How the Brits won New York 2015

Published: 03 April 2015

So the Brits won the New York Auto Show, again. Another attempt is being made to resurrect the British Motor Show, but until it happens, we've adopted New York. 

We've always done well here. In 2012, Jaguar won the show just by announcing the F-type's name. In 2013, Daniel Craig brought one side of Manhattan to a standstill as he drove the new Range Rover Sport into its launch party. Last year, it was the Discovery Vision Concept that previewed the coming family of Discovery models.

This year we had two contenders for star of the show. The new, £145,000 'entry-level' McLaren 570S is the more significant car for its maker. It will at least treble Woking's output. If the early reaction to what the 570S offers for the money is any guide, McLaren will soon be bumping its head against its 5000-car production ceiling.

But the new XF is the more significant car for the nation. The old model saved Jaguar, arriving just as the financial world imploded in 2007. Ian Callum's design provided life-support through the darkest days, and lured in Tata as a buyer. Without it, Jaguar may well have closed. 

This new one needs to help Jaguar gain some scale. As entirely new models, the XE and F-Pace will provide most of the growth but the XF's potential is signalled by the fact that the old model's sales are actually going up as it runs out. 

Jaguar could have made a polarising car. Not needing to chase 5-series volumes, it could have sacrificed practicality, say, for a super-sporty profile that most would have rejected but enough would have loved.

Instead, it's aiming to make the XF a car you just can't argue against. With design by Callum and Adam Hatton (again), it looks the business. But with the new Ingenium engines, the same aluminium architecture that we loved driving in the XE, best-in-class rear space, crazy-low emissions and the new super-fast InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, the new XF threatens to do the business too. Even if it doubles the old model's sales, it won't put much of a dent in BMW, Mercedes and Audi's volumes. But it looks very likely to put a dent in their pride, again.

The 2015 New York auto show was all about brands from Blighty

By Ben Oliver

Contributing editor, watch connoisseur, purveyor of fine features

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