Opinions may be split over the execution of the new Jaguar XF that was priced for U.S. consumption yesterday at the LA Auto Show, but the British luxury marque remains committed to its new design direction. That is, at least, what our friends across the pond at Auto Express are saying, and they may not be far off.

The XJ sedan, though arguably a timeless classic shape, is getting a little long in the crooked tooth, and the report suggests that its replacement will follow the XF's lead in taking a more aggressive, modern direction in order to compete with the likes of big German sedans like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class. Auto Express says the chassis will be an updated version of the current aluminum structure, with a range of updated engines in both diesel and gasoline versions, supercharged and naturally aspirated, six cylinders or eight. (The interesting part is a reported boost to the range-topping supercharged V8 to 500 horsepower for the XJR.)

As with the XF, Jaguar's trademark though arguably unpopular J-gate shifter gives way to a more crowd-pleasing console dial and wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. The rest of the interior is also tipped to follow the XF's modern lead, all decked out in leather, wood and blue mood lighting, while repositioned and redesinged seats promise to optimize interior space.

Follow the link to read more crystal-ball forecasts on the next XJ sedan range, which is anticipated to hit the market in 2009.

[Source: Auto Express]