It’s a sad time for Jaguar fans: Ian Callum has announced he is stepping down as design director of the revered British automaker, ending a 20-year career penning some of the most stylish and handsome cars to ever enter production. The details of his departure can be found here, but we’re devoting this space to honoring some of the highest highs of Callum’s tenure at Jaguar. In no particular order, here they are:
In a space filled with semi-generic soap bars and max-attack wedges, the F-Type is one of the most classically proportional sports cars of the past decade. We got our first glimpse of F-Type magic with the 2011 Jaguar C-X16 concept, another Callum design. Since the production car launched in 2013, we’ve enjoyed every iteration from the four-cylinder to the range-topping supercharged V-8 SVR.
2010–2019 Jaguar XJ
Competing with the more classical Mercedes S-class, stolid BMW 7 Series, and blobbish Porsche Panamera, the Jaguar XJ proved that big doesn’t necessarily have to be bland. We loved driving every iteration of the sedan, but we liked it even more when one passed us on the street, as we got an eyeful of those handsome lines. Too bad good looks didn’t translate into strong sales—after nine model years, 2019 marks the final production year for the full-size Jag.
When the Jaguar XE entered the fray in 2015, it faced one of the toughest market segments imaginable. While sales have never been as strong as the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class, the XE is by far and away the best-looking of the bunch. After a refresh earlier this year, it’s also better than ever.
It always hurts our hearts to mention the C-X75, a car Callum described on Instagram as “the one that got away.” Callum and his team designed this concept supercar back in 2010, with production planned soon after its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. With a revolutionary hybridized gas-turbine powertrain, it was quite forward-thinking. However, that setup proved tricky and the turbines were ditched in place of a regular hybrid gas powertrain, with full production slated between 2013 and 2015. Unfortunately, the project was cancelled in 2012 due to the global financial crisis. Jag delivered a final gutshot with the car’s inclusion in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, now powered by a hybridized, turbo- and supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder.
The cutting-edge I-Pace is one of the best examples of Callum’s stylistic range. Having already applied his signature flair to the F-Pace crossover, the I-Pace is one of the most striking designs executed under his watch. Not quite wagon, not quite crossover, the I-Pace is the brand’s first foray into the all-electric space.
Until the F-Type came along, the X150 Jaguar XK was the hottest two-door Jag available. Where the hard-nosed F-Type championed aggression, the XK channeled smooth and reserved performance with a rounded, long-hood appearance. For the duration of its seven-year production run, the XK was the best way to get Aston elegance without the Aston price tag.
Bonus: Aston Martin
Considering his illustrious career at Jaguar, it’s easy to forget Callum jumpstarted modern Aston Martin design language. Starting with the butter-smooth DB7, he designed the first-gen Aston Martin Vanquish as well.