Jaguar's plans for its new small four-door, scheduled to arrive in 2014, reveal how the automaker has evolved since its days under Ford ownership. Whereas the Ford Mondeo-based X-type tried to compete with the likes of the BMW 3-series on the cheap, the new model, code-named X760 and previewed below by our illustrator, will attempt to leapfrog the Germans by using a rear-wheel-drive platform and aluminum construction. Then there's the design. Jaguar is considering several body styles in addition to the usual three-box sedan, including a hatchback and a four-door coupe. The biggest challenge, beyond keeping costs in line, will be sourcing or developing the required four- and six-cylinder engines. Rumor has it that Jaguar has even approached BMW for the engines it needs to power its 3-series-fighter.
WHAT A compact sport sedan from Jaguar.
AIMING HIGH The new four-door and its variants are critical in Jaguar and Land Rover's plans to triple combined sales to 750,000 by 2018.
WHAT An affordable Jaguar sports car.
OK, RELATIVELY AFFORDABLE The aluminum-intensive XE will give Jaguar a lower-priced partner for the new XK, which will hit the market about the same time. But it still won't be cheap -- think somewhere between the Porsche Boxster and 911, or about $65,000 to $70,000.
WHAT A pillarless, four-seat coupe based on the XJ sedan.
MERCEDES-BENZ CL, JAG-STYLE "To make it work, this car would have to be much more dynamic and emotional than a Mercedes CL," comments Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark. That shouldn't be an overly demanding task, considering that the XJ is already the friskiest car in its segment. The coupe will ride on a shortened wheelbase and feature new sheetmetal topped with a glass roof.
WHAT Performance-oriented, bewhiskered companions to the Land Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.
WHEN 2014 for the small crossover; tentative for the large crossover
ISN'T THIS WHAT LAND ROVER IS FOR? Yes, but management believes that the two brands have to share technology, and even risk overlapping, to survive. The Jaguar crossovers -- particularly the smaller one -- would have to be much more aggressive and more geared toward on-road performance than their Land Rover companions.