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Jaguar open to larger SUV

Big cat: Jaguar is open to building a larger SUV to sit above the E-Pace (left) and F-Pace (below).

Large premium SUV not off the cards for Jaguar, perhaps small EV too

29 Mar 2018

JAGUAR has left the door open for a fourth high-riding wagon to join the E-Pace, F-Pace and forthcoming all-electric I-Pace, as long as it doesn’t step on the toes of sister company Land Rover.

While the E-Pace straddles the small and medium SUV segments and the F-Pace sits between medium and large, a gap appears to exist in the large and upper-large SUV segments for a four-wheel drive equivalent of the XJ luxury sedan.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the E-Pace in Kingscliff, NSW, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner said an SUV to sit above the F-Pace would be considered provided it offers what customers expect of a Jaguar.

“All options are on the table, as long as it delivers what Jaguar stands for,” he said. “That’s probably the most important thing.

“Does it deliver on Jaguar’s promise around performance? If it does, it’s on the table.”

Mr Wiesner said Jaguar would have to be careful not to tread on the toes of group sister brand Land Rover, which offers models such as the Discovery, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover in the premium large and upper-large SUV segments.

“Does Jaguar necessarily want to replicate the role of Range Rover or Land Rover? No. That’s not its job,” he said.

“You don’t need another Range Rover, you don’t need another Land Rover – they’ve got their specific roles to play within the group.

“Jaguar’s job is to bring dynamic enjoyment from a driving perspective, and if there is a product that we’re missing and an option that is there, it will be investigated.”

Jaguar’s move into the SUV market has been dictated by market trends, with Australian buyers gravitating away from sedans and into SUVs in recent years.

The proof is in the pudding for Jaguar, with the F-Pace finishing 2017 on 1275 sales, well clear of the next-best seller, the XE medium sedan, with 791.

With the release of the E-Pace this month, the British car-maker is tipping the new small SUV to outperform the F-Pace’s figures.

When asked if Jaguar would expand its passenger car line-up to include a sub-XE hatch to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, Mr Wiesner: “I would never say never, but I would find that when you look at where the focus is today in and around electrification and where that’s going, if it’s deemed as a future opportunity that must be taken from a premium product view, and it represents what a Jaguar should stand for, it will be on the table.

“And the beauty is we’ve got an electrified platform with the I-Pace, so we’re in that space now, so what do the traditional segments and sizes look like into the next decade is going to be a fascinating question, because they’re all the questions that are yet to be answered.

“Electrification offers cars that are far better designed ergonomically inside, because you don’t have big engines in the front and all those other pieces.

“So the premium compact segment of today, what will that look like in five to 10 years’ time? God knows.”

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