Jaguar’s design similarities deliberate

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Jaguar says that designing their current model line up to look similar is a deliberate and considered step while the British brand goes through a global revitalisation program.

Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the new Jaguar F-Pace in Montenegro this week, the brand’s head of design, world-famous car designer Ian Callum, admitted that the decision to make the new SUV look so similar to Jaguar’s other brands was very measured.

“I personally got involved with this, it’s a very deliberate decision at the moment.” Callum told CarAdvice about the F-Pace’s design similarities to other Jaguars.

“I want Jaguars to look very similar because I want momentum, scale [and] size around the world. I want people to see the front face of that car and realise that’s a Jag, because at the moment that doesn’t happen. It happens in the UK, but it doesn’t happen in America [and some other markets]”

Jaguar sells around half a million cars a year globally, significantly less than brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. A consideration point for the design team as the brand seeks to grow.

“We are just not well enough known so at the moment – and perhaps it’s a slightly risky point – but at the moment we need to get scale of the brand out there, and that’s why the similarity is there, we need to get people to recognise us, albeit we are small and niche, as a much bigger family and the only way to do that is make sure all our cars have similarities.”

Callum denied that the design direction was in response to brands like Audi, which follow a very similar philosophy of small evolutions across generations and significant similarities across the model lineup.

“It’s not a ploy to make us look like Audi or BMW, in fact I was always against that, but I realise now that we got to get that volume and face out… It’s a policy, it’s a design thing, it wasn’t driven by marketing or anything.”

Even so, the design directive will allow for greater differentiation in the future once the brand is better established worldwide.

“Next-generation? We will start to divert a little more because people know what the brand is, I can show you the next-generation of XE and XF and it will diverse a bit more, because hopefully by then people will know a lot more about Jaguars.”

The most similar part is the front grille, which Callum admits is unlikely to change any time soon.

“The grille itself, we created it, I don’t want to change that while I am there. I think the grille is there for at least while I am there… it’s subtle and it does stem from the old XJ grille [series one] which I love dearly so it’s part of that face and when you see them they do have a certain character of their own, so I think we would be mad to change them now, specially for this car.”

The new Jaguar F-Pace SUV will arrive in local showrooms by July.