A recent report in London’s Financial Times said that Jaguar senior executives had already shown Tata at least three new model projects for investment consideration.
They are believed to be a coupe version of the XF sedan, a four-door version of the XK coupe, and a two-seater sports car based on the F-Type concept, that would aim to challenge the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4.
Jaguar head of design, Ian Callum, is quoted in the Financial Times article as saying that Tata had responded well to the British house’s design direction.
“We have shown Tata our new model lines and the planned product cycle,” Callum says. “The two national cultures appear to fit together very well and Tata is being very respectful about what we are doing.”
He also suggests that the relationship with current owners Ford had often been subject to tensions over design, revealing that the X-Type was designed in Detroit and then forced on the team at Jaguar’s Whitley design centre new Coventry.
However some of the blame could be attributed to Jaguar, which had failed to move on and keep pace with rivals, the article quotes Callum as saying.
Models of the XF coupe are rumoured to have already been built at Whitley, and are understood to share the bulk of their design with the XF sedan, but have the lower roofline seen in the C-XF concept.
Jaguar Australia managing director David Blackhall has previously hinted that the XF – which is seen as being crucial to the carmaker’s future — could be developed into several variants as variations on the theme
The Financial Times article did not explicitly confirm that Tata had signed off on acquiring Jaguar and Land Rover, but the purchase is expected to be formally announced by late this month, with the price estimated to be US$2 billion.
However, the sale has been largely accepted as being a done deal for at least two months.