CLIFF RUDDELL – JAGUAR DESIGNER, KEEPER OF SECRETS AND MUCH MORE … NEXT EDITION

Most of us haven’t heard of former Jaguar Student Apprentice Cliff Ruddell – but we maybe own or have owned Jaguars he designed and perhaps engineered too.

His story is a ten page highlight of our coming edition, and it is more than fascinating – it is historically very important because he relates how things were done at Jaguar back in the day, including the long evolution of the XJ40, XJ-S, a lost mid-sized four door which came way before the S-Type, the XJ41 sports car which became the hallowed Aston Martin-badged DB7 and his lost replacement for the Daimler DS420 limousine.

Most importantly though, Cliff tells us for the first time how and when and why the XJ220 came about.

A teaser is that he supplied us with concept images, drawings and much more of what was planned to be a sports racer – before the XJ220 as we know it was even thought of.

Subscribe here now to get your yearly subscription which will include this untold detailed and complex feature about the life of Cliff Ruddell.

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Jaguar Land Rover Spending Over $5 Billion On New Cars And Tech

What to do about slow-selling older models?

On the one hand, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is on a roll these days thanks to new models like the Range Rover Velar and E-Pace crossover. Sales for both in markets like North America and China are more than meeting expectations. However, there’s been a sales drop in some of its other models. What to do? Invest. According to Automotive News Europe via Bloomberg, JLR will invest some $5.3 billion in this current financial year on not only new models, but also in new technologiesthat include autonomous, connected and electric.

For the financial year that just ended, the company spent slightly less. This all comes at a time when JLR is facing some uncertainty in its UK home market due to the upcoming Brexit. However, parent company, India’s Tata Motors, is looking beyond this with an intensified focus on its two most successful markets, hence the increased investment. “We will continue with over-proportional investment in new vehicles, manufacturing facilities and next generation automotive technologies in line with our autonomous, connected, electric and shared strategy,” said CEO Ralf Speth. One area of concern, however, is that despite high demand for new models like the Velar and E-Pace, these sales figures have so far failed to offset a sales decrease in older models.

For example, sales of the XJ large sedan dropped last year in the US, which makes sense considering it’s nearly a decade old and the fact demand for sedans is decreasing across the board. The XF sedan also experienced a sales drop last year and is already down this year as well. This doesn’t mean it’s time for Jaguar to kill off its larger two sedans, but perhaps to re-examine this particular segment. We’ve heard a rumor (that makes a lot of sense) that the next generation XJ will be an all-electric Tesla Model S and Porsche Mission E fighter. But instead of retreating, JLR is investing even more money than last year, a clear-cut sign there’s a proper plan in place.

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JAGUAR J-PACE TO TAKE ON PORSCHE CAYENNE – AUTOCAR

Jaguar is readying a new full-size J-Pace SUV which is slated to make global debut by 2021. A global trademark filing for the J-Pace moniker suggests that the model is edging closer to production, having been scooped by Autocar UK last year.

The Range Rover-rivalling SUV will have a brand-new shape conceptualised by Jaguar design director Ian Callum. However, it will draw on the Range Rover for much of its running gear. It will be the brand’s fourth eye-grabbing entry into the gigantic global SUV market in a span of just five years.

Jaguar stands on the edge of a highly profitable and much higher-volume future based on rapidly rising sales of an SUV family that started with the F-Pace just two years ago and will probably account for two-thirds of its total sales in the early 2020s.

The J-Pace will be a sleek and luxurious all-aluminium model for the early 2020s. It’s likely to use a developed version of the Range Rover aluminium architecture, although it will be longer, lower, probably more spacious in the rear and obviously, much more on-road biased. It will employ Range Rover running gear and powertrains, and plug into a rising demand for super-luxury SUVs. Jaguar bosses will expect it to sell especially well in China, where well-heeled owners are chauffeur-driven.

The success of the 2016 F-Pace and the embryo success of the smaller, more affordable E-Pace are the main reasons for current improvements. However, company bosses are well-aware that they need to continue producing upper-end models like the J-Pace to reinforce Jaguar’s image as the home of substantial and luxurious performance cars.

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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