In the last couple of years, the humble platform has become an unexpected part of many carmakers’ marketing campaigns.

Once only of interest to production engineers and accountants, a car’s underlying architecture has become a star and brand-building opportunity in its own right.

Jaguar’s decision to give the new version of its all-aluminium platform a name (though I’m a bit unsure about its typographical complexity) and to describe it as being key to ‘dramatically expanding Jaguar’s product offering, market potential and customer appeal’ shows how important the iQ[Al] will be to Jaguar’s future image building.

Of course, being able to face down the German premium three when it comes to the use of high-tech materials and construction technology will also be vital for British carmaker, when it attempts to take sales from the 3-series, A4 and C-Class. Why buy an old-tech welded steel BMW when you could buy a baby Jaguar made of aluminium?

In terms of branding architectures, VW led the way a couple of years ago with its MQB platform, which even had its own launch at VW’s Wolfsburg HQ. Mindful of the positive publicity VW managed to extract from MQB, Peugeot-Citroen followed up this year with its EMP2 platform.