Jaguar has BMW 3 Series in sight

25 Sep, 2013 9:30am Paul Bond

Jaguar will launch a 3 Series rival in 2015 and will be available in saloon, estate and coupe versions.

The Jaguar C-X17 SUV grabbed headlines at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. But before that arrives, the brand will launch its new BMW 3 Series rival. And the saloon – confirmed for 2015 – is set to be joined by a coupe and an estate, revealed in our exclusive images.

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Global brand director Adrian Hallmark told us the cars could “comfortably” double sales for Jaguar. “We have given three messages here,” he said. “It’s the saloon, the architecture and a vision of what else that architecture could deliver.” He also claimed the new 3 Series rival would “redefine” the compact executive class.

Referring to bodystyles beyond a saloon, Hallmark added: “If you don’t get in fast, you don’t get the payback.Our biggest challenge with the [XF] Sportbrake is that it’s a regional product – 90 per cent of the volume is in Europe. It cost a lot to produce and we didn’t get the full eight-year payback.”

As a result, Jaguar will launch the new estate and coupé as close to 2015 as it can – and the new iQ[Al] aluminium architecture will be key to this, as its flexible dimensions and common manufacturing processes provide the basis for rapid expansion.

An aluminium monocoque is also a first for this market and on this sort of scale, and by the time they go on sale, the new saloon, coupé and estate will be the most efficient, refined and advanced cars in their class, according to Hallmark. They’ll get a sleek and simple look, similar to the C-X17, but retain the strong, muscular proportions of larger Jags. “We want to build the best-looking car in the segment, so design appeal is number one,” Hallmark added.

Plus, when the new chassis is combined with Jag’s latest small-capacity 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines, it will mean entry-level cars emit less than 100g/km without the need for hybrid tech.

Even so, Jaguar is readying three new hybrid drivetrains – different from the one in the new Range Rover Hybrid. These will cut CO2, but also boost performance, “even if only for short bursts, like KERS in F1”, said Hallmark. Expect the new range to start at around £25,000.