Not long ago, we relayed word from Edmunds that Jaguar was planning to split its next-generation XJ sedan into two bodystyles – one model that continued the ambitious design approach fostered with the current X351-based model, and another, more upright model to better appeal to China's conservative design sensibilities.
We expressed some cynicism in the idea, noting that such a strategy "might catch more profits for the marque, but it might also represent a setback to design head Ian Callum's vision for a thoroughly modern Jaguar portfolio." Callum has been quite insistent in his belief that Jag needs to be a forward-thinking brand in terms of design, and the two-model strategy seemed to conflict with that idea. We tried to get some comment from Callum at that time, but were unable to reach him.
As it turns out, our skepticism was well-placed. Autocar says that while the next XJ will continue to have two wheelbases, Callum has denied the two-model talk, saying flatly: "I can't see us doing two bodystyles. The cost would be enormous and the message inconsistent. You have to believe in what you produce and to do two bodystyles would undermine that."