Jaguar Land Rover has created a new Special Operations division to cater for bespoke customisation requests, as well as to take on the likes of AMG at Mercedes-Benz and M at BMW.
Although the new division sounds like an army unit that would be parachuted into the world’s most dangerous locales, Jaguar and Land Rover’s new Special Operations division will be staffed by primarily engineers and designers.
Heading up the Special Operations team will be Paul Newsome, who was formerly the head of Williams Advanced Engineering. Jaguar and Williams previously worked together in an aborted attempt to bring the C-X75 hybrid supercar concept into production.
The most visible fruit from the new Special Operations division will be “halo vehicles ranging from high luxury to extreme performance”. The ultra-high performance models will sit above the R-S branded vehicles, like the XKR-S and XFR-S (below), that are currently at the apex of Jaguar’s sporting range.
Of equal importance, but far less likely to enter the public view, is Special Operations’ personalisation and customisation team.
They will handle requests by high value individuals to, say, have their company insignia or family monogram embroidered onto their car’s leather upholstery. And should an oil sheikh or oligarch come a-calling with a blank chequebook and a heavy desire for an F-Type shooting brake, this team will likely do his bidding.
Lastly the Special Operations team will be involved in historical recreations and restorations. The first of its projects will be to complete the production of six lightweight Special GT E-Type reproductions.
These cars will be made to the same specifications as the originals from the 1960s, including the aluminium 3.8-litre straight-six engine.