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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.