Q&A with Ian Callum
18 July 2006

As Jaguar showed its three newest cars, Jaguar's design boss Ian Callum spoke to Autocar.co.uk at the British Motor Show today.

The XKR coupé was the main attraction of Jaguar's stand and represents a significant step for the company in the eyes of its spiritual guardian and design chief.

How do you feel about Jaguar's current status, with the launch of the XKR?I feel excited. I'm very happy the XK is selling well, obviously [4000 cars have been delivered and Jaguar has another 4000 orders]. I feel we’ve got pace, but I feel the same about Jaguar as I did five years ago.

How has Jaguar changed since then?It’s caught up with my aspirations for it. I feel the same, but now it is much nearer to representing how I feel about it. The difficulty now is continuing to get it to where it should be – I’d say we’re one third of the way there, perhaps almost halfway.

How long do you think it will take you to get there?I’ve always said that it’s five years to start to change something and ten years to actually do it. I’ve been with Jaguar for six years.

What are we going to see from Jaguar in the future?Well, obviously I can’t tell you details. But I know what’s coming from the design side and I’m excited. I have no doubt we’re going to do something special; we’re feeling brave.

How important is the R brand to the Jaguar of the future?Vital. Jaguar has two sides: there’s the genteel side, which is almost quite feminine. But there’s also the raw side, and that’s what the R brand is about. When we were putting together that clip about the XKR [stuffed with jump-cuts and freeze-frames, it showed an XKR rounding Italian hills at pace] I was explaining to the ad guys that the C-Types and D-Types had straight-cut gearboxes – you know, it was metal on metal. I think the R brand has further to go with this.

Other British motor show newsChrysler Sebring makes debut in LondonLexus launches limited-edition GS300New Vauxhall Corsa is goFocus CC priced to beat TwinTopSeat unveils 237bhp Leon CupraFord's 'green scheme' marches onMazda brings the rain for MX-5 Roadster CoupeMore Rs in Jaguar's rangeQ & A with M Division bossKia reveals new Focus rivalNo charge for electric carQ&A: Citroen designer Leighanne EarleyConnaught's V10-powered British coupeFord boss reveals vision of green futureCaddy Escalade heads for Blighty

 

Our Verdict

Jaguar XK

A smooth, svelte all-rounder which can equally cosset and thrill

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