Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jaguar Confirms Development of New Entry-Level Sedan and All-Wheel Drive XJ

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Jaguar has admitted that it is currently working on a new sedan that will be the entry-level model of the range. Smaller than the XF, the new model is expected to have a starting price of around £28,000 (€31,850/$45,685). According to Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar's global brand director, the sub-£30,000 premium car market is four times larger than that of sedans priced above £30,000 (€34,120), so developing a cheaper, smaller Jaguar makes a solid business case.

British car magazine Autocar quotes company insiders that say the new car will be smaller than the XF, but without sacrificing interior room, which will still be spacious enough for five passengers. So far, there is no information on whether the car will use an aluminum platform, as the next generation XF will do. According to the same sources, the successor of the XF will also be bigger and will move further upmarket.

Another important move for Jaguar is the all-wheel drive XJ, a more advanced project currently under development. Jaguar's 4WD flagship sedan will be launched within the next two years possibly at the same time with the car's facelift. The all-wheel drive system is necessary for the XJ since the company has strong sales in the US, where 20 percent of all road cars sold are equipped with an all-wheel drive system. In the Northern States, where Jaguar has its strongest sales, the proportion increases to an impressive 70 percent (according to the report at least).

Jaguar also recently announced the upcoming introduction of a 4-cylinder diesel engine on the XF, since 49 percent of sales in the large premium segment are made up of four cylinder models. The company is trying to enter all these new niches in order to increase sales, as it has just five percent of the US luxury market, two percent in the EU and just one percent in China.

By Dan Mihalascu

Via Autocar

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