Jaguar is plotting a crossover that’ll share aluminium underpinnings and brand new engines with the new XE sports saloon: this looks like the first sighting of an engineering prototype for the car.
The crossover is due to enter production in 2016, one year after the XE wades into the sports saloon warzone. That’ll be three years after the Ian Callum-penned C-X17 concept gave us our first glimpse of a Jag SUV at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.
And we’re looking at the first Jaguar crossover prototype?
This curious Jaguar-cum-Land Rover 4x4 mule has been spied on test near JLR headquarters in the UK. While the main car’s main body and rear end are familiar from Land Rover’s ‘baby Discovery’ mules spied testing in 2013, the front end is different.
In fact, that upright front grille looks suspiciously Jaguar – check out how it cuts into the bonnet’s leading edge, XJ-style. And those low-set intakes: they’re a dead-ringer for the C-X17 concept’s.
The prototype’s ride height is lower than Land Rover’s current Discovery mules – though the odd stance can be partially explained by the late-braking driver’s evasive action, attempting to avoid our snapper’s well-aimed lens!
It’s certainly testing a future drivetrain: the 2.0-litre turbodiesel vital for future Jags and Land Rovers. Potentially able to replace the 2.2-litre turbodiesel found in entry-level XFs, the four-cylinder diesel will fight to the fleet-friendly 2.0 TDIs of Audi, BMW and Mercedes in European markets. Supercharged V6 and V8 power is on the cards for Asian, Middle Eastern and US customers.
>> Click here to check out CAR’s Land Rover ‘baby Discovery’ scoop
What’s Jaguar saying about this curious prototype?
A Jaguar spokesperson refused to discuss the prototype. He told CAR: 'Jaguar and Land Rover test multiple prototypes and we cannot comment specifically on future product actions.'
The crossover SUV is still to be officially announced, which suggests the business case is still making its way through final approval, and JLR is working out how to thread the new model into its fledgling aluminium car-line at the Solihull factory.
The new crossover, codenamed X761, shares aluminium underpinnings and new ‘Ingenium’ engines with the forthcoming Jaguar XE small sports saloon, as well as rear- and all-wheel drive systems. A new £500m engine plant in Wolverhampton will build the new powerplants – it’s part of a huge joint investment across the Jaguar Land Rover family that’ll create 1700 UK-based jobs and inject £1.5bn into the aluminium assembly plant in Solihull. The target? For JLR to double output from 400,000 global sales in 2013 to 800,000 by 2018.
What about the ‘XQ’ name?
That’s far from set in stone: Jaguar trademarked ‘XQ’ and ‘Q-type’ names in mid-2013. With ‘-type’ names reserved for sports cars in the current Jaguar range, ‘XQ’ is thought to be the likelier name for Jaguar’s crossover SUV.