Jaguar Land Rover design boss Ian Callum has confirmed that the upcoming XJ sedan will be the Jaguar’s flagship model.
Callum said there is now a “consensus” within the firm that the XJ, rather than a large SUV, will remain the firm’s flagship, even if such a model does eventually appear. The upcoming ‘J-Pace’ model will slot in above the F-Pace in Jaguar’s SUV range but below the XJ in the brand’s complete line-up.
“An SUV was discussed but it’s not the mainstay of the brand,” Callum told our sister publication Autocar UK at the Frankfurt motor show.
“There’s more sophistication for a flagship sedan than a flagship SUV. Only one brand can have an SUV as its flagship due to its origins and that’s Land Rover.”
Callum told our sister publication that the very idea of a sedan needed to be reinvented, seeing as SUVs have been eating into their market share. He added that issues concerning electrification and the fact that markets such as North America have started taking to hatchbacks with the success of Tesla has added impetus to the statement.
The British manufacturer will continue to make SUVs, but Callum says that they will make sure that they are “sporty ones”. Regarding the current-gen XJ on sale internationally, Callum said its design remains popular because it is “different” to its rivals. He added: “The coupé profile is something I obsessed over. Some people don’t agree with it. Everything else is three-box; people simplify and categorise things. [If you do that], you lose the opportunity to define in your own way. The XJ covers that well.”
Callum admitted the XJ was “a personal thing for me”, and he saw it as “a fundamental part of Jaguar”. He added: “It’s there and it says what Jaguar is about.”
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