Jaguar Is Thinking Big
Jaguar scaled back its big-volume ambitions after the Premiere Auto Group years, but now, under Tata, is scaling them back up again. Together with Land Rover, Jaguar's unofficial long- term plan is to build 750,000 vehicles by 2018. This is a dramatic threefold increase in production. New executives John Edwards at Land Rover and Adrian Hallmark at Jaguar have, together with Carl-Peter Forster and Ralph Speth, agreed to jointly conceive more efficient, universally applicable drivetrains, vehicle architectures, and production processes.
For Land Rover that means evaluating a common components matrix for the next Freelander/LR2, the Discovery/LR4 replacement -- and the future Defender. Jaguar is meanwhile working on the facelifted XF complete with an interesting wagon variant to appear later this year, on a more affordable two-seater sports car (in 2013), on a family of all-new entry-level models aimed at the Audi A4/BMW 3-series/Mercedes-Benz C-Class (also in 2013), and on the next-generation XF (in 2014) and XK (also 2014).
Comments the recently appointed (ex-VW) senior brand manager Adrian Hallmark: "We won't have a 1-series-size car in the next five to ten years, but we are working on some compelling alternative body styles that are quite anti-German luxury car establishment. I don't think for instance that Jaguar should rely on the traditional sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible mix in every segment we compete in. Not when there are alternatives like a four- or five-door coupe, a shooting brake [sports hatch/wagon], or a crossover. I also don't think that we can compromise on engines. What effect would a four-cylinder unit designed and made in India have on the brand image? At the upper end of the spectrum, it would be relatively easy to create a lightweight XKR R-type spyder, a high-performance diesel, or a more accessible variation of the C-X75 concept."
One new model in the pipeline is a striking XJ coupe on a shortened wheelbase. The pillarless four-seater features a glass roof and its own sheet metal, sources say. Hallmark describes it as "much more dynamic and emotional than a Mercedes CL."
Word is that Jaguar is seriously contemplating a four-door shooting brake based either on the entry-level model or the next XF. Although this model would boost XF sales by only 15 percent overall due to its strong focus on the European market, the cost basis is said to be attractive enough to turn a profit.
Another promising potential variant for the entry-level family is a crossover, which would be related to the upcoming Range Rover Evoque, to compete with the Audi Q5/BMW X3/Mercedes-Benz GLK. The low-roofed Jaguar crossover would be sportier and more elegant than the competition, and be powered by high-performance four-cylinder engines. Still tentative is a second crossover, to be derived from the next Range Rover Sport. Available with second-generation V-6 and V-8 engines and with a plug-in hybrid option, the Jaguar luxury crossover is said to be more of an Audi Allroad-type wagon than a true mud wrestler. Says Hallmark: "To me, a Jaguar crossover is a given. In fact, I think all-wheel drive should be part of all future Jaguars."
For Joe DeMatio's interview with Adrian Hallmark, click here.