For now at least the world – or at least those parts of it that can afford such cars – reckons big is indeed beautiful. Size does matter and if you can drive past your neighbour’s house in a car that says than mine is most definitely bigger than yours, you’ll park outside your place with a smile on your face. Sadly a superior 0-60mph time isn’t much of a response.
So what the Jaguar C-X17 – or the production car it’ll closely resemble – will do if Jaguar has its sums right is turn its business into one that will put it on a more even footing with its Land-Rover sibling whose products currently outsell those of Jaguar by around four to one. With the saloon that’ll be spun off the same architecture, Jaguar should in a decade be selling not tens of thousands of cars, but hundreds of thousands of cars.
Easily said, but this is precisely what Porsche has achieved in a process embarked upon with its SUV back in 2002. In sales terms Jaguar is quite close today to where Porsche was then and JLR executives believe the marque retains massive potential for expansion.
I agree with them: Jaguar may not have sold many cars since its product renaissance spearheaded by the 2005 XK, but that had little to do with the cars and rather more with how they were positioned. Jaguar has done much in recent years to right that wrong, with small diesels for Europe, a small petrol engine for China and all-wheel drive for the snow states of America and the fruits of these efforts are just starting to show. The SUV is the next logical step and it’s likely to be big.
But that’s not why we, as Autocar readers should welcome the idea of a Jaguar SUV. It is because if the SUV makes as much money as it should, then Jaguar will be able to use at least some of that money to make the cars we really want, just as Porsche has done with a still expanding back catalogue of ever more bonkers 911s.
Ever dreamt of an F-type GT3 coupe? Odd though it sounds, this could be the car to make it happen.