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A mildly facelifted Jaguar XJ has been spied testing in the UK, confirming the luxury British marque is readying a mid-life update for its flagship sedan.

Spotted by CarAdvice’s spy photographers wearing light camouflage, the Jaguar XJ test car is distinguished from the existing production model by its smoother front bumper; smaller, narrower grille; and larger front air intakes.

A tweaked bumper and boot lid look set to join the current model’s black C-pillars and vertical tail-lights at the rear.

Jaguar XJ Facelift Spied - 3

It’s unclear exactly what Jaguar has planned for the XJ’s interior, though the generational leap taken by rival, the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class – recently revealed in S65 AMG guise – will surely force the British brand to expand the technology it offers and further refine quality.

Changes to the existing sedan’s petrol and diesel engine line-up are only expected to be minor, with the 375kW 5.0-litre V8 petrol to retain its position at the top of the range.

Jaguar has given no indication of when the updated XJ will reach showrooms, though the images of the seemingly production-ready test car suggest its likely to launch sometime in 2014.

Jaguar XJ Facelift Spied - 6

The facelift is expected to be the last major change to the current-generation XJ before its successor launches in the second half of the decade. The next-gen XJ will still be at least four years away, with Jaguar to introduce 3 Series rival, an SUV based on the C-X17 concept car, and the second-generation XF before its renews its flagship sedan.

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