Jaguar is in the midst of a product revolution.
The four-wheel-drive XF and XJ, introduced at the Moscow show and destined for America, China, Russia and the Alpine regions of Europe, are just the start of a policy to meet local needs through a more flexible model strategy, says Adrian Hallmark, the head of the brand.
“In five years or so we will have developed new engine families that will be flexible in how we use them and new platforms that will allow us to do whatever we want with them,” he promised at the Moscow motor show.
“They will be highly efficient and totally modular. The engines will be suitable for north-south or east-west installation, while the platforms will allow us to build large cars or small cars. They will be developed for Jaguar, but there will be synergies with what is happening at Land Rover.”
But first Jaguar has to leverage more market coverage out of the models already on its books, and has recently announced plans to fit a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, driven by the taxation regime in China, and a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 to selected versions of the XF and XJ ranges.
“Adding the 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre engines takes our coverage of the market segments from 10 per cent to 70 per cent,” says Hallmark.
The 3.0-litre V6 produces similar power to the company’s normally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 and will gradually replace it in many markets, says Andy Dobson, the chief programme engineer of the new four-wheel-drive models.
Its next home will be in the F-type two-seater sports car (above), due to be unveiled at the Paris show next month. “It will be the most exciting car in our modern history; our first two-seater for more than 50 years,” says Hallmark. “Its bloodline runs through the C-type, D-type and E-type. We have been away from that segment for far too long.”
Jaguar is also on the verge of launching the XF Sportbrake, its first large estate car. But longer-term Hallmark wants Jaguar to enter the compact premium car market dominated by the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class, and the new platform and powertrain strategy will allow it to do this.
“I’m not going to say what body types we might produce, but if you look at the sector, saloons take the largest share, SUVs are the fastest-growing and coupes are the most glamorous,” he said. “We are pursuing the right position and will decide according to the business case.”