Jaguar eyes compact, cheaper segments

Thursday, November 3, 2011

- New models will include small sports car, saloon
- Rear-wheel drive, new platforms

Jaguar is set ot enter the pforitable but hyper-competitive compact executive market by 2015, says its new company global brand director, Adrian Hallmark. It's likely that the new model range wil kick off with a Boxster-rivaling roadster, inevitably raising comprisons with the legendary E-Type.
According to Hallmark, Jaguar has decided that it need, initially, at least, a small sports car for reasons of "image" and a saloon for reasons of "volume".
Hallmark further added that Jaguar needed smaller models at a lower price point. "We need to play in that world", he said, referring to the BMW 3 series and Audi A4. He added that should Jaguar give the new model line the green light, the aim would be to produce "elegant Cars with great technology that will position us above the competition".
Hallmark revealed that the carmaker was "at the beginning of the development process" which means the first model in the series will probably not arrive in the showrooms until mid-2015. 
I understand that the new cars will be rear-wheel drive, using similar running gear and suspension systems to the XF and XJ and be based on a new platform.
One of the big engineering debates will be the extent to which the new platform will be built of aluminium. At this price point, its' more likely that the new compact Jaguar platform will be a mix of steel and aluminium, though it could still be bonded and riveted together like the XJ structure. The bulk of Jaguar Land Rover production is set to move to Solihull, so bosses are trying to harmonise the construction methods and technology of the Land Rover and Jaguar ranges as far as possible.


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