UK: Jaguar runs model plans past Tata
Executives and engineers are eyeing a new GBP40,000 two-seat sports car, a two- door coupe version of the XF saloon and most radically, a four-door version of the XK luxury coupe.
None of the three models are officially signed off, but all three have been presented to Tata Motors' management and will be key new programmes for the Indian automaker to evaluate and decide whether to invest.
Although Jag has the concept clear, it hasn't yet decided on the industrial strategy for manufacture. Engineers favour the car as an aluminium variant of the XK, other executives favourite it as a steel variant of the new XF.
The alloy F-type would be four inches (100mm) shorter than today's XK, sit on a narrower track and be designed with an engine bay capable of taking both V6 and V8 engines. The V6 would be the volume seller and the V8 reserved for high end performance versions.
Jaguar has been interested in a two-seat sportscar since 2000, when it showed the F-type concept at Detroit.
But the handsome design wasn't based on a particular platform and Jag couldn't industrialise the design. It eventually turned into an alloy, mid- engine design that was canned when Jag hit financial trouble four years ago.
Easier to get into production is the two-door, XF coupe. Models of this car have been built at Jag's Whitley advanced design studio in Coventry, based around the two-inch lower roof-line of the C-XF concept. Apart from this detail, the XF coupe is understood to share its design and components with the XF saloon.
Unlikely is a soft top convertible version. Engineering studies suggest that the weight of added platform strengthening would be too high and the size of the fabric roof needed too difficult to engineer.
Also vying for future investment is a long-wheelbase version of the XK, extended along the lines of Aston Martin's DB9-based Rapide.
The XK four door would have an extra pair of rear doors and a small rear cabin, compromised to keep the XK's elegant roofline. It would also compete against Porsche's forthcoming Panamera and high-end Merc CLS models, as well as the Rapide.
Supporters of this design believe it to be an excellent brand extension, but a secondary priority to the F-type two-seater.
Room for the swooping four-door XK in Jag's range would be opened up when the re-skinned XJ, aka project X351, debuts in late 2009 for sale in early 2010.
Essentially a new 'top-hat' on the alloy XJ chassis, it would get a major interior rework to squeeze in more legroom without having to extend the current XJ's footprint.
Similar clever re-packaging has made the new XF roomier than the outgoing S-type, even though it shares the same wheelbase.
Also in Jag's new product pipeline is a 500bhp-plus XKR-R range-topper and designs for a crossover XF.
Designs of the latter model have split Jaguar, with US dealers clamouring for the model, while Coventry high-ups prefer to leave 4x4s/SUVs to Land Rover.
Jaguar is eyeing a significant expansion of its model range with at least three new models, after its sell-off by Ford, most likely to Tata Motors of India....
Mercedes has grown rapidly in India since splitting with Tata in 2001 - so much so that it's outgrown its plant after less than a decade. And the new automotive world order could see renewed ties betw...
Chrysler is reported to be talking with Fiat over leasing spare production capacity to the Italian automaker and sharing retail distribution....
Volkswagen has leap-frogged Ford to become the world's third largest carmaker by vehicle sales according to the H1 figures released by the manufacturers....
Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has selected Fiat Group Automobiles Financial Services (FGAFS) to be its exclusive partner in the main European markets, providing a full range of automotive financi...
GAZ Group has launched serial production of its previous-generation Dodge Stratus/Chrysler Sebring-based Volga Siber in a factory with capacity of up to 100,000 a year....
Though the Indian passenger car market and exports are coming under pressure from a variety of factors, including high inflation, rising interest rates, and currency concerns, it seems unlikely that H...
Jaguar and Land Rover's new India owner has told investors he is considering reviving the famous Daimler brand once favoured by Britain's royal family....
- ANALYSIS: Can Evoque remain JLR’s golden goose?
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: What's a Waku Waku tailgate?
- Briefing: GM's OnStar system planned for Europe
- A LOOK AROUND: Honda Swindon plant for Civic duty
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Volkswagen Polo BlueGT & GTI
- JAPAN: Honda reveals clever ‘Waku Waku’ tailgate
- 2015 SHANGHAI SHOW: World premieres
- No future for long range EVs - Toyota engineer
- Ford moves Go!Drive UK car sharing into next phase
- BMW to recall 91,800 US Mini Coopers
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global light vehicle OE shock absorbers market- forecasts to 2029
- Global light vehicle OE wipers market- forecasts to 2029
- Global light vehicle steering market- forecasts to 2029