More Jaguar models are coming – that’s the clear message from the brand’s global design chief, Ian Callum.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the 2015 New York motor show, the man behind the new Jaguar XE and Jaguar XF models, answered a few questions about whether there’s scope for coupe or wagon versions of the the compact and mid-size sedans.
Firstly, when asked if Jaguar is looking at building an XE Sportbrake, Callum was coy.
“We’ve investigated it – I can’t tell you,” he said.
And on the topic of an XE Coupe?
“We’ve investigated. I can’t tell you.”
However, Callum did expand upon his thoughts about which would work better for the brand.
“Well, we’re a sports car oriented, a performance car oriented company. My view, that’s my view, is that I would prefer to do coupes of everything.
“I like wagons – I like the challenge of taking something which has a practical element to it, but turning it into something that’s aesthetically desirable. With the current XF we’ve done that quite well. I know people who have bought that car just because they like the look of it, and to me that’s a win.”
Jaguar global PR director Richard Agnew interjected with his thoughts on the model line expansion plans.
“The big point here is that we could have started with XE and then done lots of derivatives, then XF and done lots of derivatives, gone that horizontal [approach].
“We’ve actually turned it on it’s head. We’ve got an architecture, and the priority around it is around our core lines of small, medium and large sedans and the SUV, F-Pace.
“So instead of going across and doing several derivatives, we’ve said ‘right – XE, all-new XF, and F-Pace’. So we’ve got three all-new cars, off a flexible architecture, and that’s where we started out to get the range, the core range, in a good place.
“Of course in the future there’s lots of holes that could be filled, but our priority over the next 12-18 months is to build that family,” he said.
That said, Callum wanted to reiterate the fact that Jaguar works on all sorts of concept models and potential briefs that never see the light of day outside of the company’s headquarters in Whitley, UK.
“We work on concepts of just about everything you can imagine,” Callum said.
“People might say ‘why didn’t you think of this?’, well, we thought about that three years ago, built a model of it,” he said. “That’s not what determines a car line. What determines it is the business line. We’re a small car company.”
But the more suitable spin-off models that are expected to eventuate, including wagon versions of both new sedans, have a market to play to.
“Wagons, in Europe, are seen as a lifestyle, an intellectual decision. It’s not seen as the mum’s car, or a practical car. People buy one because it’s smart – they don’t buy one because they want to cart fridges around.
“They buy one because the carry their skis, hiking equipment, bikes – it’s a lifestyle vehicle,” he said, before going on to explain why that’s different to the desires of SUV buyers.
“SUVs have a slightly different sway on things,” Callum argued.
“People buy SUVs predominantly because they sit higher. They like to sit higher, and to feel secure. And because car suspension and handling is so sophisticated now, the idea of falling over – which is the reason people didn’t buy them before – is gone.”
What would you prefer? XE and XF coupes or wagons? Or both?