By on October 18, 2017

2012 Jaguar XK - Image: Jaguar“The XK being dropped was much to my frustration.”
– Jaguar design director Ian Callum

The Jaguar XK ended its 19-year-long run after the 2015 model year, undone by disappearing demand and the success of the smaller, more affordable Jaguar F-Type. But it wasn’t supposed to be this way, Jaguar design director Ian Callum says. The XK was supposed to roll along in third-gen form alongside the first-gen F-Type.

“The F-Type was never meant to kill the XK,” Callum tells Autocar.

In fact, despite the design work that had already begun on the next Jaguar XK — a car that never materialized — the marketing execs at Jaguar didn’t see the need for two coupes. The third-gen XK never enjoyed any engineering development.

Yet Callum’s outsized influence at Jaguar appears to be producing XK-shaped fruit in Jaguar’s product planning department. While there’ll likely be a new Jaguar F-Type first, you can begin inspecting your local Jaguar showroom for the next Jaguar XK in 2021.

By the end of just its second full year, Jaguar USA had already sold nearly 11,000 copies of the F-Type. Jaguar hadn’t sold that many XKs in the 2+2’s final seven years on the market. XK sales, meanwhile, had plunged from an annual U.S. average of more than 4,200 units a decade ago to fewer than 1,700 annually coming out of the recession.

Nevertheless, Ian Callum says, “I want a two-seater [the F-Type] and a 2+2.” Design work is underway. If the XK makes it back into Jaguar’s lineup, it will need to be properly distanced from the F-Type, Callum says. That means actual space for four people (not just four seatbelts) and their luggage.

Autocar says a 2021/2022 Jaguar XK would use the next F-Type’s architecture, which is expected to be a redeveloped version of the current F-Type’s platform, which was redeveloped from the departed XK.

With no partnerships on the horizon to make F-Type production more economically viable — Callum says, “We will be doing our own thing with the F-Type,” — a partnership inside the Jaguar lineup seems prudent. But sourcing volume for the XK won’t be easy. Prime competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (which has lost roughly 80 percent of its U.S. sales since the turn of the century) and BMW 6 Series (down 70 percent over the last five years) are fading.

Is Jaguar really the brand that can reignite interest in the segment?

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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13 Comments on “Ian Callum Wants Another Jaguar XK, Seems Rather Unhappy the Jaguar XK Was Killed Off...”

  • avatar

    “That means actual space for four people (not just four seatbelts) and their luggage.”

    While carrying four people in comfort is a reasonable requirement for a car like the XK, does it really need to accommodate luggage for all four? That seems like it’s beyond the mission of an XK.

  • avatar

    The XK went out like a Jaguar. No reason to bring it back so it can suffer the indignity of a standard 2.0T, AWD, and an Optima interior.

  • avatar

    The XJS 2+2 replaced the slow selling E Type, and the XK replaced the XJS, which was replaced by the F-type, so Jaguar has never actually produced a sports car and GT 2+2 at the same time. They might have been very successful if they had done so about 1997, but with the current SUV/CUV craze, it seems like an unlikely time to do the two sporty cars now.

    • 0 avatar

      Not entirely true. The E-type was sold with a 2+2 variant alongside the 2-seat versions. I know fans never liked them, and you don’t see them as much as the 2-seaters. But they did exist.

      • 0 avatar

        The 2+2 Jaguar E-type V12 thing w/ the 3 spd auto just didnt look or drive right.

        Of course everyone loves the S1 coupe/roadster etc for good reason.

        I agree, the world barely needs the F-type so I dont get why the world needs a 2+2 F-type.

        It does however need two variations of the F-pace like how the world needs a Macan and Cayenne.

        • 0 avatar

          I used to own a 2+2 E-Type and liked it a lot. When it ran.

          I would also like a proper 2+2 now.

          And I’d take a look at the XE platform. It’s the right size and already well balanced.

          Chuck in a big/powerful engine, drape it in a body similar in shape to the F-type, and you are done.

  • avatar

    I wonder if they are considering “Coupe” versions of the XJ, XF and XE? I liked the old “XJ12 C” and “XK-6 C” back in the day and thought they were pretty sharp looking.

  • avatar

    “Ian Callum Wants Another Jaguar XK, Seems Rather Unhappy the Jaguar XK Was Killed Off”

    Him and me both. The F-Type is awesome, but I do prefer a 2+2. Although admittedly, I am not the sort to buy a Jaguar anyways, so this is pretty much just me farting in the wind.

  • avatar

    The XK is my all-time favourite car, to the prospect of another one coming out is very exciting!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The XK has a 50 plus year heritage behind it. When people mention Jaguar the first model they think of is the XK or XKE.
    I can see them bringing it back as a halo competitor to the Benz SL and BMW 8-series.

  • avatar

    Jaguar isn’t quite Jaguar without a big GT in the lineup. I realize that’s not enough to justify a new model here in 2017, but… damn it, it should be.

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