With 2015 set to be the busiest year for Jaguar in a generation, new product plans reveal that it’s just the start of an onslaught of new models that includes the possibility of a family of SUVs, starting with a sporty B-segment model.
Following the arrival of the XE this month and the XF later in the year, the production version of the mid-sized F-Pace SUV will debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show before going on sale this time next year.
The F-Pace is pivotal to Jaguar’s future, not only in inspiring a new generation of models, but providing the cash to develop them. An industry insider told Auto Express: “Jaguar needs to be self-sufficient, so the cash generated from sales of the XE, XF and F-Pace is needed to fund the development of new models.”
Chief among the potential new cars is a baby brother for the F-Pace to capitalise on the massive growth in global demand for smaller SUVs. Our exclusive images show how it could look. With total SUV sales set to reach 20 million a year by 2020 and the small B-segment the biggest area of growth, Jaguar is investigating an SUV to sit below sister brand Range Rover’s Evoque in size.
JLR’s expertise in lightweight aluminium chassis tech has been demonstrated in the iQ [Al] platform used on the XE and new XF, and this could be adapted to fit a small SUV.
It’s also possible that a new family of smaller-capacity engines could find its way into the baby SUV, with a three-cylinder turbocharged version of the Wolverhampton- built Ingenium engine family a possibility.
Jaguar isn’t ruling out other SUVs, with larger and coupé versions all under consideration, but don’t expect anything to directly rival the Range Rover or Range Rover Sport. Nor should you expect a seven-seat Jaguar – that’s already been ruled out by Jaguar’s design chief Ian Callum.
A new Sportbrake version of the XF has yet to be confirmed, but is expected, while coupé and estate versions of the XE are also under investigation. But an insider told us that those new bodystyles fall into the category of cars that have to be paid for with cash from sales of the XE, XF and F-Pace. Whatever Jaguar does, expect JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division to be involved at the very start to produce high-performance versions.
And it’s not only existing model segments Jaguar is investigating, as there’s plenty of ‘blue sky thinking’ going on at its design and engineering base in Whitley, near Coventry. As the insider hinted: “There’s further white space that Jaguar could really exploit with innovative design and technology.” Jaguar has plenty of room for growth: it accounted for 81,570 global sales in 2014, while Land Rover’s SUV portfolio totalled 381,108 sales. With the XE, XF and the F-Pace on stream, Jaguar sales are expected to exceed 200,000 by the end of the decade.
Tell us what you think about the idea of a baby F-Pace in the comments section below…