Jaguar Scraps Plan To Develop XK Successor
F-Type SVR already occupies the spot once taken by the XKby Kirby, on
Raise a toast for the Jaguar XK, people. The model’s lineage has officially been taken to the graveyard after Jaguar scrapped plans for a successor to the XK name out of concern that such a model would impede the growth and volume of the F-Type SVR.
Jaguar Land Rover North America CEO Joe Eberhart made the declaration to Car & Driver, saying that building a flagship coupe, the spot once occupied by the XK, isn’t a part of Jaguar’s plans anymore. According to Eberhart, Jaguar came to that decision after determining the F-Type SVR already fits into that category and having another model share in that space doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Eberhart’s explanation makes sense considering that the F-Type SVR already has the technological tools and performance capabilities of a flagship sports coupe. More importantly, the F-Type SVR’s $125,950 price tag is already steep enough that introducing another sports coupe in the same price range would only lead to the two models cannibalizing each other’s sales volume.
It could work under different circumstances, but since Jaguar is determined to double its sales volume this year, the margin for error is extremely thin and the company can’t afford to take too many risks that could be deemed unnecessary. It would’ve been nice to see the XK, or at least its successor, return after getting phased out in 2014, but such as it is in the auto industry.
Companies need to make compromises and understand the bigger picture of what they’re trying to accomplish. In Jaguar’s case, a successor to the XK would’ve been exciting from a buzz point of view. From a business perspective however, it just doesn’t make sense now that the F-Type SVR has effectively occupied its old spot in the lineup.
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Why it matters
Even though I understood the decision, I was one of those people who didn’t want to see the Jaguar XK get phased out for sentimental reasons. But Jag was in spring cleaning mode and determined that there was no room for the XK with the F-Type coming on board. I can’t fault the British company for that decision, nor can I fault Jaguar even though the prospect of a XK successor is admittedly exciting.
Suffice to say, the F-Type has turned into the much-needed jolt in the arm that Jaguar desperately needed. It’s become one of the company’s most popular model to the point that the company was wise enough to see the potential of building a range-topping trim like the F-Type SVR. That model gave Jaguar renewed credibility in the premium sports car market and in a lot of ways, it reinvigorated the company entirely.
Knowing this, Jaguar knew that it couldn’t mess up the momentum the F-Type has created, even if it meant shelving plans to develop a successor to the XK. It’s the smart thing to do from a business perspective.
I just can’t get my head to think that the XK isn’t coming back anytime soon. Maybe it’s for the best, but I don’t think I’d be remiss if I said that, even with its performance faults, a part of me still wants to see that model get a second shot at reinventing itself. Guess we won’t know how that’s going to turn out now.
Read our full review on the 2015 Jaguar XK Final Fifty Edition here.