Since Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India’s Tata Motors in 2008, the two automakers have never looked so British.
A rush of striking new product, once diluted by Ford’s cultural aloofness and cost-cutting measures, has veered Jaguar away from retro cues and toward a new design language that will see the company expand its small model range. When the new XF and XJ debuted for 2009, Jaguar only built three rear-wheel-drive cars with big V8s. This wasn’t a problem for anyone who liked Jaguars – they were fast, beautiful and incredibly pampering – but in the wider luxury market, Jaguar wasn’t on most shopping lists.
At 15,408 cars sold through November, Jaguar is still a niche brand, a relatively rare sight on U.S. roads next to the several hundred thousand cars sold by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac and Lexus each year. But that’s changing. All-wheel-drive, smaller six- and four-cylinder engines, and the company’s first new sports car in nearly 40 years are a huge shift. And with an SUV concept that Jaguar will most certainly build, sports cars and sleek sedans won’t be the only cars available in the near future. At the LA Auto Show, we sat down with Wayne Burgess, Jaguar’s production studio director who helped pen the new F-Type under design chief Ian Callum, to get an idea of where he intends to take the company’s next cars. (more…)