Small front-engined sports car to get a new design direction; 2012 launch expected
Julian Rendell
30 September 2009

Jaguar’s next generation of sports cars is on the verge of ditching its E-type-inspired oval grille because the design isn’t sufficiently adaptable.

The company’s designers are struggling to stretch the shape to fit the nose of the two new models: the XK and new XE.

“The problem is that the proportions are all wrong when the shape is stretched. They’re not sure if it has got much more life left,” said an insider.

The solution also hasn’t been decided yet, although it could be argued that a shape like that of the new XJ/XF grille makes sense for a small car company like Jaguar, which could boost its brand clarity by focusing on a single, memorable grille design.

Getting the BMW Z4-sized front-engined, rear-drive XE to market is taking longer than some insiders had hoped. Although the two-seater is being planned in aluminium as a platform derivative of the next-generation XK coupé and convertible, the exact direction of each model is the subject of a fierce debate internally.

One faction reckons the next XK needs to get bigger and more luxurious to make room for the smaller car. That envisages the XK growing up to a size close to Maserati’s GranTurismo and featuring a pair of proper rear seats.

But another wants the XK to keep to its current theme and dimensions, which historically has been the foundation of its sales. The challenge is engineering the two cars on the same platform so they share costly elements like the front bulkhead and engine bay, but are also positioned sufficiently apart from each other to appeal to different customers at different price points

 

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Jaguar reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
7

30 September 2009

It looks quite good in that pic...

30 September 2009

Though the XJ/XF grille looks good in that speculative illustration, I think there should be a different grille theme for the coupes, to emphasize its sportier nature.

30 September 2009

Whether they are able to get the grille right or not, only time will tell; what I believe they need to reconsider are the newly designed headlights.

30 September 2009

The XE looks hot, just hope they resolve their differences within the Coventry HQ. My opinion on the matter would have to sway towards the latter comment, as it makes more financial sense to construct both models on the same platform. For one, the chassis design will already be in production, making the concept more feasible, plus the XK fanatics won’t be swung to the XE and it allows Jag to compete in another segment, which is always a bonus.Also, I look forward to seeing the R-D7, well at least if it finally makes it. I love a good Jag and a hatch is right up my ally, just hope it is not to much on the pricey side.

30 September 2009

If Jaguar is worried about overlapping the two coupes/convertibles, whats the harm in making the XK a little bigger to accomadate propper rear seats which can seat normal size adults, with the XE as a two-seater.

30 September 2009

Jaguar. forget about the size or style of the grill !.Get the bloody cars out and into production and get some cash back into the coffers. Why o why do all cars from the same manufacturer have to look the bloody same,i mean all SEAT cars look the same,same is going for Ford and VW. Its ok having a corperate identity but its style that sells, god forbid you go down the same road as Peugeot and loose all sense of style just so you can have cars with the same front end.

4 October 2009

think they should stick with the oval grill, its a jag coupe classic design feature, that is and was featured on all coupe jags upto the new XK. i would prefer they don't go down the Audi, Merc route where every car is almost the same as each other. think it would be a bit off putting if i saw a square looking grill on a jag coupe :s. The new XK works prefectly, as you know its a coupe and its gorgoues and most importantly its different to look at when looking at XF, or XJ. Every jag car in the showroom whispers a different character about itself, and that is what you want. Jag, hope your reading this so don't make the same design mistakes as Merc, BMW, or Audi's. Just hope this article is not true. If its a XF coupe or XJ coupe then its different becuase it is an XJ, XF but small 2 seater should be different looking and to drive. F-type concept was really good.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK