Yes, you read that correctly – Jaguar isn’t planning in-house mainstay production versions of its XE and XF to tackle the BMW M3 and M5, according to a new report.
Speaking with Road and Track, Jaguar’s head of design, Ian Callum, said the British marque isn’t planning range-topping performance heroes of its mid- and large-sized sedans, despite being able to fit a V8 in the engine bay.
“But I think if we did an M3 version of XE, we’d proportionally sell more, because, we just would. I don’t agree with it, but I’m not the one making those decisions,” Callum added.
However, all is not lost. While Jaguar isn’t planning to produce flagship performance models in-house, the company’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division has some projects in the works.
We’ve already seen the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 (pictured above), which featured the company’s signature 5.0-litre supercharged V8 under the bonnet. However, it was only offered in left-hand drive and limited to 300 units globally.
The track-focused all-wheel-drive super sedan can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 321km/h, and recently set the record for four-door production vehicles at the famed Nurburgring circuit.
Our guess is that an XE SVR and/or XF SVR could be on the way, especially when the SVO division is harping on about bringing more models based on the wider Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) portfolio.
In Road and Track’s report, John Edwards, SVO boss, said there will be “more vehicles wearing the SVO badge” as soon as next year.
“Right now there’s more emphasis on SVR in our thinking,” he said, “I think that’s probably the more obvious area of the market.”
Currently, the Jaguar F-Type SVR and Range Rover Sport SVR are the only performance-focused SVO models on sale, with the Range Rover SVAutobiography taking a more luxury focus – though the ‘Dynamic’ version aims to be a little more involving.
With that in mind, the Jaguar XE and XF could be next in line for the SVR treatment, seeing as most of the SUV range has already received an SVO makeover.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see.