Forster: Jaguar SUV, hybrid and new "small" model plans

Jaguar plans new SUV, hybrid and small model
Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark, recently told British media his company “needs a crossover and needs to stop being a saloon (sedan) based company” – a comment that signaled the British car maker’s intent to use a four wheel drive platform from sister company Land Rover as the basis for a luxury class SUV to rival the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-class.

Now Carl Peter Forster, the boss of Jaguar parent company Tata, has revealed a further piece of Jaguar’s future new model plans, saying, “We are developing an architecture that will be used by both Jaguar and Land Rover.” The new architecture, or platform as it is more commonly known, is set to provide the basis for the new Jaguar SUV and second-generation Range Rover Sport.

Forster’s comments are part of an interview published in the latest issue of the German publication Auto Motor und Sport. In it, the former General Motors’ Europe boss also lets slip on Jaguar’s hybrid plans. “Hybrid technology is best developed in partnership with big component suppliers,” says Forster. “Lots of Europe’s car maker’s go to the same south German partner.”

All of which clearly hints that Jaguar is planning to equip its new SUV with gasoline, diesel and hybrid drive, with the latter likely to be supplied by ZF, which is based in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Jaguar already relies on ZF for the supply of automatic gearboxes and other key components for the XF, XJ and XK.

Meanwhile, Forster also elaborated in Jaguar’s plans for a new entry level to slot into the position in its line-up vacated by the X-type. When pressed on plans for a new small Jaguar, Forster said: “We are thinking very seriously about it. Technically we can do it. If we can get it to stand up financially we’ll do it. The small (model) will also get a four-cylinder. But it has to be special in character, not mainstream.”

On what effect the introduction of a smaller model might do to Jaguar’s image, Forster had these words: “There’s a C-class from Mercedes-Benz. No one is forcing us into the volume market. We’re in a comfortable situation. We can choose the market, segment, model and engines.”

• Jaguar planning new SUV to rival the BMW X5
• New four wheel drive to share platform with a Land Rover model
• Possible hybrid variant of new SUV alongside traditional gasoline and diesel variants. Hybrid technology to be developed in partnership with ZF
• Jaguar “thinking seriously” on new “small” model. Parent company boss, Carl Peter Forster, compares it to Mercedes-Benz C-class. Four-cylinder engines in the pipeline.

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