Success of the I-Pace SUV has prompted engineers to consider reinventing the Porsche 911 rival; a decision is imminent

Jaguar is on the cusp of deciding whether the next F-Type will be a full-blooded petrol-engined car or a dramatic, futuristic first take on a battery-electric vehicle designed to act as a ‘halo’ for future mobility. 

Speaking to Autocar, Jaguar design director Ian Callum said: “We’re asking ourselves if it should be a final hurrah for the old-school sports car that we know and love, or to switch now to make our first all-electric sports car,” said Callum. “It’s a very difficult decision. What I will say is that the electric decision is looking more interesting with time.” 

Although the F-Type is expected to be on sale for at least three more years, Callum confirmed that the development cycle for its successor would have to begin soon, suggesting a new car is around three years away from making production. 

Callum admitted that the performance of the I-Pace had forced him to rethink his views on electric cars, although he stressed that the final decision on which technology to use would not be down to him. 

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“The performance capabilities of an electric car are not an issue,” he said. “The kick from an electric car is quite beguiling, and if you adapt your mindset to enjoying that – driving slower into corners but getting the thump when you hit the throttle earlier – it’s every bit as enjoyable as a V8- engined car in many respects. 

“The dynamics we know we are strong at – Mike Cross and his team don’t make anything other than first-rate cars in that regard – and despite the challenges of mass, the I-Pace is already proving that electric cars can be dynamically entertaining. 

“Then there’s range, but that is becoming less of an issue, and there are advances coming that should help move that on again in the next few years. So the main challenge remaining is the inherent raising up of a car required by the packaging of the batteries. But I see that as an interesting challenge, not an insurmountable one.” 

Callum’s comments also confirm that Jaguar will have a sports car in its line-up in future, after doubts were raised because of the relatively low sales of the F-Type compared with the class-leading Porsche 911. “We will always do sports cars,” he said. “End of story.” 

Callum added that saloons – or hatchbacks – were also pivotal to Jaguar’s standing. Again, the firm’s saloon car range has been under pressure as a result of slow sales relative to its premium competition. 

“I can’t see a day when Jaguar won’t make saloons or – perhaps – hatchbacks, either of which I regard as core to the DNA,” he said. “You can take any of our SUVs, electric or otherwise, and they will do a fantastic job for you. But some people will always want better aerodynamics and greater efficiency, and some people will always want the additional thrill from the dynamics that a car inherently does better than an SUV.”

Read more

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Comments
17

1 April 2019

Seriously this is a no-brainer, even for the incompetents at Jaguar. Much as I lament the demise of the internal combustion engine, I accept that electric is for now the future and consequently any new 'halo' car that is yet to be engineered and signed off can only be electric if it is to have the degree of market penetration neccesary when it debuts. 

1 April 2019

...911 rival...haha.  Happy April 1st spotted the joke.

1 April 2019

Said like a true 'financial dealer' type and diehard VAG 911 owner.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

1 April 2019
xxxx wrote:

Said like a true 'financial dealer' type and diehard VAG 911 owner.

However I never really thought of them as competitors, I always thought the jag was more sports GT and that the 911 cost more. 

It shouldnt be electric only it should be available as both ic and electric powered, I'm not sure the market is ready for it to be electric only. Surely choice is where the profit will lay.

1 April 2019

Do you;

a) Move with the times, make a brilliant award-winning car, make lots of money, ruin your heritage, ruin every Jag fan's life, or,

b) Stick with the old, keep the purists happy, keep the heritage going, not make any more money, and stick with the F-pace you have.

Tough decision, will be sad to see the ICU sports car disappear. 

JMax

1 April 2019

We've had the article about Jaguar considering whether the XJ should be an electric only flagship model, now a similar one for the F-Type. Will we soon be getting another piece detailing how Jag are considering whether the XF should be purely electric, and then another considering the electric only XE?

1 April 2019

Everyone is assuming there is this enormous demand for fast electric sports cars.  

 

It strikes me that despite all the talk, there is no evidence for this.  

 

 

1 April 2019

The answer is surely to make both for a good long while until its clear what people want. I dont see any EV being a good sports car, they are just too heavy. Sure they can be fast, but thats rather a one trick pony. Also the Americans are key here. If they are moving towards EVs at all its very slowly. In 10 years it could be very hard to sell a petrol powered F Type in the EU, but very hard to sell an EV version in the USA. JLR sell such a large percentage of their cars over there that what the US market wants really matters.  

1 April 2019

They plan to make both - at least for a short period - with the current model continuing for 3 years. By 2022 it's likely that EVs will be dominating most new launches.

And don't forget, California started the EV shift (and Tesla is having no problems selling its cars in the US) and China is leading the EV revolution.

 

 

1 April 2019

Callum may be right if they can deliver something appealing. Unfortunately, the F-Type seems to have captured few hearts and wallets and the question now is whether people care enough whether Jaguar makes a sports car. It may be part of the company's DNA but I've a nagging feeling that the TVR-like F-Type hasn't done it commercially and the challenge of taking on the 911 seems beyond Jaguar in terms of weight/dynamics and everyday usability. Porsche are no fools and make the everyday supercar that more people want than any other and have enough profit to endlessly hone it - JLR sadly has none.

The question then is whether JLR has a platform to deliver a next-gen sports car (that's not trapped in E- or F-Type baggage) and what form it might take. Then, can they deliver it? And - will people care if they did? 

F-Type told us that rushing off making a cramped and compromised car that looks good but weighs more than the sun wasn't and isn't what the market wants. It will require some listening to the market and not to history if Jaguar are to survive.

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