NEW XJ WILL RE­MAIN JAG’S FLAG­SHIP MODEL

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The Jaguar XJ will re­tain its place as the range-top­ping model in Jaguar’s line-up in its next gen­er­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to design boss Ian Cal­lum.

Cal­lum said there was now a “con­sen­sus” within the com­pany that the XJ, rather than a large SUV, will re­main the firm’s flag­ship, even if such a model does even­tu­ally ap­pear. To that end, a ‘J-pace’ model, to sit above the F-pace in Jaguar’s SUV range, is still ex­pected, al­beit with care­ful po­si­tion­ing.

“An SUV was dis­cussed but it’s not the main­stay of the brand,” Cal­lum told Au­to­car at the Frank­furt mo­tor show. “There’s more so­phis­ti­ca­tion for a flag­ship sedan than a flag­ship SUV. Only one brand can have an SUV as its flag­ship due to its ori­gins and that’s Land Rover.”

Cal­lum said the very idea of a sa­loon needed to be rein­vented, fol­low­ing the rapid rise of the SUV, the is­sue of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and the fact that mar­kets such as North Amer­ica have started tak­ing to hatch­backs with the suc­cess of Tesla.

Jaguar will con­tinue with SUVS, though, ac­cord­ing to Cal­lum, and en­sure they are al­ways “sporty ones”. On the cur­rent XJ, Cal­lum said its design re­mains pop­u­lar be­cause it is “dif­fer­ent” to its ri­vals.

He added: “The coupé pro­file is some­thing I ob­sessed over. Some peo­ple don’t agree with it. Ev­ery­thing else is three-box; peo­ple sim­plify and cat­e­gorise things. [If you do that], you lose the op­por­tu­nity to define in your own way. The XJ cov­ers that well.”

Cal­lum ad­mit­ted the XJ was “a per­sonal thing for me”, and he saw it as “a fun­da­men­tal part of Jaguar”. He added: “It’s there and it says what Jaguar is about.”

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