That small Jaguar you’ve been hearing about for eons? It’s still under development, but new reports suggest it won’t launch until after Jaguar replaces its XF sedan. Roughly translated, don’t expect a small cat until 2015, at the very earliest.
Why the delay? Autocar suggests the revised timing allows Jaguar to introduce its small model without cannibalizing sales from the current XF sedan. Seeing as both models are set to grow, the new “small” Jag may actually be close in size to today’s XF. If so, we wouldn’t blame buyers for opting for the newer model one bit.
“We definitely won’t kill today’s XF with a new small car,” Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director, told Autocar. “We’ll kill it with the new XF.”
But wait — why would a new small Jaguar be roughly the same size as the larger XF? In a word, competition. Both the next-generation BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans are expected to grow in stature, and accordingly, so should the small Jag in order to remain competitive. That’s apparently a touchy subject at Jag, considering the last stab at crafting a small model — the X-Type — was essentially a flop. Jaguar engineering chief Bob Joyce tells the British magazine the new car “has to be designed and engineered to be exactly right for its market,” and if that market is moving larger, then so too shall the Jaguar.
After being blown away by both the XF and the radically rethought XJ, we can’t wait to see what Jaguar has in store for this “new” segment. Sadly, it seems we’ll have to do just that — and for a little longer than we originally expected.