We're in the South of France getting ready to drive Jaguar's new XFR and XKR sports models, and Mike O'Driscoll, Jaguar's managing director, has just confirmed that to us that the long-awaited Jaguar XJ successor will debut this July, with sales beginning in December.

Although details about the new XJ are still scarce, expect a thoroughly redesigned exterior that moves away from the current car's evolutionary design (shown above) by taking several cues from the new XF. Similarly, expect an all-new interior that adopts the company's Jaguar Drive transmission (recently ported over to the new XK) and an aluminum architecture that's rumored to keep the curb weight below 4,000 pounds. At launch, look for Jag's all-new naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 to makes its way under the hood, with an XJR model following sometime in 2011 packing the XFR's 510-horsepower supercharged bent-eight. UPDATE: O'Driscoll has confirmed that sales will begin this December.

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