Nocturama

As regular readers roll their eyes skywards in exasperation, we return to a familiar theme, but in a somewhat untimely setting.

(c) The Author

As some of you know all too well, DTW’s editor has something of a habit of repeating himself – almost as much as the subject of today’s nocturnal meditation. The more astute amongst you, by the way will have discerned that these photographs were not taken all that recently, which I will admit to – they were in fact snapped in early December, when the world was young(er) and life was, well, a little simpler.

What I really don’t want to do today is reignite the shopworn debate on the rights and wrongs of the X351 XJ’s D-pillar treatment, or indeed its overall styling scheme. Enough ink has been spilled on that subject already, to little lasting or cathartic effect. After all, even to someone like myself who sincerely appreciates X351’s clarity of purpose, it remains something of an unsettling presence. What is however interesting about these images (to these eyes at least) is the manner in which the moisture has frozen upon the Jaguar’s surfaces, and the curious manner in which this is reflected in the municipal NW London lamplight.

(c) The Author

Also thrown into relief are the multitude of rather busy looking shutlines around the tail lamps, bootlid and rear three quarters. One must wonder whether this approach was decided upon as the best of the available options, or simply the most expedient. Were cost or tooling concerns the primary considerations, or was it simply that enough of the senior management who tend to decide upon these matters agreed to this execution, above the alternatives? After all, it is frequently the case that the (creatively) best option isn’t necessarily the one chosen.

Anyway, it’s all somewhat academic now. The XJ is no more, pending its (eventual and now further delayed) replacement. Not that this will prevent X351 from being the subject of much continued debate – such after all is the fate of outliers, and especially commercial failures such as this. I suspect the arguments over Adam Hatton’s exterior design will rumble on long after we have all departed this world. Which is perhaps a suitably frigid thought to leave you with on this balmy summer Sunday.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

4 thoughts on “Nocturama”

  1. Good morning, Eóin. Given that there was no abrupt change in profile where the boot lid meets the rear wing, isn’t it odd how differently the light reflects of the metalwork each side of the shut-line? The dew seems not to have settled and frozen on the wing like it has on the top surface of the boot lid.

    In any event, the lack of reflected light in the photos really does reveal that extraordinary zig-zag panel-gap / shut-line from the top of the rear window downwards to the bottom of the tail light. It completely disrupts the smooth contouring of the surfaces below. The D-pillar capping merely adds to the visual confusion.

    1. It does appear as though the boot lid was made of plastic, like the d-pillar capping. Which I never realised when using the car (in fairness, given the remote controlled operations of the boot lid, it’s possible I never actually touched the lid).

      Maybe the Dew Test should become an industry standard – a test the Quattroporte V (which served as inspiration to X351) passed with flying colours, incidentally:

  2. I cannot imagine how that frozen dew pattern developed on the Jaguar, except that I have seen similar incongruities in cars that were partially vinyl-wrapped. That treatment is usually reserved for bonnet/hoods around these parts to hopefully repel attacks by small flying stones, grit, sand and salt in winter, and insects, leaves and passing birds in other seasons . So one wonders, as mentioned above in the comments, what the boot lid is made of.

    But on a somewhat similar note to the frosty cat, I have noticed that as snow accumulates on parked cars in those rare circumstances when wind is not a factor, the evening out of stylists’ shapes is sometimes spectacularly wonderful. It’s a time-limited thing as the snow keeps falling and eventually turns the vehicle into a blob, but there sometimes exists magic for a moment. Unfortunately, in my experience, not long enough to tog up and go outdoors to slog through snow to take a picture. The natural response of a Canuck is to start shovelling to get the stuff out of the way once you commit to the outdoors!

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