Things at Jaguar Land Rover have just gotten more interesting. The British car company has just announced its own skunk works department, called Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. The new division is charged with making high performance and ultra luxury editions of standard production Jaguar and Land Rover products on a bespoke, individual level.
Much like BMW Individual, Special Operations will build vehicles to specifications outside the normal assembly line ordering guide. Customers can order their choice of colors, interior amenities, trim packages, and add-on accessories. The shop will also handle the company’s limited-edition collectables that run with small production numbers.
Even more, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will work on vehicle restorations and servicing with parts gathered through salvage or recreation of specialized historic parts. The Heritage Team already has their first major project lined up. You may recall the six lightweight E-Types we reported Jaguar is building from parts left over from the 1960s.
The operation will be led by John Edwards and overseen by Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive. Paul Newsome, formerly of Williams Advanced Engineering, is heading up the team of designers and engineers under Edwards. In the media statement after the jump, Speth says the new Special Operations division was created in an effort to “reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover in building exciting and desirable products.”
The Special Operations division will be located in the company’s new Technical Center, located in the West Midlands area of the UK, just outside the corporate headquarters and will employ some 150 team members.
Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations Division.
Why It Matters
The fact Jaguar Land Rover and its parent company Tata Motors have decided to create such a specialized division within the company is very good news. It means the company is growing stronger and more nimble; able to devote more time and money into making better and more unique vehicles. Besides the bespoke customer-order cars like we see coming from BMW Individual, Jaguar Land Rover says it’ll be building halo vehicles that showcase the brands’ respective talents.
The Jaguar Project 7 was a one-off design study that the British automaker revealed at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. This roofless racer was based on the F-Type and resulted in a collective drooling session by Jag lovers everywhere.
Under its hood was a 5.0-liter V-8 thumping out 550 ponies and 502 pound-feet of torque. With an eight-speed "Quickshift" automatic transmission tossing power to the rear rubber, the Project 7 could hit 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and top out at 186 mph.
This is just one example of the good that Jaguar can do, so imagine what the Special Operations Division can do for you.
Gallery Jaguar Project 7
A new business division, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, has been created to focus on meeting the increasing expectations of today’s most discerning and enthusiastic customers.
Under the lead of John Edwards, Special Operations will offer a range of products and services:
Halo vehicles that showcase the best of both brands, including high performance derivatives, ultra luxury products and limited run collector editions
Truly bespoke commissions and an extended choice of color and trim specifications and accessories
Heritage products from vehicle recreations, servicing and restorations, through to the creation and provision of heritage parts
A new portfolio of branded goods that will engage with a wide audience of current and potential customers
Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive, Dr Ralf Speth, commented, "The creation of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations demonstrates our continued commitment to placing customers at the heart of everything we do. This investment in exciting and desirable products will reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover brands."
"As a business, we are completely focused on enhancing and personalizing the relationship our most discerning and enthusiastic customers have with our brands," said John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. "By creating Special Vehicle Operations we can harness the very best talent and expertise Jaguar Land Rover has - to deliver exceptional products and services our customers will love for life."
The Special Operations team of expert designers and engineers will be led by Paul Newsome, Director of Special Vehicle Operations, recently recruited from Williams Advanced Engineering. Working on present and future vehicle portfolios, the team will create halo vehicles ranging from high luxury to extreme performance.
To support the delivery of these products, Jaguar Land Rover will be investing in a new dedicated Technical Center, located in the West Midlands area of the UK, close to the current headquarters.
A team of 150 Jaguar Land Rover specialists will be based at the new Technical Center. Its unique facilities will feature a customer commissioning suite for bespoke services and premium vehicle personalization, Formula 1-inspired flexible workshops and a fully automated paint facility.
In addition, a new heritage workshop will be created at Browns Lane in Coventry, the spiritual home of Jaguar. This will be the production site for the six recently announced lightweight E-Type re-creations and will also allow the newly formed heritage team to expand its servicing and restoration services. The newly expanded heritage business will be open from August 1,, 2014.