British firm's design chief says the future isn't just SUVs, hinting the next XE and XF could gain bold styling
Mark Tisshaw
10 September 2019

Jaguar’s new design boss, Julian Thomson, is committed to the firm continuing to make sports cars and saloons, and not simply creating more and more SUVs.

Thomson, who recently took over from Ian Callum, told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show that the company will not “go full bore into SUVs – we will do cars in the future, too”. The firm has invested heavily in SUVs in recent years because of their strong sales, while its saloon models have struggled.

Frankfurt motor show 2019: live news and updates

“Cars [non-SUVs] are an important market to us,” he said. “We now have lots of competent SUVs in our showroom but we need to satisfy all customers with different powertrain and body choices.”

Jaguar will replace the XJ with a more dramatic and electric-powered saloon, which will be seen by the end of 2020 and in production soon after. That machine was teased at the firm’s Frankfurt press conference.

Thomson said the likes of the current XE and XF will also be replaced and could receive dramatic overhauls of their own, even in the most conservative and fleet-driven markets.

“It’s more challenging to do standout products in that market but Jags need to be different and new,” said Thomson. “The world’s not all turning SUV and we will need cars. I believe that.”

Although replacements for the XE and XF aren’t due for some years yet, the XF is due an imminent overhaul similar to that seen recently on the XE, Thomson confirmed.

The F-Type is also set to undergo revisions of its own in the coming months and Thomson confirmed that the car will also continue in future generations.

Our Verdict

Jaguar XE

Jaguar's first attempt at a compact exec saloon is good - very good. But can the XE hold off the BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Guilia to retain its crown?

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“With sports cars, you’ve got to have them,” said Thomson. “They’re flag waving for a premium brand and the dream still exists for people. Whether or not they’ll go electric, the jury is still out.”

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Frankfurt motor show 2019: live news and updates

2020 Jaguar XJ: electric-only saloon will be 'a car to lust after'

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Comments
3

10 September 2019

Love it, far more noble than just rolling over.

10 September 2019

I like Julian and have worked with him twice. He's a little less corporate than Callum and did some excellent work at Lotus and behind the scenes at Jag as well as input on Evoque. I guess the key now is to do one standout saloon that has the romance in it that can also spin off a coupe or a new G-Type.

Saloons may be dead long-term and Jag can't afford a range of two or three like before in the mid-term. So my hope is that with the C/D sized XE/Three/A4 segment going into long-term decline they plump for something XF/Five sized l that can also support a sports car - if only for another 5-10 years.

 

16 September 2019

i think they need to raise the bar with their design with the new XJ. they really need to move on from the f-type style tail lights and come out with something new maybe a new design language.  the XJ is too important to mess up with that same current design language. I hope i won't be disappointed like i was with the XE and F-Pace.

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