In the drawn-out saga that is the New Jaguar XJ (we’ve had the new Jaguar XJ teaser video and the Jaguar XJ testing at the Nurburgring), Jaguar has released a video of the designer, Ian Callum, reflecting on the XJ. Which is a new twist on the ‘tease’ that is the order of the day for new model releases these days.
Ian Callum is Design Director for Jaguar, and the man does have a good pedigree. His career started round the corner from us, at Ford’s Design & Research facility at Dunton. He worked on a number of Ford’s RS projects, before moving on to TWR to join Tom Walkinshaw, and was responsible for the design of the Aston Martin DB7 and the Vanquish. He then moved on to Jaguar (at the time a Ford-owned subsidiary) and was, for a time, Design Chief at both Aston Martin and Jaguar.
Ian has moved Jaguar away from the ‘Retro’ era of the Jaguar S Type to produce cars like the Jaguar XK (which looks heavily influenced by the DB9 – no surprise as Callum was involved with that project) and the ground-breaking Jaguar XF, which signalled a real shift in the ethos at Jaguar towards a contemporary design future.
So we need to take the man seriously when he reflects on the design process, and the future, of the new Jaguar XJ. He says:
The car is very modern, and it certainly meets up the expectations of people who understand design with a capital D, I have no doubt about that whatsoever.
It’s a very well crafted car. It’s also a very designer led car so that combination, I think, is quite unique. The lines are beautiful, but we reinterpreted them in quite a different way that actually is right and correct for the twenty-first century – and that is what’s important. A Jaguar should be very beautiful, very clear in its intent, but relevant for its time.
With this car I really do feel that I’ve taken almost thirty years of learning and put it into something that is very complete for me; and that’s taken a lot of discipline, a lot of pushing; on my part, on my design teams part, and the engineers. But I think we’ve achieved something very special indeed.
So Ian Callum thinks that the new Jaguar XJ is something very special. You might well say ‘He would say that, wouldn’t he?’. But with a background like his we doubt he’d stick his neck out to this extent unless he felt sure the new Jaguar XJ is something very special.
Roll on July 9th – reveal day for the new XJ.