Complications in birth of baby Jaguar
Jaguar director of design Ian Callum has given the biggest hint yet that the brand is considering entering the small car segment.
Callum said he has a huge desire to take the UK brand to where Mercedes-Benz (with its A-Class), BMW (1 Series) and Audi (A3) have seen such dramatic levels of success.
“We want to grow our family,” Callum said, indicating it’s hard to ignore the potential income that a model smaller than the recently-revealed XF (pictured) could bring.
However, the fact Jaguar will likely have to develop such a model upon a new architecture, or borrow and adapt one from parent Tata Motors, means the project is hard to nail down.
“I think there’s a huge opportunity in the small car market, but it’s a very difficult business,” Callum said. “It’s hugely competitive, it’s hugely price-conscious. And you know we’re too small at the moment to think about taking on that sense of volume and competitive price.”
The current aluminium-intensive architecture that underpins the new XF, XE and upcoming F-Pace has a rear-wheel drive bias and its balance is such that it would be impossible to spin-off a smaller model.