Although Jaguar product planning manager Steven De Ploey maintains an “if we build it” scenario for a future small crossover, the cement is all but set for the new model, tipped to be badged XQ, to arrive in 2016.
De Ploey describes the potential to borrow the Evoque platform for its small crossover as a “theoretical possibility” but cautions that an off road-biased platform may not best suit a Jaguar crossover.
“There’s many groups around the world [platform sharing] – obviously Volkswagen Group is doing it all the time – but I think we have to be careful,” he begins.
“We have two fantastic brands, clearly both with their own distinct identity.
“Jaguar is something quite different … it’s about capability, but very much on-road focused capability. Clearly that the platform you need … is a very different proposition from what you would have on the Land Rover side.”
It all but confirms that a future Jaguar crossover will utilise the company’s new PLA passenger car platform, in turn also confirming that Jaguar will build both a 3 Series sedan rival and a small crossover off the same platform; it was initially thought that Jaguar was set to choose between one or the other.
Asked directly whether a future crossover would instead be built off a passenger car platform, De Ploey said “an enhanced version of any kind of passenger car platform could give raise to such type of [crossover] proposition.
“We’d always be extremely careful to clearly separate the two brands and the propositions from one another, because as you know the dealerships are dual-branded around the world.
“The great majority, in fact all the new dealerships, are dual branded, so customers can walk left and right. If we start confusing customers with ‘what is the difference between one or the other?’ we’re going to lose out … we’d end up cannibalising each other.”
Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum told CarAdvice in March 2012 that “I can categorically say that an SUV as such is out of the question … an SUV is too utilitarian-like for Jaguar, but maybe there are some grey areas in between we could investigate”.
It is highly likely, then, that the 2016 XQ would be not a traditional SUV, but rather a crossover similar to the current BMW X6 and forthcoming X4, but with the British brand’s own interpretation of coupe-like styling and design.