In an interview with Drive, Jaguar Australia’s managing director, David Blackhall, said that despite its popularity a replacement for the X-Type is not guaranteed. “The plan in relation to the X-Type is not resolved”, he said, adding “there are a number of studies underway in the UK, and a number of alternatives are being considered including doing nothing at all.” The X-Type’s conservative styling was never a hit with its target audience of dynamic young up-and-comers and its Ford Mondeo roots only added to the problem.
According to Blackhall, Jaguar’s survival hopes are riding on the back of the XF. “It has to be a success, a home run. This is Jaguar’s money-shot for the next five years.” Unlike the current S-Type, which has been criticized for its retro styling, the new XF is expected to be a volume seller and should lure away customers from the German luxury marques. Without going into specifics, Blackhall also mentioned that the XF could spawn several other variations, suggesting models other than a four-door saloon. “There’s also a much more robust engine strategy with the XF than in the past” he said, adding that there could be a four-cylinder version as well as hybrids and a turbodiesel V8 based on technology from the rest of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group.
Blackhall also revealed some key details about the XF, mentioning that the C-XF concept car shown in Detroit is very similar to the production version XF. The front and rear of the final car will be similar to the concept but the headlights will be wider and the roofline a few inches taller. We’ll have to wait until the car’s debut at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show to see how it all pans out.