Peer pressure isn’t just for middle schoolers. Apparently, the pressure to follow the path of others never really goes away, and the inability say “no” can lead to some questionable outcomes. All it takes is a decision from one trendsetter, and pretty soon everyone else is trying to do the same thing.
Today I’m thinking about Porsche as the trendsetter with the Cayenne SUV. Yes, it’s a superior and well-respected vehicle now, but when it was announced there were plenty of people who thought Porsche had gone off the deep end.
Nope. Instead, it spawned a new category of luxury road-going performance SUVs. And now Jaguar wants in.
Automakers that are known for performance vehicles are flocking to build SUVs. Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and even Lamborghini have expressed interest in the segment. Those companies aren’t doing it because they’re passionate about off-roading, they’re doing it because they see dollar signs. Jaguar has resisted the pull, but now it seems the inevitable will happen with a SUV possibly called the Q-Type. Poor name aside (insert Audi references or Q-Tip jokes here), a Jaguar SUV could prowl the streets soon.
My first reaction is to label this a very bad idea. However, these are challenging times for automakers, and they simply must go where the money is. Plus, Ian Callum might be the best thing to happen to Jaguar since the E-Type. The lead designer has brought us the sculpted Jags of today and done so without a hint of questionable design decisions. If anyone can create the skin of a Jaguar SUV, it’s Callum.
There really isn’t a need for a Jag-branded ute, especially since it would probably be a re-engineered Land Rover, seeing as how both companies are owned by Tata Motors. You have to admit, though, the Jaguar design would look pretty killer on a high-riding frame. That new SUV might not make sense, but there’s a good chance plenty of people would buy it simply because it exists.
Imagine the Jaguar face on the front end of a Land Rover Evoque. It’s hard to keep the checkbook down, isn’t it?
Should performance car companies build SUVs?