Concepts and prototypes : Pininfarina Jaguar proposals

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Pininfarina Jaguar Concepts: Coventry’s Italian restyle

Throughout the 1970s, Pininfarina maintained its long-held links with the British motor industry by working with Jaguar in an attempt to create the new design language for which the company had seemingly been searching since even before the arrival of the XJ-S. Various XJ40 proposals were experimented with, but it was the arrival of the XJ Series III that saw the partnership truly bear fruit…

Enjoy these proposals.


Project XJ40

This was how Pininfarina envisaged the replacement for the Jaguar XJ12. While undoubtedly a stylish design, it was eventually considered to represent just too much of a departure from the traditional Jaguar values.
This was how Pininfarina envisaged the replacement for the Jaguar XJ12. While undoubtedly a stylish design, it was eventually considered to represent just too much of a departure from the traditional Jaguar values

Pininfarina was still loosely associated with British Leyland as a go-to design consultancy and, in this case with Project  XJ40 taking shape, Jaguar approached Pininfarina to come up with a design proposal for its upcoming executive saloon.

The 1974 Jaguar XJ12-PF emerged and was presented at the 1973 London Motor Show – ultimately passed over by Jaguar in favour of the in-house design proposals, it made a great motor show star after it returned to Italy following its Coventry analysis. It could be argued that it had an influence on the XJ40 programme, if you follow its evolution.

In profile, the car could almost be mistaken for a four-door version of Pininfarina's later Ferrari 400.
In profile, the car could almost be mistaken for a four-door version of Pininfarina’s later Ferrari 400

1974 Jaguar XJ12-PF Gallery

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1978 Jaguar XJ-Spider

Then there was the 1978 XJ-Spider, which as far as many onlookers were concerned, looked like the true replacement for the E-type

For many commentators, this was the true precursor to the Jaguar F-Type, and inspiration for the Jaguar XJ41/42

 Independently produced for the 1978 London Motor Show, the XJ-Spider showed how the XJ-S could have become a worthy successor to the E-type. Perhaps the car's only unhappy aspect is its slightly high, elongated tail, which at least ensured that this grand touring car has a capacious boot to match. Images: © Schlegelmilch
Independently produced for the 1978 London Motor Show, the XJ-Spider showed how the XJ-S could have become a worthy successor to the E-type. Perhaps the car’s only unhappy aspect is its slightly high, elongated tail, which at least ensured that this grand touring car has a capacious boot to match. All images: © Schlegelmilch

 Independently produced for the 1978 London Motor Show, the XJ-Spider showed how the XJ-S could have become a worthy successor to the E-type. Perhaps the car's only unhappy aspect is its slightly high, elongated tail, which at least ensured that this grand touring car has a capacious boot to match. Images: © Schlegelmilch

1978 Jaguar XJ Spider gallery

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Declan Berridge

Without Declan’s hard work, this site simply wouldn’t exist. An avid car enthusiast with a fleet including two ADO16s and a pair of classic Fiats, Declan’s choice of classics is second to none…

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9 Comments

  1. The XJ-spider was amazingly ahead of its time although the Corvette influenced kamm tail looks somewhat dated now.

    • I disagree 🙁 .

      Forward of the B-pillar is OK. Strong. Coherent.

      Above the rear wheels, the “sixth” glass, C-D-pillars just looks broken! It is as though they didn’t know how to join the tail/boot to the rest/front of the far, and ran out of ideas.

      If the boot had – maybe – been bigger/taller, so that the rear-end did not just taper-off, it would have looked more impressive, more “substantial”. After all, this is the LUXURY XJ, intended to convey Ministers and Directors (and their luggage) . . . in competition with the S-Class and 7 Series.

      It is NOT (supposed to be) a low slung, sleek, difficult-to-get-in-and-out-off, “GT”.

      Something Ian Callum (reluctantly!), concedes in the current issue (04 OCT 2017) of AUTOCAR.

      • I think the XJ12 effort is beautiful outside , although the front is a bit brash , and I can see what Andrew Boulton means about the base of the 6th light . The interior, however……beyond parody, indescribably awful

      • To me it looks stylish, but more of a Mercedes CLS type 4 door coupe, rather than an range topping luxury saloon (but then XJs have generally been less roomy than S class Mercs)

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