Few aspects of the automobile are as examined, analyzed and obsessed upon as styling. Ask most people about cars and they won’t talk about engine displacement or suspension setup; it’s the physical presence of cars that captures interest and sparks passion. For a niche luxury brand like Jaguar, which survives on the margins of major markets without the backing of a full-line automaker, the art and science of auto styling is of supreme importance. Unable to match its rivals in the technological arms race of the upper-echelon luxury segment, Jaguar’s relevance is perhaps more tied to its ability to create compelling designs than any other modern brand. Were this the only challenge facing Jaguar’s chief designer Ian Callum, his job would be one of the most interesting in the business. Thanks to Jaguar’s nearly 40-year stylistic stasis however, Callum’s tenure is nothing less than one of the most significant in the history of automotive design.
Tag: ian callum
As car guy moments go, spending three hours at the GM Heritage Center with Jaguar’s Chief Designer Ian Callum is about as good as it gets. In fact, I thought I had taken twice as many pictures as I had. Check back later for a full write-up of my interview with Ian, in which we learn (among many other things) that the designer of such vehicles as the Aston Martin DB7 is surprisingly obsessed with classic American cars.
As we wait for October sales to come rolling in, I’d like to take advantage of the calm before the storm to update our faithful readers on the wild week to come. Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Detroit to cover Chrysler’s five-year product and business plan. Luckily though, the trip will not be limited to a six hour presentation on “Fiat’s fuel-efficient engine technology” and sundry Pentastarred optimism. We’re also getting the opportunity to interview a certain Mr Ian Callum, chief designer for Jaguar. Do you have any burning questions about the new XJ, the XF or Jaguar’s new styling direction? Let us know and we’ll be sure to ask for you. We will also be covering the roast of Bob Lutz, so be sure to tune in for a report on the best jokes of the evening (although really, nobody expects them to improve on Farago’s effort). Though we’re thrilled to be able to offer a week of fresh reporting, interviews and jokes about GM’s Vice-Chairman, making it happen might require a slightly slower pace of content this week. Luckily Robert Farago, Bertel Schmitt, Paul Niedermeyer, Sajeev Mehta and other TTAC faves will be stepping up to keep the flow of news, commentary and analysis steady. So get ready for a big week, and take a moment to tell us what you most want to hear from Mr Callum, and the New New Chrysler. And thanks, as always, for your tips, comments and support.