Jaguar XJ50 strikes

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Jaguar XJ50 front
Jaguar XJ50 head-on action
Jaguar XJ50 front action
Jaguar XJ50 rear action
Jaguar XJ50 side
Jaguar XJ50 badge detail
Jaguar XJ50 fascia
Jaguar XJ50 front seats
Jaguar XJ over the years

IT'S been the choice of business leaders, celebrities, politicians and royalty for half a century and now Jaguar is marking the golden years of its flagship XJ luxury saloon with the launch of a new 50 anniversary special edition model.

Revealed at the Beijing Motor Show, the Jaguar XJ50 will be available in both standard and long wheelbase forms with a three-litre 300PS diesel powertrain. Jaguar dealers are taking orders now at prices from £74,280.

Exterior updates include Autobiography-style front and rear bumpers, new 20-inch Venom wheels, a black front grille and unique badging to the rear and side vents.

Inside, the luxurious cabin features soft-grain diamond-quilted seats with an embossed Jaguar badge on the headrests and an XJ50 logo on the centre armrest. Unique branding and XJ50-badged illuminated treadplates also differentiate the anniversary edition, alongside anodised gearshift paddles and bright metal pedals.

The XJ Series 1 started the distinctive dynasty in 1968 and the XJ has constantly evolved and innovated through eight generations.

Four years into its life it became the world's only mass-produced 12-cylinder, four-door car and, with a top speed of 140mph (225km/h), it was also the fastest four-seater of its time.

Further models followed, sporting both standard and long wheelbases, as well as two and four-door body styles. The Series 2 was the first to offer a two-door coupé model in 1975 and the XJ40, in production for eight years from 1986, introduced the celebrated ‘J' gate gear shifter and self-levelling suspension.

A revolutionary aluminium monocoque bodyshell helped reduce the XJ's weight by 40 per cent from 2003, before the current model brought additional technologies such as all-wheel drive and a virtual instrument cluster.

Ian Callum, Jaguar's Director of Design is the man responsible for the current distinctive styling with its with a wraparound rear screen and distinctive cat claw inspired rear lights.

He says: "Spanning half a century, the Jaguar XJ remains true to its heritage with a wonderful balance of beautiful design, intelligent performance and indulgent luxury that ensures it stands out from the crowd. This is a car worth celebrating and the XJ50 pays homage to a giant within the Jaguar brand that we believe is one of the world's most stylish sporting saloons."

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