The first four-wheel-drive Jaguars since the X-Type should get the green light in the coming months. However, the 4x4 system won’t yet feature in an SUV, it’ll debut on the XJ, XF and the XF Sportback estate that arrives next year.
With Jaguar struggling to make a real impact in the crucial US market, 4x4 versions of existing models are described as ‘critical’ by Jaguar’s global brand director Adrian Hallmark.
Speaking to Auto Express, Hallmark said: "We’d love to do a 4x4 XF and XJ, and a final decision will come soon. Four-wheel drive is a hygiene factor in the premium sector these days."
In the north-eastern ‘snow belt’ of the US, 70 per cent of premium car sales are 4x4s, with Audi taking a clear lead on rivals with the A6 and A8.
Of the many things on Jaguar’s ‘to do’ list, a 4x4 is seen as a higher priority than hybrid power. However, Jaguar’s saloons are all saddled with V8s in the US premium market, so smaller petrol, and possibly diesel, engines will also be offered in the near future.
Jaguar’s XF estate, likely to be badged Sportback, is due to go on sale next year after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.