Jaguar has revealed that four wheel drive for the XJ and XF is a priority and that hybrid powertrains are not. Sensible Jaguar.
We’ve been talking about a four-wheel drive platform for Jaguars for a long time now. As far back as 2009, Jaguar privately confessed that the lack of an XF Estate was down to the lack of a 4WD platform to make the XF Estate a proper competitor in the luxury load-lugging market.
And although we thought Jaguar could still make a success of the XF Estate without a 4WD option, we understood their perspective; Jaguar didn’t want to be the poor relation in the luxury estate market.
But as Jaguar has continued to drive sales and profits upwards they’ve bitten the bullet and decided a 4WD platform for their cars is worth the investment. Which is good news, and is no doubt helped by the Land Rover move to new platforms based on Jaguar’s XJ underpinnings.
So back in April we had Andrew Whyman, XF Vehicle Engineering Manager for Jaguar, confirming the XF Estate was on the way, and days later Ian Callum revealing there would be a Jaguar XFR Estate and said Jaguar will be adding a new moniker – Jaguar XF Sports Brake – as their take on ‘Avant’ and ‘Touring’. Makes sense.
In more 4WD Jaguar news we also learnt in July that Jaguar are planning a 4WD XJ too, all the better to mop up sales in the snow belt of North America and the heart of Northern Europe. Again, very appealing and very sensible.
But talking about 4WD being in the mix for Jaguars to come is one thing, actually doing it is another. And we did wonder if Jaguar were likely to get sidetracked with hybrid platforms as the way to go 4WD, instead of the real deal. But it appears not.
Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s vocal Global Brand Director, has made it clear in conversation with Autocar that 4WD is the priority for Jaguar, not hybrid powertrains. He said:
In the snowbelt of America it [4WD] accounts for 70 per cent of sales, and overall it accounts for 30 per cent of sales, so we are working on it and in the final stages of a decision. It is core to our future offering.
Hybrid technology is very expensive. The customer does not want to pay for it yet, so even if it is something we want to develop, it is a project that is in the future.
How soon will we get 4WD on Jaguars? We will probably get the 4WD XJ first – the work’s all but done with the new Range Rover platform – so we could see that in 2012. But the 4WD XF and XF Sports Brake may have to wait until the next generation XF arrives with a new platform.
But Jaguar 4WD is definitely on the way.
Have your say - leave a comment