine delivers 306ps and reduces CO2 emissions by more than six per cent, but what is even more impressive is that this car is capable of 48mpg on the combined cycle which is astonishing for such a powerful beast.
It is packed with technology including the latest electric power-assisted steering which offers even greater feel and responsiveness and even reduces fuel consumption.
And the XJ is ready for winter with all-surface progress control Progress Control enables smooth, effortless drive-away on low-friction surfaces such as snow and ice - all the driver has to do is steer.
In fact, it just could not be easier for the driver with a suite of advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control with queue-assist, reverse traffic detection, closing vehicle sensing, 360 degree surround camera system and semi-automated bay- and parallel parking.
This was the short wheelbase offering but was still a large vehicle in anyone's books. It caused jaws to drop wherever I took it and as a driving experience it has few rivals among large saloons.
As with other new generation Jaguars the transmission selector button rises from the central console as soon as the power is activated and it is all very futuristic.
As the transmission copes effortlessly with the power flow I could help casting my mind back to the day I drove a MKIX back in the 1960s.
Although the MK IX was only capable of 114mph and was not anywhere near as quick off the mark, the sheer majesty of the two was beyond compare, as you would expect from top of the range big cats.
The R-Sport model features a three-piece front splitter, deep side sills, side power vents and rear spoiler.
A gloss black finish enhances the grille mesh, rear valance and, as standard in select markets, the window finishers. Wheels are 20-inch Venom design and the interior gains sports seats, R-Sport steering wheel and treadplates, a Jet headliner and piano black trim.