It’s been a while since we’ve last heard from the new owners of Jaguar. The luxury automaker struggled while under Ford ownership, and new owner Tata Motors has been pretty quiet about their plans for the storied brand.
That has caused some fear in Jaguar loyalists as they wonder how in the world the same company that builds the world’s cheapest car can possibly succeed in doing justice to the elegance of the once-British car company.
Ford really didn’t do any favors to Jag though, attempting to bring the essence of Jaguar luxury to the masses. The result: An entry-level sedan that failed miserably and a mid-size sedan that has ended up on more than one list of ugly cars.
There was even talk at Ford of building a Jaguar SUV.
Tata Motors doesn’t have any experience building luxury automobiles, but I won’t let that stop me from believing they are going to be the savior Jaguar fans have been hoping for.
First of all, Tata plans on moving Jag back up market by deciding against an entry-level sub $40K vehicle. They’ve also firmly backed away from creating an SUV, a move that makes sense considering they also own the SUV king: Land Rover.
Here’s what to watch for in the coming years from the new Jaguar:
– New V8 engines in early 2009
– A Supercharged XF-R in mid 2009
– A redesigned XJ in 2010 (look for XF design cues)
– In 2011, 2012 and beyond, watch for a possible XF coupe and a smaller roadster to compete with the Porsche Boxster and BMW X4
I think these are exciting times for Jaguar. I predict that we’ll see Jags that are truly luxurious with the performance to match. Tata Motors is a company with a lot to prove, and I’m willing to bet that they won’t let us down.
What do you think: Will Jaguar return to glory under Tata?