Jaguar Land Rover's future revealed

28 May, 2010 6:44pm

Tata chief, and JLR boss Carl Peter Forster reveals his vision for the future of legendary British firm.

A new sports car, a fourth Range Rover, a BMW 3-Series rival and an executive estate, plus new factories in China, exciting engines and a return of focus to innovation... Under Tata control, Jaguar Land Rover will be more ambitious, says top boss Carl-Peter Forster. The man in charge of making it happen is Ralf Speth, and he told us it’s time to put the pedal to the metal!


IT’S the news that British sports car fans have been desperate to hear – the Jaguar F-Type is go! Bosses at the firm have finally given the green light to the two-seat roadster, which will take on the Porsche Boxster.

The F-Type was first seen in the form of the XK180 concept back in 1998, but the project has been constantly delayed as the company struggled with its finances. But now, thanks to the promise of £1bn of investment every year for the next five years by new Indian owner Tata, a driver-focused sports car is imminent.
“We have a new momentum. There is so much potential,” said Jaguar Land Rover chairman Ralf Speth. “A new sports car is coming.”

Tata chief executive Carl- Peter Forster added: “We like the idea [of a sports car], we support the idea. [Designer] Ian Callum has been working on some ideas along these lines, and we like what we see. We are at the clay model stage, tweaking the idea here and there.”

When it’s finished, expect the F-Type to look very similar to the illustration in our main picture. With a classic mesh grille, sporty air intakes and a bonnet bulge, it has plenty of road presence and is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar.


It’s not only all-new models that Jaguar has in the pipeline – the existing range has been earmarked for expansion, too.

Speaking at a press conference last week Jaguar Land Rover chairman Ralf Speth said: “The sales success of the XF shows that we can compete, but it’s only one model – we need more vehicles in that family.” 

This is a clear indication that an estate version and a low-slung XF Coupé are on the way. To back this up, there have been reports of a heavily-camouflaged estate prototype on the prowl near Jaguar’s
headquarters in Gaydon, Warks, although we’ve yet to track down a picture of the mule.

THE X-Type is being reborn – and it’s in the shape of a stunning new compact executive that will finally take the fight to BMW’s 3-Series and the Audi A4.

The new model is key to Jaguar’s plan to increase sales – and bosses really want to shock the market. “[A new X-Type] is a logical step in expanding Jaguar, but we need to come up with a real Jag that has wow factor,” said Tata boss Carl-Peter Forster.

Insiders have hinted that the new model could potentially take its inspiration from the R-D6 concept, which debuted at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show.

A handsome retro coupé with barn-style rear doors, this model is still held in high regard in Coventry, and many believe it could be resurrected, given the current popularity of four-door coupés such as VW’s Passat CC.

Despite the good news about Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in new product and advanced technology, Tata boss Carl-Peter Forster believes the firm remains committed to closing one of its UK factories.

Put simply, Forster says “It is much better for a car company to have one large factory, than two small ones.”

Currently, Jaguar Land Rover is reviewing the future of its two West Midlands plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich. An announcement about the future of the locations is due this summer.

Meanwhile, JLR has confirmed it will open a new plant in China within the next two years. With a production target of around 30,000 units per year, the factory is set to build Defender, Discovery and Freelander models from UK-supplied kits. A similar set-up is also planned for India.

“This move isn’t about taking volume out of the UK,” said Forster. “It’s about strengthening business in emerging markets.”

With Jaguar’s plans for a supercar, roadster and expanded XF range, you could be forgiven for thinking that sister firm Land Rover is set to play a bit part in the future of Jaguar Land Rover.
But with grand plans for the off-road firm’s line-ups, plus hints that an all-new model range is under development, the future looks anything but dull for the 4x4 legend. On the eve of the launch of the long awaited baby Range Rover (scooped by Auto Express in Issue 1,116), Carl-Peter Forster described his vision for the off-road and luxury SUV specialist.

“Clearly, the Land Rover brand is very different to Range Rover,” he said.

“With the latter, we will introduce the first-ever front-wheel-drive model, while Land Rover will continue to focus on delivering brilliant cars that perform as well on road as they do off it. However, as Jaguar and Land Rover move apart, we see room for a new type of vehicle.

It is our intention to plug that gap as quickly as possible.” While details on the newcomer are scarce, Auto Express sources have suggested that the car will be positioned more closely to Range Rover’s family of vehicles, and could possibly be
a four-door version of the three-door LRX, with seats for up to seven passengers.

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Great idea to take R-D6 as base for new X-Type!! The prototype was just excellent, excellent and excellent!!!!! I hope it will come real...

Would you buy a Jaguar built in China!?

I have examined and driven the new ROEWE 750 in China and find it an extremly well built car that in detail is better than the original from the UK.

At the same time I had a chance to try and drive the Buick La Crosse built by Shanghai General Motors ( SGM ) - a first class and well equoípped automobile and very well built!

So I would buy a Chinese Jaguar

Other companies such as VW. Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, BMW, GM, AUDI, Citroen, build cars in China so it cannot be such a bad idea!

And people like SAIC that build these cars also have a first class OEM Component industry to back this and make such modern developments such as electric power steering units and now electric air condition compressors! Ever seen a European electric air condition compressor on a car here?

Europe priced itself out of lots of opportunties and now the music is playing in Asia!

I hope the current picture aren't of the production version, if it is then Jaguar need to return to the drawing board as the design of the model will be out of date by the time it reaches show rooms. This current version is to conservative I want Jaguar to lead in the design field not soley it's apperance on the out side, the interior is one area manufacturers have identified customers want innovation and Jaguar needs to continue in this vain, no more bland dash boards, seating and other decor I want the wow factor. Come on Jaguar Ian Callum do it please.

I hope the current picture aren't of the production version, if it is then Jaguar need to return to the drawing board as the design of the model will be out of date by the time it reaches show rooms. This current version is to conservative I want Jaguar to lead in the design field not soley it's apperance on the out side, the interior is one area manufacturers have identified customers want innovation and Jaguar needs to continue in this vain, no more bland dash boards, seating and other decor I want the wow factor. Come on Jaguar Ian Callum do it please.

Will somebody tell me what silver beast is (last of the 4 photos at top). Now that is a REAL Jag, utterly gorgeous and totally unlike the miserable clones that festoon today's auto showrooms, or the tongue-in-cheek Mondeo siblings that Ford have foisted on Jaguar. Come on, let's have something to celebrate, a REAL Jaguar.

Yes, the last of the four photos above do look very like the front of the Bugatti Veryon! And that's no bad thing! Very desirable!!!!!

The Germans are known for the compact executive cars, but for some reason they lack the disirability factor.

However if jaguar can build an X-Type based on the exterior and interior design of the the latest XF and XJ, then they will have a winner - one I doubt the boring Germans will be able to beat.

Factor in Jaguar's current finnesse in ride and handling and this should be the best all rounder in the world!

I just hope it's rear wheel drive.

The silver Jag in the 4th picture is the R-D6 concept


Oh yes, based on these pictures, the future for Jaguar is bright. Can't wait to see these on the road.

The existing model is a Jag pastiche built on a previous-generation Mondeo chassis. It's design was backwards-looking and the interior didn't feel special enough.
If the new model can capture the wow factor of the gorgeous R-D6 concept, while remaining price competitive with the German small execs, Jaguar will be on to a winner.

If Tata think i'm going to pay BMW prices for something built in the Third World.THINK AGAIN.
If their built cheap.Sell-erm cheap!!!!!!!!!

Is any of this going to happen, or is Auto Express just playing with photoshop again?

Todays markets are truly global and Jaguar needs to consider producing cars abroad as well as at home if it wants to compete and survive.

Tata has a vision to become a global player in car production and I believe buying Jaguar and Land Rover was an extremely wise decision on their part. It gives them access to high tech, high quality production techniques and values that can be used by the company to develop new models aimed at mid and lower price sectors. With the promised investment in Jag and LR, both companies should flourish and so, consequently will Tata. If handled correctly, the top down approach should mean bigger profits for Tata and ever increasing cash injections for both Jag and LR.

We can't be too precious about keeping traditional brands in British hands these days, we just don't have the financial clout any more. The only option if we want to keep these brands alive, is to work with sympathetic foreign partners bearing Gold, Frankinsense and Myrrh...

I think the cars built in China will be for the chinese and Indian market only. Reason being is Jag cars exported to China work out very expensive to the customer due to chinese tariffs and i guess China is using this to encourage companies to setup manufacturing plants in their country. I am so happy that they are coming out with a X-type replacement. it cannot make sense for a company to gain a small share of the compact executive market and just let it go. F-type is a must but i would prefer it looked on the lines of the f-type concept car which looks a bit similar to the Alfa 8C and will be a sure winner.

Its nice knowing though that Tata is coughing up investment that Jag and Land rover needed. Wish them success.

You say legendary "British" firm ... WRONG!! they are Indians ... I'll never own a Jag again, or anything Tata owns ... ever! forget it!

This is the what the front of the XF should look like, instantly recognisable as a Jaguar. Some Seats look like the XF when seen in tyhe rear view mirror !

Come on give the XF a facelift (and dont forget the Spotlamps ).

R-Type coupe, the XK-180, and RD-6.

Also what plan for the other marques they own, Rover, BSA, Lanchester and Daimler. I always thought it was a shame Jaguar didn't have the Triumph Marque, rather than devaluing the brand with the X-Type imagine if it had been a Triumph 2000 /2500?

10 years ago can't remember which motor show when Aston Martin unveil their Vanquish at the same time The Jaguars small car X-type was introuduced. Now it time for it replacement. Jaguar need something to rivial Lexus 1S ,BMW 3 series & Mercs C-Class.

Do I detect a touch of bigotry in your comment Racerx?

So far Tata have left well alone, allowing both Jaguar and Land Rover to develp their own products because the management at Tata are well aware of the expertise that exists in both companies.

Wake up and smell the coffee dude, neither Jaguar nor Land Rover have been in British hands for some years now and frankly the current situation is a 'win, win' scenario for all concerned. Tata have as much to gain out of this as Jag and LR, or would you rather see both firms go to the wall, along with many thousands of jobs? These days it's hard to be an idealist...

racerx2005 - what do you plan to buy that is British then? Bristol, Morgan and Westfield don't make many BMW 5-series challengers. At least if you buy Jaguar you're supporting local industry even if some of the profit goes back to India (which in all honesty they deserve given they're putting faith and investment into our cherished marques).

nb., wasn't it Auto Express that did a big article about the F-Type being canned back in 1990 (I seem to remember indignation at the XJ220 making it into production when that didn't)? Fantastic research in this latest article, as usual.

....London probably has more German built cars than Berlin... if our capital prefers to support german then what chance has Jaguar? Even when they build the best car in it's class.. only a hand full of English are broad minded enough to appreciate it's quality...
The so called City makes me sick... High and mighty idiots driving about in their German cars... As if somehow they are better.. BULL!