Jaguar officials have confirmed that the company will ‘introduce a new saloon’ later this year. MD Mike O’Driscoll, speaking at an event previewing Jaguar’s upcoming new engines, said that this ‘takes, we believe, the luxury saloon to new heights in terms of its technical enhancements’. This saloon will ultimately replace the current XJ, though it will be a very different, and all-new, vehicle. Jaguar has not yet announced any details, but it is thought to be a radical departure from the current car, with a much more adventurous design closer to that of the XF and latest XK.
We hear it’s more of a four-door XK than an updated version of the current model and that it is being developed with specific reference to the likes of the Porsche Panamera, Maserati Quattroporte, Aston Martin Rapide and Mercedes-Benz CLS – all four-door ‘coupes’ rather than traditional saloons. Engines for the range will include Jaguar’s new 3.0 V6 diesels and direct-injection, 5.0-litre petrol V8s (supercharged for the R version). A V8 diesel – as under development for Land Rover – has been ruled out, however.
Confirmation of this new XJ, to be revealed later this year, comes as Jaguar prepares to unveil the XFR, updated XK and XKR, updated XF and its new V8 petrol and V6 diesel engines at the Detroit Motor Show next week.
Though Jaguar-Land Rover has recently appealed to the British government for a loan it is confident that it can ride out the current economic crisis. Sales actually rose last year, thanks to the success of the XF, to 65,000 cars worldwide; 20,346 Jaguars were sold in the UK in 2008, nearly 9% up on 2007’s figures and including 924 sold during December’s downturn.
Jaguar is, however, to refocus its product line-up. It is putting an increased emphasis on quality, not quantity – selling fewer cars overall , but more high-image, high value models instead of trying to compete in more mainstream market sectors – and will ‘take performance to a whole new level’, says O’Driscoll.
‘There’s no doubt the economic situation has been serious’, he notes, ‘but we’re putting Jaguar back on the map as one of the great brands in the world, and a national treasure… These new cars take Jaguar to new levels, and we think we have a bright future ahead of us.’
source : channel4