Design boss Ian Callum said an SUV won’t over take the long-standing luxury saloon because it’s ‘more sophisticated’
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.”