Jaguar Focusing On F-Pace; New XK Not A Priority
The debut of Jaguar’s first crossover vehicle, the F-Pace, is coming up fast, and with it a fundamental change in the way we think of Jaguar. The CUV is expected to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September, broadening Jaguar’s lineup in an entirely new direction. Car and Driver snatched a moment at the Mille Miglia to chat with Jaguar’s chief designer Ian Callum about the F-Pace and the future of the rest of the Jaguar lineup, and got some surprising tidbits — most notably, that a next-generation XK is "not a priority."
Callum, who’s been behind the design of every modern Jaguar since 1999, said that the F-Pace will be a performance CUV, borrowing from Land Rover’s sport-CUV playbook while riding on a platform that’s unique to Jaguar. As the F-Pace is intended to improve Jaguar’s ability to compete with BMW, Audi and Mercedes, competent handling will be paramount.
Things get interesting when Callum is asked about the next XK. The success of the F-Type has led to speculation that the next XK might be a 2+2 version of that car, and Callum observed that the question has been asked at Jaguar as well. "We’ve got a few ideas," he said. "It’s not a priority." He didn’t elaborate on what Jaguar’s focusing on instead, of course, but did observe that in spite of the foray into the crossover market, "We’re not really in a place to expand any more," in regards tothe possibility of another small Jag. A larger crossover has also been all but ruled out.
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Why it matters
Chances are this is good news for Jaguar fans worried that the brand is going to lose its focus. Though the F-Pace might at first seem to be anathema to Jaguar’s sporting heritage, it’s a calculated move by the company, and Callum’s comments seem to suggest that this is not the beginning of a wild expansion that will ultimately dilute Jaguar’s spirit. The F-Pace rides a modular aluminum-intensive platform that is expected to underpin both the upcoming XE sedan and the next-generation XF, providing sustainable growth for Jaguar’s lineup. In spite of the next-gen XK being labeled not a priority, the 911-fighting F-Type (whose next generation is already being considered by Callum and his design team) will ensure that Jaguar’s performance spirit stays alive.
You can read our speculative review of the F-Pace here.