This isn't it. It's an F-Type shot with a 10mm lens for ultimate distortion. Still, if you want to know what to expect from Jaguar's upcoming sedan, you have to start with what's going on with them right now. Big things are coming.
Jaguar has been busy lately. The F-Type is an instant hit, the XFR-S proved they still know how to build a muscle car, and while the XJ also generates publicity, they rolled out the Project 7 just to make sure we were listening.
But the biggest news is that all future Jaguars will use a freshly developed modular, scalable aluminum architecture. They made the C-X17 crossover mostly to show off how flexible it is in terms of size, and it tells a lot about their next car, the sporty sedan aimed at the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4 or the Mercedes-Benz C Class. Basically, ze Germans.
After I talked to Jaguar's Head of Engineering Kevin Stride and Head of Design Ian Callum, this is what I can tell you about the Jaaaaag sedan that's coming in 2015:
- It's got a compact double-wishbone suspension at the front, and a multilink setup at the rear
- It will have a longitudinal engine (inline fours, and possibly a V6)
- It will be a rear-wheel drive car (with optional all-wheel drive)
A lighter weight is guaranteed by the full aluminum construction. Jaguar claims to be the world leader in the field, just like Audi does with their space frame celebrating its 20th birthday in 2014. It doesn't really matter who's first though, what's important is that Jaguar has developed technology in order to use 75% recycled aluminum already.
When it comes to the engines, we are looking at Jaguar Land Rover's new $800 million Engine Manufacturing Centre that will be ready next year, and we also pay attention to the fact that Jaguar recently got 500+ horsepower out of a twin-charged 1.6-liter four cylinder. The guys at Jaguar are just as disappointed about the C-X75's cancellation as we are. But it wasn't the slow Nano sales. Jaguar is a small company, and it's got a lot on its plate already. Still, they've learned a lot from its development, and that will show in the sedan, too.
The British government should be happier about this car than anybody else. The sedan alone is estimated to generate 1,700 jobs at the Solihull site in the Midlands and could bring the total number of UK manufacturing jobs announced by Jaguar Land Rover over the last three years to almost 11,000. Finally, the automotive business is hiring again.
The only thing I don't understand is how Jaguar plans to retain its exclusivity. The BMW 3 Series outsells the Ford Mondeo in the United Kingdom, and Jaguar also needs to sell a lot of this car to justify the massive investment. They promise the most advanced car in the segment, still, they don't aim for that sort of volume. It has to be a Jaaag after all.
But are their enough customers out there who don't like what the Germans have to offer?
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik, Getty Images and pyntofmyld