Jaguar has confirmed that the carmaker is working on a new small saloon that will slot into its line-up below the XF.
The showroom price of the new model is expected to start at around £28,000 in today’s money.
Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director, says that the sub-£30,000 premium car market is ‘four times the size’ of the market for saloons priced above £30,000, making it an essential move.
According to company insiders, the new car will be slightly smaller than today’s XF saloon, while still being big enough to accommodate five adults. There’s no news yet on whether the car will be built around an aluminium platform. However, the replacement for the XF will almost certainly be made from aluminium, will grow in size and will move slightly further upmarket.
Jaguar sources also confirmed that an all-wheel drive version of the XJ saloon is currently under development and will be launched in under 24 months time, possibly coinciding with a mild makeover for Jaguar’s flagship saloon.
The sources say that, although just 20 per cent of all road cars sold in the US are equipped with all-wheel drive, the proportion rises to a huge 70 percent in the Northern ‘snowbelt States’ where Jaguar has traditional had its strongest sales.
These new projects are part of Jaguar’s moves to finally have a presence in some of the most important premium market niches. Indeed, the launch of the four-cylinder diesel XF saloon will hugely improve the car’s prospects in a market where 49 percent of sales are four cylinder diesel models. Indeed, 60 percent of 5-series sales are four-pot diesel models.
Company bosses point out that, while Jaguar has 16 per cent of the premium car market in the UK, it has just five per cent in the important US market, two percent across the wider EU and just one percent in China.
In the next few days Jaguar will launch a 3.0-litre petrol V6 version of the XJ in the booming Chinese market. Tax and import duties on the XJ V8 mean the showroom price is as high as £200,000. The new V6 model, with identical spec levels, will costs the equivalent of ‘just’ £100,000.