Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
1 August 2017

This week's gossip from the automotive industry brings news of McLaren's new customers, Jaguar's design director's thoughts on the decline of rotary controllers, Geely's focus on design and Audi's upcoming autonomous electric city car.

McLaren's new customers

More than half of buyers of the ‘entry-level’ Sports Series McLarens, such as the 540C and 570S, are new to the brand.

Company boss Mike Flewitt said it is crucial to the firm’s long-term health: “Our hope is that, over time, a large proportion will move up to our Super Series models and be part of the McLaren family for years to come.”

Read more: 2017 789bhp McLaren P15 will eclipse performance of P1, McLaren P1 review

Jaguar's design director's thoughts on the decline of rotary controllers

While many car makers are ditching rotary controllers from the cabins of their latest models, Jaguar won’t follow suit as long as design director Ian Callum is around.

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Referring to the rotary climate controls on the new E-Pace, which sit below a 10.0in touchscreen, he said: “I’m a great believer in tactile controls with a mechanic feel. It’s not quite right for Jaguar [to have just touchscreens].”

Read more: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace officially revealedFirst ride: four-cylinder, 296bhp Jaguar F-Type

Geely's focus on design

Geely, owner of Volvo, Lotus, Lynk & Co and LEVC (formerly known as the London Taxi Company), had just 15 designers five years ago. Today it employs more than 500 in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai and Gothenburg.

All design projects are overseen by Geely’s British-born executive vice president of design, Peter Horbury.

Read more: Geely buys Lotus, stake in ProtonLotus Elise: the troubled road that led to the revolutionary sports car

Audi's upcoming autonomous electric city car

Despite Audi's new A8 being equipped with the company’s most advanced self-driving systems yet, the model will not lead the way for full autonomy. Product boss Peter Fromm described so-called level 5 autonomy as a “fully different concept than level 3 [which is offered on the A8]”.

Instead, a city car to be introduced in 2021 will be Audi’s first autonomous production car.

Read more: Audi to produce Volkswagen Up-sized autonomous EV2017 Audi A8 revealed as brand's most high-tech model yet

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Comments
4

1 August 2017

It's not right for Jaguar to have characterless, old looking, also-ran interiors either. When's that changing?

 

 

1 August 2017
tuga wrote:

It's not right for Jaguar to have characterless, old looking, also-ran interiors either. When's that changing?

id rather a inferior interior then a car built/designed/advertised by a bunch of lying deceiving Germans. U got a be a class A idiot for buying their cars. 

1 August 2017
tuga wrote:

It's not right for Jaguar to have characterless, old looking, also-ran interiors either. When's that changing?

I don't think Jaguar interiors are characterless. The first time I sat in the XE in a showrom and looked at the sweeping line from one door to the other under the windscreen, I thought, "that is beautiful". It serves no practical purpose. It's just there to look beautiful, and it accomplishes that. Now I am something of a Jaguar fan. My father had a Jaguar when I was a small boy. My wife, however, is German. When I went ahead and bought an XE and we went to pick it up, she sat in it and looked at this sweeping line over the dashboard and said "Wow, look at that".

Happy motoring

1 August 2017

Can I just point out that the Jaguar XE/XF interiors don't have rotary dials for the heating controls...

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Our Verdict

Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front

Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week