QOTD: Could You See Yourself in a Jag?
Yesterday we delivered news of a plan to transform the range-topping Jaguar XJ sedan into an electric five-door model — which, in Jaguar Land Rover’s mind, is a way of preserving the model and its historic lineage in an era of falling passenger car sales.
The jury’s out on whether a hypothetical group of EV buyers with bulging coin purses will actually materialize once Jaguar (pronounced “ jah-gyou-ahhh“) and other brands bring their latest electrical creations to market, but the writing’s on the wall for traditional sedans. Maybe going EV will earn these vehicles a stay of execution. Who knows?
As for the Jaguar brand itself, the company’s sales have never been stronger in the U.S., with new models of the utility bent positioned to take on premium rivals from Germany and Japan. Could you see one of these burly Brits taking up space in your driveway? Or has Jaguar left too much of its charm in the past?
If you pose that first question to an Anglophile friend of mine, you’ll be met with a “Hell, no.” Owner of seven Jags, some of them parts cars, this friend regularly laments the brand’s styling direction since the middle of the Ford era.
“They don’t look like Jags,” he said, as I flipped through images of the current XJ, XF, and XE on my phone the other day. Don’t get him started on the F-Pace or smaller E-Pace SUV. No, his 1997 XJ6 Vanden Plas is his prized possession, as the model hadn’t yet been bastardized by modern sensibilities. Under the hood lies a 4.0-liter inline-six. The body? British Steel. The hoodline? Low enough to ensure knee destruction for any unlucky pedestrian.
His 2003 (or ’04) XJ, the last of the old-school line, is proportionally less pleasing with its blunt face and taller hood. And never mind the non-traditional V8 engine — the rear seat doesn’t include folding breakfast trays. How are passengers supposed to enjoy their morning bangers? (Hmm… maybe that’s the point. I blame the European Union.)
While my friend’s collection also includes a brace of S-Types, as the throwback Mark 2 styling cues tickle his Westminster fancy, there’s no X-Type to be found anywhere in that barn. He knew full well, as did everyone else at the time, that the X-Type was an imposter plunked into the nest by a dastardly Ford Motor Company.
Yet despite some car lovers’ aversion to modern Jags, it’s models like the XE and F-Pace that currently make up the bulk of the brand’s sales. By all accounts, the F-Pace makes the two-row utility vehicle life quite a bit more stimulating than, say, sitting behind the wheel of a Dodge Journey or Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Also, Jag ownership is still seen as a badge of individuality — a roguish Brit among a sea of Audis, Bimmers, Lexuses and Infinitis.
Where does your attraction to the brand, if indeed you have one, lie? Is it the products themselves? Does the styling tempt you, or is it the continued quirkiness of a British motorcar that would make you consider one? (Who amongst us wouldn’t shell out a few bucks for an XF Sportbrake after winning the lottery?)
Or, like my friend, are you done with the brand — at least until it comes out with a model so sexy, so quintessentially Jaguar, that resistance proves futile?
[Images: Jaguar Land Rover, Steph Willems/TTAC]
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