“I love this car,” so says Ian Callum of the new Jaguar F-type coupe, which has received simultaneous unveils at the Tokyo and Los Angeles motor shows today. “It’s my favourite car from all those I’ve worked on.”
Quite an admission from the man behind a whole series of stunning Jaguars in recent years, not to mention various Fords and still modern looking Aston Martins before them.
I’m inclined to agree with Callum because in the metal the F-type coupe really is stunning, particularly in the new range-topping R specification.
So established – to my eyes at least – that the F-type design has become, that questions and comparisons to the E-type have dried up, for the F-type is now a model in its own right without the need for continued justification as a successor to the E-type.
For the record, though, Callum’s favourite E-type is the coupe. “It’s the icon for me, and a car I still have great fondness for. I love the simplicity of the rear and how it drops off, something we’ve done with the F-type.”
Callum said the design of the F-type coupe took two years, and was the third in the series of F-types. Although we saw the C-X16 concept first in 2011, work on the production F-type convertible had started some months before the concept.
The convertible was designed first as they are “harder to design and engineer than coupes”, according to Callum. “If you get the convertible right than its easier for the coupe to follow, rather than the other way around.”
So with the design of the F-type convertible in the bag, Callum’s next move was to design the C-X16 concept rather than the F-type coupe. “Before getting tied into the design of the coupe, we wanted to make a statement with the C-X16 concept.”
The C-X16’s stunning design has largely carried through to the F-type coupe, something that pleased Callum. “Because of C-X16, I was more emotionally tied to this car [the F-type coupe] than anything I’ve done,” he said. “It will do very well for us and push us into an era of iconic sports cars again.”
The projected sales would back that up. Coupe sales are expected to make up 57 per cent of F-type volume, according to global product marketing chief Steven de Ploey, with 90 per cent of F-type coupe customers likely to be new to the brand. Indeed, there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest buyers have been holding off buying an F-type convertible as they wait for the coupe.
There’s more to come from this car, too. Although he wouldn’t confirm it, it was with a smile that Callum noted that there was no French Blue colour available on the F-type coupe as it’s a colour reserved for the RS models. “It’s a colour I’d like to see on this car,” he said. Some car that’s likely to be.