In this week's automotive adventures, Steve thinks about what is to come from Jaguar, chats with an F1 commentator, bids goodbye to his lockdown motor, and more.
MONDAY: Our interview with Jaguar’s new(ish) design director, Julian Thomson, makes me impatient to see the new direction he’s promising for the marque’s future cars. Outgoing boss Ian Callum put Jag Design back on the rails; Thomson wants even more Jaguarness, more richness, more beauty. He’d also like to create some smaller cars, he says, although that road is paved with difficulty because they cost as much as big ones but are less profitable. Still, Thomson led the team that created Land Rover’s LRX concept that led to the Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar Land Rover’s last real rule breaker, a good omen.
Thomson talked affectionately about Jaguar’s 2003 R-D6 concept (“we all still love that car”), which was proposed as a kind of grown-up Mini Cooper, but Jaguar’s (Ford) management didn’t like it. To me, that car did two precious things: used the ‘shield’ grille better than anything before or since, and utilised the D-Type’s wonderful curves in a modern way. More, please.
TUESDAY: Reckon you could change the automotive world? If you’ve had a great idea, now’s the time to reveal it – and enter our Drivers of Change competition. With the help of key sponsors, we’re offering generous cash prizes to innovators in the industry’s most important fields. Three of our writers have even come up with entry examples to get you started. Please give it a go.
WEDNESDAY: Good fun talking to Martin Brundle, former Formula 1 star and Sky F1 commentator, for a motorsport feature further inside. I’ve known him a long time – since the days when he was Michael Schumacher’s team-mate at Benetton – and I’ve always found him thoughtful, helpful, lucid and thoroughly normal. Which is exactly as he comes across on the Haunted Fishtank.