Jaguar SUV is on the brand’s radar! What are your thoughts?

June 19th, 2013 by Road Test TV

Jaguar SUV Rendering

It can be said that Mercedes-Benz was one of the first luxury automakers to start breaking into the mass-market luxury SUV segment with the debut of the Mercedes-Benz ML back in 1997. In 1990, Mercedes-Benz proposed a plan to replace the G-Class SUV, which at the time had been in production for 11 years, with an SUV that was more accessible by the ‘average’ luxury vehicle shopper. Following Benz’s move, Lexus jumped on the wagon with the RX in 1998 and BMW followed in 1999 with the X5.

It wasn’t until Porsche decided to come out with the Cayenne that luxury SUVs started garnering a lot of attention and criticism. Many believed that Porsche would fail miserably with the Cayenne with critics saying that the German sports car maker should stick to what it does best – making sports cars. However, Porsche didn’t listen and moved forward by putting the Cayenne out in 2002. We’re guessing Porsche never regretted the decision as the Cayenne is now the best-selling model in its lineup.

Forward to present day, many luxury automakers now offer SUVs with supercar manufacturers like Lamborghini, Bentley, and Aston Martin even willing to jump in on the action by presenting the world with future concepts. However, one automaker, a British one to be specific, has been silent when its comes to the possibility of adding an SUV to its lineup of luxury vehicles. Jaguar has long denied any possibility of the brand offering an all-wheel-drive SUV, only recently offering AWD versions of its XF and XJ sedans to the cold belt states in the United States.

However, recent rumors and moves by Jaguar state that the company is seriously considering an SUV project. According to reports, Jaguar recently filed for the registration of ‘Q-type’ and ‘XQ’ as trademarks with the EU. The naming strategy fits Jaguar’s current naming methods as seen on the F-type and XF. Of course, in the everyday automotive enthusiast’s mind a Jaguar SUV should be top priority for the brand to compete better with the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Not only should it be a top priority, Jaguar can easily tap into its long-time partner, Land Rover, for direction.

In a recent interview with AutoCar Jaguar’s global product marketing director, Steven de Ploey, suggested the brand will produce a compact SUV rather than a large SUV. The model would compete with the likes of the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3.

What details do we have at the moment. So far, reports suggest that rather than using anything from Land Rover, Jaguar’s compact SUV will be based on a new small car architecture that the company is working on for its BMW 3 Series rival. Why Jaguar isn’t tapping into Land Rover’s resources is beyond our understanding.

What can you expect under the hood? Reports suggest that Jaguar could end up using a supercharged 3.0 liter V6 as seen in the XF and the XJ. Nothing more powerful expected, however, Jaguar could also possibly offer a hybrid variant of its SUV.

Timeline for the SUV is still unknown but if we were to make a good estimate – we would say some time in 2015.

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