All-wheel drive was one of the key selling points of Jaguar’s X-Type sedans, killed off in the U.S. market after the 2008 model year. Sure-footed winter traction appealed to luxury car shoppers in snowbelt states, and the Jaguar X-Type gave buyers an alternative to luxury AWD sedans from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
Jaguar hasn’t had an AWD offering since the demise of the X-Type, and it’s beginning to feel the pain. Autocar
quotes Jaguar head Adrian Hallmark as saying, “(AWD) is something that the market expects. In the snowbelt of America it accounts for 70 percent of sales, and overall it accounts for 30 percent of sales.”
Hallmark confirms that Jaguar is developing AWD drivetrain
s (likely with sister brand Land Rover), and is in the final stages of deciding which models will benefit from all-wheel-drive. The likely candidates include Jaguar’s XF mid-size models and the company’s XJ full size sedans.
Sources say that Jaguar is prioritizing this even over the development of hybrid vehicles, since it believes AWD will provide a more immediate boost to the automaker’s bottom line. Jaguar views hybrids as expensive, with consumers unwilling to pay the required cost differential to make hybrids profitable.
Ironically, the car that will become Jaguar’s entry-level model, replacing the X-Type, will likely be built in front-wheel-drive