Jaguar has put its badge on a front-wheel drive car before and a recent report says it might do it again, in order to have a model to fight Mercedes’ A-Class and BMW’s 1-Series which will ditch rwd for the next generation.
Motoring spoke to none other than Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design boss, at the New York motor show. Callum said “there’s always space to go smaller — the world is changing very quickly.”
He adds that he sees “a huge opportunity in the small car market, but it’s a very difficult business — hugely competitive and hugely price conscious.”
Apparently, though, Jaguar doesn’t yet have the necessary resources to produce a competitive model in the kind of production numbers required in the sector. They are clearly enticed by the prospect, but it just can’t be set in motion right now.
This is especially true since Jaguar has no front-drive platforms to work with. Its last fwd car, the X-Type, used the underpinnings of the very capable third-gen Ford Mondeo; it got stirred up mixed reactions at the time, but it was a solid car and one that I think is still desirable to pick up second hand for a seal these days (with the bigger diesel and all-wheel drive). Jaguar sees it as a mistake, though…
Back to the possible future 1-Series rival, there’s another high-ranking Jaguar exec who shared his views on the matter: Jaguar Land Rover global engineering chief Nick Rogers.
He explains that JLR is “continually looking at all market segments, looking at what’s the appropriate vehicle in each segment. It could be, going forward, a sensible thing to do… we’re not ruling anything out. We’ve got tremendous ambition – the drive inside the company is just awesome.”
Rendering via Theophiluschin