With the success of the Jaguar XF, XK and XJ, the British automaker has proven that it is a potential threat in the luxury market. However, when it comes to market standings, Jaguar is nowhere close to its German rivals. The Germans are advancing fast by creating new segments, launching new products and as a result if Jaguar needs to survive, it needs to act fast.
The British automaker is convinced that it needs 'volume models' to secure its future. Soon after the launch of the F-Type, Jaguar started working on an entry level sedan to rival the likes of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C Class. The motivation for developing an entry level sedan is obvious, it is after all a 2.8-million annual-unit segment.
Jaguar has touched the entry sedan market back in 2001 when it tried to transform a Ford Mondeo into a BMW 3 Series rival a.k.a Jaguar X-Type. The experiment was not very successful and the X-Type was pulled out in 2009.
For its new entry level sedan, Jaguar is promising a ‘special proposition’ rather than a me-too saloon. Here are all the details that you need to know about the upcoming entry level sedan from Jaguar –
- It is codenamed X760 and might hit the production line with the name ‘XS’.
- Jaguar might use a cut-down version of the XF's steel floorpan or a scaled-down version of the latest PLA platform (Premium Lightweight Architecture) that underpins the new Range Rover. It makes more sense to use the latter because then Jaguar can get the best fuel economy out of the four-cylinder engines.
- Some reports suggest that Jaguar is developing a new set of components for the XS which are scaleable enough to be used in the next-generation XF and XJ models. The automaker wants to attain 90% of all production from one common component set.
- It is certain that the new Jag will be rear-wheel drive, with an AWD option in some markets.
- The new Jaguar will adopt a coupe-like approach similar to the Mercedes CLA or CLS. The new F-Type sports car might provide some inspiration.
- Engine options should include a 2-litre turbo petrol and a 2.2-litre turbo diesel. Looking at the success of the M3 and the C63 AMG, we could also see a XS-R with a 3.0 litre supercharged petrol V6 borrowed from the XF.
- The gearbox will most certainly be an eight-Speed automatic from ZF. Jaguar may borrow a nine-speed automatic box that ZF has developed for Land Rover.
- Expect Jaguar's small sedan to hit the market towards the end of 2015.
[Rendering courtesy: Matthew Swann]