Jaguar has committed to rolling out its ‘R’ performance brand across all future model lines in a bid to tackle BMW’s M Division, Audi’s Quattro GmbH and Mercedes-Benz AMG.
Depending on the car and the segment in which it resides, the British company will include one, two or all three of the R, R-S and R-S GT tiered-performance grades in every future model it builds.
That means confirmation of an ‘R’ version for both the company’s future 3 Series rival that will tackle future M3 and C63 AMG generations, and the small crossover tipped to arrive soon after that will compete with the Audi SQ5 and others.
Jaguar product planning manager Steven De Ploey (below) confirmed the news at the international launch of the Jaguar XFR-S, the brand’s fastest and most powerful sedan ever.
“Basically [with] the R performance proposition, we want to make sure it is an integral part of each and every next vehicle that we launch,” told De Ploey.
“Whether we necessarily do both derivatives [R and R-S] or all three derivatives [R, R-S and GT] … that is probably a function of the segment the car competes in and the demands customers in that segment would ask for.”
De Ploey did, however, cite the Jaguar XJR, which launched alongside the XFR-S in Seattle this week, as an example of where the company believes there is little demand for a more hardcore sports limousine and will therefore not create an ‘R-S’ version.
“Is there a demand for an even harder-edged proposition in that [large limousine] segment? The answer is probably no”.
Jaguar describes the first ‘R’ tier, seen in the XFR since 2009, as a “high performance luxury” grade; the middle ‘R-S’ tier seen in the XKR-S and now XFR-S is tagged as offering the “ultimate road performance”; while the top ‘R-S GT’ seen in the ultra-exclusive XKR-S GT line offers “track-inspired technology”.
De Ploey also confirmed that the F-Type is “the most obvious” candidate for all three R, R-S and R-S GT tiers.
“If you think of clearly one of the segments where you’ve got the most potential to expand and potentially exploit all three areas of the performance scale we showed you, F-Type would be the perfect platform to do so.
“It’s the most likely car on which to do it [R, R-S and GT].”
De Ploey cites that F-Type R, R-S and R-S GT models are dependent on the popularity of the regular roadster grades and “the available proposition from a business case point of view”.
The product planner denied, however, having yet tested the 404kW version of the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine in the F-Type; the current flagship V8 gets 364kW.