A Look into the Future of the Cat
According to Mr Andy Goss Sales Operations Director of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), 2015 will be the year of Jaguar.
Why should we take this statement seriously?
JLR Group invested more than 3.5 billion dollars (Canadian) for platforms of new generation-models starting with the upcoming XE, the much-needed sedan in the mid-size luxury class to compete with the C-Class of Mercedes, the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4. So, the stakes are high and Jaguar executives know very well with whom they are dancing.
The Tata Group, the Indian Owner of JLR is confident about the future of the legendary British brands. They not only provide the finances, but also give the authority to the executive management in engineering, manufacturing and marketing. And the Germans are part of this strong team. The four executives at JLR including Mr. Ralf Speth, the CEO and directors of R&D, manufacturing and engineering have a total experience of nearly a century with the BMW. Can you imagine the wealth of managerial experience JLR has access to?
So, with already very good and great upcoming products and a very strong and well-financed management, there are good reasons to give credit to Mr Goss.
The Jaguar Division of JLR currently delivers around one fifth of the Group’s total sales. In 2010, Jaguar sales were around 40K. In 2014, they project this figure slightly above 110K. (final sales figures were not available as I posted this review) and by the end of this decade, the British Cat envisions a sales target around 200 thousand units. A passionate, yet achievable goal.
The XF, a Mature Car
This was my second test drive with this model after more than one year. The 2015 XF is Jag’s oldest car, launched in 2008. It is hard to claim that this executive class sedan is a timeless beauty, but it is simply gorgeous subjectively speaking.
After one week and 632 kilometers of mixed urban and highway drive in and around the GTA, my feelings were similar to somebody leaving a gourmet restaurant with tastes echoing in my brain. It is always nice to drive an elite automobile like Jaguar.
One of the most impressive features of the XF is its “Instinctive” AWD that can distribute the torque between front and back wheels as needed – up to 50 per cent to the front wheels – with the selectable Winter mode that gives extra torque to the front wheels to overcome snow.
During my test drive, the roads were not snowy and I could not test this feature. Under normal conditions, the XF is a rear-drive luxury car. The 3.0 liter, supercharged V-6 engine pipes its beautiful sound as the superchargers give the extra boost to the heart of this machine. The German-made ZF, 8-speed automatic transmission provides the communication between the engine and the road and shifts very smoothly. The conditions are well met for a comfortable drive in a luxury car. My average consumption was above 13 liters.
Inside the Middle Cat
The cabin is roomy, comfortable and impresses you with the pop-up chrome gear selector. (Also the new Chrysler 200 took probably some inspiration from Jaguar.) The seats are elegant and properly padded. However, some lessons need to be learned from Germans with regard to side bolstering. With impressive cornering abilities, you expect a sportier treatment rather than resemblance to big American sedans from earlier decades.
The touch-screen infotainment controls are uncomplicated, but a bit slow. At least not worse than Cadillac’s CUE system although the XF is not as new as the current XTS, ATS or CTS.
I am afraid to be a bit emotional and subjective about Jaguar. Realistically speaking, the XF is a mature car and due for a replacement which will occur in late 2015. When your competitors are names like the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series or Audi A6, nothing less than extraordinary is acceptable.
And with the upcoming new platforms and engines, Jaguar will challenge the Teutonic Dominance and ask for a bigger slice of the world’s elite automobile pie.
We as autoandroad.com and Turkuaz TV (a community TV broadcasting for Turkish Canadians) were happy to shoot the first episode of a new automobile programme with Jaguar in the freezing cold of Toronto on the very first day of 2015.
Optional Features: Heated Front Windscreen ($350)
- Engine:3.0-litre V-6, supercharged
- Drive:all-wheel drive
- Fuel economy(litres/100 km): 13.9 city/8.8 highway, using premium fuel.
- Alternatives:Lexus GS, BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Acura RL, Audi A6, Cadillac XTS, Infiniti Q70, Kia K900, Hyundai Genesis, Volvo S80
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars, Gokche Erkan, Cagdas Ongen
Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media
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