Jaguar has confirmed it will produce a 3 Series-rivalling sedan from 2015 as the first stage in the company’s new push to expand into lucrative higher-volume segments.
The announcement came as Jaguar took the wraps off its C-X17 concept, which previews Jaguar’s as-yet-unconfirmed crossover model – expected to reach production in 2016 – and debuts the all-new aluminium architecture that will underpin it and the new sedan in “a new range of future Jaguars”.
The luxury British car maker claims the new platform, dubbed ‘iQ[Al]’, will be the first aluminium monocoque in the premium mid-sized segment and says its forthcoming sports sedan will be “the most advanced, efficient and refined” vehicle in its class.
The new sedan – rumoured to be called the Jaguar XS – will be assembled at an all-new high-tech production facility in Solihull, UK, and will be powered by a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines that will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new £500 million ($850 million) powertrain plant currently under construction in Wolverhampton.
The engines will allow Jaguar to slip under 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre for the first time, and claim to incorporate fuel-efficient technologies and innovations without sacrificing “inspirational performance … driveability or feel”.
The supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine from the F-Type will also feature in the new sedan, which Jaguar promises will be capable of speeds in excess of 300km/h.
The C-X17 concept features all-wheel drive and ‘torque vectoring by braking’, the latter using the vehicle’s brake system to rebalance the distribution of torque to the wheels to reduce understeer and maximise grip.
Jaguar says its iQ[Al] platform will be modular and scalable, providing a higher degree of flexibility for use in a wider range of vehicle types than ever before. The aluminium-intensive architecture is claimed to be lightweight and extremely stiff, and incorporates sustainable components such as a high-strength alloy that is made almost entirely from recycled raw materials.
The British brand says the new architecture allows it to move into higher volume production “without compromising the unique character, breath-taking design, outstanding vehicle dynamics, performance and luxury that Jaguar is famous for”.
Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark says the introduction of the new platform will “dramatically expand Jaguar’s product offering, market potential and customer appeal”.
“This new philosophy will bring technology from our luxury products into an accessible price segment, and when combined with our new ultra-efficient engines, we will set a global standard,” Hallmark said.
“Add to these rational values the class-leading dynamics and the beauty and purity of form that Jaguar is renowned for and we have the formula for a monumental leap forward.”
The new sedan will be the brand’s first 3 Series rival since the X-Type – a Ford Mondeo-based model produced between 2001 and 2009 that never achieved the market success Jaguar hoped it would.
At last year’s Geneva motor show, Jaguar design chief Ian Callum told CarAdvice the new sedan would take styling inspiration from the larger XF and XJ models.
“If we were to go that way [of producing a smaller sports-luxury car],” Callum said at this time, “it’s not going to look anything like an X-Type.
“Our values remain true. We’re a sporty company and that would have to come over in the form or shape of the car.”
The Jaguar C-X17 concept makes its public debut in Frankfurt on September 10.