JAGUAR BUILDING AN XK REPLACEMENT MODEL

Jaguar has begun work on an all-new replacement for its flagship XK coupe that was discontinued back in 2014.

A new report suggests the new coupe — and the roadster that will follow — will join the British car-maker’s range in 2021, when it will be positioned above the F-TYPE.

Speaking to Brit mag Autocar, Jaguar’s head of product strategy Harno Kirner confirmed work had begun on proposals for a whole new family of sports cars.

“The F-TYPE has been a huge success,” said the product boss.

“We love sports cars – and I use the plural quite deliberately. Whether that is delivered by a body variant or something else remains to be seen, but for now let’s just say that the body type is very important for us.”

Kirner’s desire to create a family of sports cars is claimed to reflect a similar want from head of design, Ian Callum, who told motoring.com.au in March this year that a four-door coupe was “Jaguar’s rightful place” and that it “made a lot of sense”.

Last year the Jaguar design boss even went as confirming to the British magazine that his team was working on a 2+2 sports car, that would replace the discontinued flagship XK.

The F-TYPE, which is due for replacement in 2019, currently accounts for a two-fifths of all Jaguar sales. Last year Jaguar racked up record sales of 178,601 units — up more than 20 per cent on 2016.

JLR’s all-new sports car platform will be capable of being scaled down to a smaller 2+2 layout. The new strategy of sharing the underpinnings across a family of sports models rules out the cost of developing two bespoke product architectures, boosting profit.

Kirner didn’t explicitly confirm the approach, but said: “I love the idea of a flexible architecture that can give us anything.”

The other advantage of a common platform is the ease of incorporating other powertrains like plug-in hybrids and even pure-electric power, although the Jag product chief didn’t sound entirely convinced about the latter.

“There is an argument that says hybrid sports cars might cater for both the environment and the excitement such cars deliver,” Kirner said, adding: “A lot of people like the sound of an engine.

“That’s a fact, and it is a defining part of a sports car. I absolutely believe that there will be electric sports cars one day, but I also believe that there may be a different step of combining the battery and an engine.

“At Jaguar, all I can say for now is that we will continue to invest in sports cars.”

Set to power Jaguar’s next-gen sports cars, inclouding the XK, is both the Ingenium 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder and a family of straight sixes that will be available in various power outputs.

The most powerful versions, it’s thought, will come equipped with an updated version of the Jaguar F-TYPE’s SVR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 that’s expected to push out around 440kW.

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JAGUAR I-PACE RACER DEBUTS IN BERLIN

The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar charged ahead as it made its global debut in Berlin. Founder and CEO of Formula E Alejandro Agag had the honour of marking this historical moment alongside Jaguar Racing as he drove the racecar around the iconic Tempelhof Circuit.

Alejandro Agag put the eTROPHY racecar through its paces on the track and completed five laps in front of the crowds in Berlin. While demonstrating its dynamic capabilities, the eTROPHY racecar gave a glimpse of the future of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship to a global audience.

Gerd Mäuser, Chairman of Jaguar Racing: “Today is an exciting day for the future of Jaguar Racing as we showcase all of the hard work our Special Vehicle Operations team have done to get us to this moment in their development of this exciting new support series.”  

“As a business we are committed to electrification and the future of battery electric vehicles. We have already transferred key learnings from our involvement in Formula E into the development of our future road cars, and no doubt that the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will only further enhance this learning and development.”

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E: “The eTROPHY car feels great – it looks like a production road vehicle with the performance of a racecar. This series is all about bringing new innovative technology to a wider audience, and the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY is a perfect platform to do this alongside Formula E. I’ve been a strong supporter of Jaguar since they joined the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and it’s been exciting to help shape the future of the sport alongside them. I look forward to seeing more of these cars line-up on the grid next season.”

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PANASONIC JAGUAR COME BACK IN BERLIN

Panasonic Jaguar Racing returned to the points with a hard fought sixth place finish at the Berlin E-Prix at Tempelhof Airport circuit.

Before the race, Panasonic Jaguar Racing discovered Mitch Evans was unable to provide radio feedback however he could still hear the team’s communications. Despite this, he brought his Jaguar I-TYPE 2 home higher than his qualifying position of ninth to demonstrate his natural racing ability and the strong team dynamic that exists between the driver and engineers.

Mitch and team mate Nelson Piquet Jr instantly gained places on the opening laps and settled into their race strategies on the notoriously hard temporary Templehof circuit. During one of the longest races of the championship, Mitch consistently matched the energy levels of the race leaders but was unable to break into the top five.

During the latter stages of the race Nelson’s smooth driving style and his ability to conserve energy was on full display. In the last five laps Nelson jumped from 13th to tenth in a series of skilful overtaking manoeuvres. As he battled for ninth on the last lap he overshot turn one and lost a number of places. He rejoined the circuit in 12th place a position he held to the finish.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing now move on to Switzerland for the inaugural Zurich E-Prix, the tenth E-Prix of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, with Mitch sitting seventh and Nelson eighth.The British team retain fifth place in the teams standings.

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ONE OF CLARK GABLE’S XK120S TO BE SHOWN THIS WEEKEND

Jaguar XK120 owned by ‘Gone with the Wind’ star in special showcase

He may not have given a damn about Scarlet O’Hara at the end of “Gone with the Wind,” but movie star Clark Gable sure loved cars, including his 1952 Jaguar XK120 roadster.

The car once owned by Gable – who played the dubious Rhett Butler in the 1939 film – will be shown this weekend as part of a special showcase at the Carlisle Import and Performance Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The history of exactly how Gable came to own the car is unclear as he owned multiple Jaguars, but what is known is that he acquired it in Dallas, according to a news release from Carlisle Events.

Parts and pieces of the car were stored in multiple boxes. Gable turned to the late great California customizer George Barris to return the car to its former glory while adding some custom tweaks from Gable.

It was one of the first cars Barris customized during his long career, which included the Batmobile, “The Beverly Hillbillies” 1921 Oldsmobile touring-car-turned-truck and a host of other movie and TV novelties.

The Jaguar changed hands following Gable’s death in 1960 and was recently purchased by Velocity TV host Joseph Limongelli, who also will display a 1966 Jaguar E-Type, a 1952 Aston Martin DB 2 and a 2004 Aston Martin Vanquish.

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PANASONIC JAGUAR FORMLA E TO DEBUT AT SHELSLEY WALSH

Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb looks forward to welcoming Formula E to the world famous Worcestershire race track as GKN Driveline is bringing the Panasonic Jaguar Racing ABB FIA Formula E Championship team’s race car, the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, to the historic venue for its public UK debut on August 12.

GKN Driveline is bringing the Panasonic Jaguar Racing ABB FIA Formula E Championship team’s race car, the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, to the historic venue for its public UK debut on August 12. The UK debut coincides with the 113th anniversary of the first hill climb at Shelsley Walsh, combining the ultimate in modern electric vehicle technology with the famous motor racing course.

The race car will be driven at Shelsley by Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans, who is currently sitting 8th in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship Drivers Standing. Panasonic Jaguar Racing is currently 5th in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

New Zealander Evans will be hoping to add his name to the Shelsley history books alongside Rudolf Caracciola, Malcolm Campbell, Hans Stuck, Stirling Moss, Derek Bell, John Surtees, Kenny Brack and Andy Priaulx.

Andrew Lytheer, GKN Driveline Team & Partnership Director, said: “We’re excited to bring the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, containing some of the world’s most sophisticated electric driveline technology, to Shelsley Walsh, the world’s oldest motor sport venue. Panasonic Jaguar Racing is coming to the end of a successful second season in Formula E, so bringing the car to the UK, where it was developed and manufactured, will be a special way to end the season.”

Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver, said: “I am looking forward to driving the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 up the famous Shelsley Walsh hill climb. We have a lot of hill climbs back home in New Zealand but this is the most famous and historic. My all electric race car should be well suited to the challenge and I’m intrigued to see what my time will be. I look forward to seeing our friends from GKN Driveline and meeting some UK fans.”

Antony Harper, Chairman Midland Automobile Club, said “To have technologically advanced cars at Shelsley is something we’re used to, but this is going to be something unique and very special to see come to the start line even in the 113 year history of the hill. Hill climbing has naturally had many innovative cars racing in the sport but the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 Formula E car is something no one has ever seen against the clock so there will be a huge amount of interest following Mitch up the hill. To have the ongoing support from GKN Driveline and a 2018 works team present on the very 113th birthday of the hill climb is something we’re all looking forward to here.”

The event strengthens GKN Driveline’s historic links with both Shelsley Walsh and Jaguar. GKN Driveline has been a supporter of the venue for a number of years and many of the vehicles that have claimed records at the site have contained GKN Driveline technology.

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