Jaguar XK to make a comeback
Tata Motors owned British luxury auto brand Jaguar Land Rover is planning to bring back its popular XK lineup. The company’s product strategy boss, Hanno Kirner has revealed that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is currently looking at a proposal for a full lineup of sports cars. Thus, it is expected that the XK range is coming back among these range of upcoming cars.
JLR discontinued the XK lineup back in 2014. Given the company heritage, Jaguar Land Rover is still committed to the sports car market although the company’s bulk of sales is coming from the Jaguar F-Pace and E-Pace SUV models. The F-Pace SUV had contributed two-fifths of the total Jaguar sales, and Kirner said that the F-Type SUV “has been a huge success”.
However, Kirner also said that the company loves sports cars, and he uses the plural form deliberately, implying that a slew of sports cars are coming from JLR. He did not reveal much by saying that whether a body variant or something else will come, only time will tell, but he said that sports cars are very important for the brand.
What Kirner said only further strengthened what the design head at Jaguar, Ian Callum had often said. Callum has often revealed that he wishes to develop a whole range of sports cars. In 2017, Callum had even dropped a hint that the company has begun work on the new avatar of the XK range. He told a UK journal that he wanted a two-seater (which is the F-Type) and a 2+2, and that the company is working on something, which is yet to be approved, but the design has been initiated.
It is thought that Callum’s design team had prepared a design concept for the XK successor even before the company pulled the plug on the second generation model. Nevertheless, it is still too early to comment on the upcoming range of sports car or cars, as the project is expected to be entirely new and is not thought to be available till 2021.
What can be understood from Kirner’s strategy and from what he said, is that a new sports car family is being planned based on Jaguar Land Rover’s next-generation platform strategy. The F-Type is based on a highly modified version of the bygone XK’s platform and is also set for a full overhaul in around 2019. The next generation F-Type is expected to be underpinned by a new architecture that is thought to be highly flexible and accommodating and would adapt the 2+2 layout.
Kirner strengthened this idea by saying that he loves flexible architecture which can churn out anything and also commented on the possibility of developing next-gen platforms that would be flexible to adapt to multiple types of powertrain. Nevertheless, it didn’t imply that it is applicable to the upcoming Jaguar sports cars.
Both, the next-gen F-Type and the successor of the XK are expected to get their respective performance oriented versions, including the top-end SVR variants. The current F-Type SVR gets an immense 580 hp, 5.0L V8 mill which makes the sports SUV do the 0-100kph sprint in just 3.7 seconds.
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