The next big things How hot rods it into the fu­ture

Jaguar de­sign chief Ian Cal­lum’s em­brac­ing tech­nol­ogy… mostly

CAR (UK) - - Tech - IN­TER­VIEW BY COLIN OVERLAND

> IN 1972 no­body wanted cars, be­cause of the oil cri­sis. Peo­ple had writ­ten them off. It was a dif­fi­cult time to go into car de­sign. Politi­cians had de­cided that the mo­tor car had a short fu­ture and we would all be us­ing pub­lic trans­port. For an im­pres­sion­able 18-year-old, this was quite de­press­ing.

> I WANTED to style cars, but I wanted to know how they worked too. It’s im­por­tant to me that de­sign­ers do un­der­stand the ma­chin­ery and not just what looks right. > TWENTY YEARS ago, hav­ing be­come estab­lished in the car de­sign busi­ness, I came back to Coven­try. I’ve come to en­joy the city and ap­pre­ci­ate it. When I was here in 1972 I had long hair and Coven­try was at that time a town of skin­heads. But it was over­all a good ex­pe­ri­ence. It taught me a lot about life.

> CARS THEN weren’t as pro­lific as they are now. In 1972 the av­er­age house­hold had less than one car. The changes now are some­thing the car in­dus­try is more in con­trol of. You have to set the agenda. You have to be a vi­sion­ary and pre­dict what’s go­ing to hap­pen in five, 10, 15, 20 years’ time. You won’t al­ways be right, of course.

> THE PROCESS of au­ton­omy is a given. At Jaguar Land Rover, we will be in the fore­front of that. It will in­volve joint tech­nol­ogy. Au­ton­omy, ur­ban­i­sa­tion, how you pur­chase and use cars, and elec­tri­fi­ca­tion – these are all huge fac­tors.

> WHEN WILL that turn­ing point be? In my opin­ion it will be sooner than a lot of peo­ple think. It’s in­evitable. A lot of that mo­men­tum will come from the car in­dus­try. But the real trans­for­ma­tion will come when lo­cal and na­tional gov­ern­ments sort the in­fra­struc­ture.

> I THINK there will still be a place for V8s. Be­cause there will be so few of them, the fuel they burn will be a drop in the ocean. I only do nd 200-300 miles a year in my V8 hot rod, for in­stance. My con­science has been pricked all the time over the last 20-30 years. You have to find a bal­ance.

> I HAVE a lot of con­tact with stu­dents and young de­sign­ers, al­though not as much as I’d like, and there will be more with this vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor­ship [just awarded by Coven­try Univer­sity]. Their job is to make things look nice and solve prob­lems.

> HOW DO you cre­ate a seam­less jour­ney, still hold­ing on to the things Jaguar own­ers find im­por­tant; how do you stay part of the Jaguar club? It has to ap­peal to their ego. You choose to drive a Jaguar. There will still be peo­ple who want to.

> IN ANY given jour­ney, part might be in a beau­ti­ful limo, part in a train, part in a driver­less pod. We need to fig­ure out Jaguar’s role in that.

Red-blooded Jags like the XE SV Project 8 may not be the way ahead, but there should be room for them

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