Jaguar will launch a compact saloon to compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class in 2015. It will be the first production car to use the company’s new aluminium architecture, known as iQ[Al], and will be built at a facility currently under construction within the Land Rover factory at Solihull, Birmingham.
Global Product Marketing Director, Steven de Ploey, says it will be the most efficient car of its type in the world and will expand the appeal of Jaguar to a new audience. There will be versions with CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km and others capable of 186mph. The engines will include new four-cylinder units to be supplied by the plant which Jaguar is building at Wolverhampton – that is due to come on stream in 2015.
‘We think 90% of customers will be new to Jaguar. They will be younger, more cosmopolitan and include a higher percentage of women and business users,’ de Ploey said.
The introduction of a compact sports saloon is the next phase in Jaguar’s three-step plan to modernise itself. ‘We laid the foundations with the XK in 2006, began to maximise the range with four-cylinder engines, a supercharged V6, all-wheel drive and an estate in 2011 and this year began to launch breakthrough products like the F-Type,’ added de Ploey.
‘The competitors are cost-driven. Our new sedan will be more progressive, more accessible and more relevant to buyers. It is in development now. The new iQ[Al] architecture will give Jaguar the flexibility to build a vast range of new cars from a common basis and make the company the world leader in all-aluminium construction, according to vehicle line director Kevin Stride. “No-one matches Jaguar expertise in aluminium construction,’ he says. ‘It is knowledge shared with Land Rover and enables a choice of other technology not previously available.’
Vehicle Line Director, Kevin Stride, said the aluminium technology is, ‘not a platform but a set of principles, ideas and philosophies – a toolbox for us to work from.’
The core section runs from the crash structures at the front through to the engine mounting and on to the bulkhead ahead of the passenger cell. There will be all-new double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear axle, both fully tunable to suit whatever kind of car Jaguar wants to build. The architecture is fully modular so that it can be used for compact or large cars and is suitable for rear- or all-wheel drive. Stride says the emphasis will be on refinement, ride comfort, handling, grip and steering precision.
‘It will give us access to more markets, more segments and allow us to respond faster to market demands,’ he added.