Jaguar's desire to retain the XK’s blend of comfort and refinement, everyday usability and sportiness was called into question last year as the firm explored a shift in direction for the model.
Under that plan, the XK would have developed into a competitor for the Maserati GranTurismo, bringing a larger, more practical cabin and a major increase in the XK’s footprint. Another four inches would have been added to the length and the car would have been given a longer wheelbase.
Although that idea gained strong support from some quarters inside the company late last year, it faced opposition from others, including the design division.
In particular, design boss Ian Callum is understood to have strongly opposed the move for both aesthetic and marketing reasons. Callum is said to have argued that it would be difficult to make a bigger XK look like a sports car, and that it would alienate the existing customer base.