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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Motoring news

Jaguar launches baby E-Pace SUV

July 19 2017

Hot on the heels of the remarkable F-Pace, Jaguar has launched its second SUV. The E-Pace is a smaller five-seater designed to take on the Audi Q3 and Q5, BMW X3, Volvo’s upcoming XC60, and its own stablemate the Range Rover Evoque. Jaguar held the most literal car launch I’ve ever witness, hiring stunt driver Terry Jones to put the car through a barrel roll at an event in London – and bagging a Guinness world record in the process. Not many owners are likely to require their E-Pace to be capable of such displays of aerial tomfoolery but it’s very impressive nonetheless. Of more practical value is the knowledge the car should, Jaguar hopes, be on sale before the end of this year with a starting price tag of £28,500. All but entry level models will come with four-wheel drive as standard and there’s a wealth of technology and driver features to tempt people away from their German marques and into buying British. Jaguar is positioning the E-Pace as a much more sports-orientated model than its larger sister with drivers able to set up their own personalised throttle, steering and transmission settings. The engine line-up will include a 300PS petrol unit producing a 0-60mph time of under six seconds. Five powertrains will be offered in the E-Pace, across three petrol and two diesel engines. All are Ingenium units built at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in the West Midlands – the E-Pace will be the first Jaguar with a totally Ingenium engine line-up. The E-Pace itself, however, will be built not in Britain but in Austria. Such is the wave of popularity Jaguar Land Rover is riding now that its British manufacturing facilities are operating at close to full capacity. Its exterior design is bolder than that of the F-Pace and said to be evolved directly from the F-Type sports car. Jaguar is also promising the very latest connectivity for E-Pace owners. The car’s 4G wi-fi hotspot will provide content streaming through up to eight devices simultaneously, while a Touch Pro infotainment system will allow occupants to access their favourite smart device apps through the car. The E-Pace is built on the same platform as the Range Rover Evoque and so is a similar size. It’s 4,395mm long and 1,984mm wide, slightly larger than the 4,370mm x 1,900mm Evoque. Jaguar says it will seat five in comfort, with generous rear legroom. The E-Pace has exceptional boot space compared with the Evoque: 577 litres with the rear seats up, compared with just 420 litres for the Range Rover. Despite its name, there isn’t an electric model in the E-Pace line up. That honour is reserved for the I-Pace, which is due to go on sale next year, and looks so impressive it ought to have Tesla trembling.

Motoring news

Jaguar sets sights on Tesla Model X

November 16 2016

Jaguar is to produce an all-electric SUV called the I-Pace. The five-seat car will have a range of up to 310 miles, four second 0-62mph time and four-wheel drive. The pictures you see here are of the concept model but Jaguar’s head of design Ian Callum says the production version will look very similar. “It’s a concept car, but honestly it’s pretty close,” Callum explains. “There’s a few little details here and there that you won’t see in production, but most people won’t notice much of a difference. It’s really quite different from anything we’ve done before, or indeed anyone’s done before, really.” The I-Pace is clearly designed to steal the thunder from Tesla’s Model X electric SUV which, months after it apparently went on sale, still hasn’t delivered its first cars to UK customers. One area where the Jaguar steals a huge march on the Tesla is appearance. Where the Model X is a bit of an ugly duckling the Jaguar is – as you might expect from one of the world’s top car designers – an utterly beautiful piece of kit. Jaguar claims that the I-Pace will have a range from a single charge of 310 miles, and will be able to accelerate from 0-62mph in about four seconds, meaning it will rival all but the very quickest of sports cars. The all-wheel-drive I-Pace will use a pair of electric motors that will produce close to 400bhp and 516lb ft of torque, all powered by a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Jaguar boasts that it will have “precise, agile driving dynamics as yet unseen on an electric vehicle”. It will also, according to Jaguar, be around the size of a Porsche Macan but have the interior space of the much bigger Cayenne. Jaguar is inviting potential customers to register interest online. The production version is anticipated to be ready for sale in 2018 sometime and Jaguar is hinting at a price tag of around £55,000. If that’s the case then it will dramatically undercut the Model X, which costs from £75,000. I want one.

Motoring news

Electric Jaguar hits the roads

March 22 2017

Jaguar is not known for making unexciting cars but even by its standards the I-Pace is something special. The company’s first all electric production car was showcased in concept form last year to wild acclaim from the motoring press. Now a pre-production model has been spotted on the streets of London as Jaguar ramps up testing ahead of the car’s launch. The four-wheel drive SUV has a striking appearance made possible by not needing to make space for an engine bay. Its radical shape flowed from the pen of Jaguar’s head of design, Ian Callum who was in Dundee yesterday to reveal the winner of the Jaguar Time Capsule, a design challenge for schoolchildren run in conjunction with the V&A Dundee. The I-Pace is marginally shorter than the F-Pace, Jaguar’s conventionally powered SUV. However, it’s wheelbase is 115mm longer meaning there’s more room inside. In fact, Jaguar says it’s got 10mm more rear knee room than a BMW 7 Series. The 530-litre boot is 120 litres smaller than the F-Pace’s, while there’s an additional 28 litres of space under the bonnet. However, clever use of the interior’s flat floor means there’s also space for eight litres of storage between the front seats. A 90kWh battery will have at least 300 miles of range from a single charge, Jaguar says. Total output from the two electric motors (one front and one rear) is 395bhp – enough for a 0-62mph time of around four seconds. They give an 80% charge in 90 minutes and can be fully charged in about two hours using a 50kW charging point. The batteries sit below the floor giving the I-Pace a centre of gravity that’s 120mm lower than the F-Pace, which will benefit handling. It’ll be on sale in the second half of next year and Jaguar has indicated a start price of around £55,000-£60,000.  

Road tests

Baby Volvo XC40 SUV rules the roost

March 28 2018

The XC40 is the third and smallest in Volvo’s burgeoning SUV range. Its big brothers, the XC60 and XC90, are already established class leaders and the XC40 has followed their good example by lifting the European Car of the Year 2018 title. The compact SUV goes up against rivals including the Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q3 and Jaguar E-Pace. It will eventually be offered with three petrol and two diesel engines, two or four-wheel drive, and six trim levels but to begin with there’s a sumptuous First Edition model that comes loaded with equipment. It runs to nearly £40,000 but wants for nothing. For those who can’t quite stretch to that, the range will start at £27,905. The Swedish company is to be complemented for being bold with its styling. Where the makers of the Audi Q7, Q5 and Q3 have taken one design and put it into a photocopier set at 75% and 60%, Volvo has made sure all its SUVs look distinctively different. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6mN-iqDxtE The XC40 is pitched at younger buyers than the barge-like XC90. Still recognisably a Volvo, it’s chunkier and more striking than the company’s bigger SUVs. Early engine choices include a 190bhp D4 diesel and a spicier 247bhp petrol called the T5. I spent an hour or so driving each, in First Edition trim (stats below are for the diesel model) on some back roads between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Eventually, Volvo plans to phase out diesels and replace them with petrol-electric hybrids, but for now the oil burner would be my pick of the engine choices – it’s not much slower and offers better economy. It feels as comfortable and safe as you’d expect a Volvo to be but also handles surprisingly well through corners. The interior is superb, with an iPad style screen and a clean, minimalist layout. Ask me what the difference is between this and cheaper SUVs from Nissan or Kia and I’d say refinement and interior quality - the XC40 is beautifully quiet at 70mph. Volvo is one of the most innovative car makers of the day. The XC40 is the first model to be offered on a subscription scheme called Care by Volvo that gives you a car, insurance, servicing and pays any taxes for a monthly fee. There’s also an app for the XC40 that does clever things like pre-heat the car before you leave the house. I haven’t tried Jaguar’s new E-Pace yet but the XC40 will take some beating. Price: £39,905. 0-62mph: 7.9 seconds. Top speed: 130mph. Economy: 53.5mpg. CO2 emissions: 133g/km


Design for life: Jaguar’s Ian Callum on Dundee’s V&A and the F-word

October 22 2013

Jaguar’s Scottish head of design Ian Callum created the successor to the E-Type. This week he gives a lecture as part of the V&A at Dundee’s series of talks with top designers. He told Jack McKeown why good design matters. When Ian Callum was 13 he sent some sketches of cars he’d drawn to Jaguar’s chief designer and received an encouraging letter in reply. Fast forward not quite half a century and that once earnest 13-year-old is now Jaguar’s 59-year-old head of design, and one of the most celebrated car designers in the world. He is also the man who designed the F-Type, the successor to the E-Type considered by many to be the most beautiful car ever made. The Dumfries native will be returning to his home country on Tuesday to give a talk. Ian Callum A Life of Design is part of a series of talks by some of the world’s leading designers being held in the run up to the V&A at Dundee opening in 2017. “I feel very fortunate to be part of these talks in the build-up to the V&A,” he says. “I’m very aware of the project. I haven’t lived in Scotland for a long time but it’s been on my radar for a while. “I think it’s very good that Dundee was chosen for it. It’s probably a slightly offbeat choice but, from a design point of view, that’s what makes it interesting. Having it with the sweep of the river behind it will work fantastically well.” After spending his childhood years in Dumfries, Ian (58) studied industrial design at Glasgow University then won a scholarship from Ford to study for an MA in automotive design at the Royal College of Art in London. Despite gaining a prestigious scholarship, the first years of his career were not filled with glitz and glamour. “When I worked at Ford I was at the very bottom of the pile and I spent the first few years designing a lot of steering wheels, wing mirrors and switches,” he continues. “It was hugely frustrating. Now, I give my young designers whole cars to work on. I don’t want anyone going through the same depressing process I did.” Things came to a head when he left to set up his own design business. This proved to be a masterstroke. Ian was soon commissioned to design the car that would catapult him to fame in the industry: the Aston Martin DB7. Further Aston Martins followed, as well as a variety of much bigger and more prestigious design projects from his old employers at Ford. In 1999 Callum was appointed to succeed the late Geoff Lawson as design director at Jaguar. When he arrived the company was in the doldrums. Not bold enough to innovate, the company was sticking rigidly to its tried and tested formula and churning out cars that were increasingly old fashioned and irrelevant. Ian changed all that, coming up with a series of cars, including the XK and XF, that were distinctively Jaguars but were also cutting edge and modern. He says good design should be more widespread than it is. “Within the car industry design is obviously very well established and recognised, and talent is rewarded,” he says. “That is the same in architecture as well. Good or bad design can go a long way towards determining the success or failure of a building. “But within industry and large sectors of business, there isn’t nearly enough focus being put on design.” Ian thinks the word design needs to be reclaimed for the masses. “Design is seen as an almost elitist word. It shouldn’t be, it’s just a verb that means to do something well. “Good design should be a fundamental part of anything that’s created.” This year has seen Ian back in the spotlight for coming up with Jaguar’s F-Type, four decades after its predecessor the E-Type ceased production. Coming up with the successor to one of the most iconic cars ever made was a daunting project. However, the critics have lauded the F-Type and it was recently crowned World Car Design of the Year 2013. Designing it was a dream come true, Ian says: “Growing up in Dumfries, an E-Type was as good as it got. “You never saw a Ferrari or anything like that there. For me the E-Type was the ultimate, the absolute pinnacle. “If you’d told me then that I would one day get to design its successor I think I would have fainted.”

Road tests

Jaguar XF purrs more smoothly

August 9 2017

The first generation XF was one of the first cars penned by Jaguar’s Scottish head of design Ian Callum. Time hasn’t dimmed its perfect proportions and it remains a handsome beast. Underneath the skin some bits from the elderly X-Type remained, however. This second generation model mildly updates the elegant lines but the big changes are under the skin where there’s a new chassis that’s largely aluminium and enough computing power to run Google. It’s fitted with Jaguar’s excellent range of 2.0 litre Ingenium diesel engines or, further up the range, with creamy smooth 3.0 litre V6 petrol or diesel units. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive. I spent a week with the 3.0 V6 diesel in rear-wheel drive, which cost a fiver under £50,000 (XF prices start at a little over £32,000). The XF has shed 190kg – two large rugby players – and it shows both in a more dynamic drive and improved fuel efficiency. Aping BMW, Jaguar has designed a car with near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, giving it great balance and poise through corners Jaguar’s eight-speed gearbox is standard across the range and is still operated by a rotating dial that emerges from the centre console when you start the car. It’s an outstanding piece of design that makes every other automatic gear lever look a bit backwards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1XdXr_5RC0 The interior has the usual Jaguar design flourishes such as vents that slide out of view when not in use and recessed blue ambient lighting after dark. It’s very well done, if not quite up to the exceptionally high quality bar Audi set with its A6. The old XF was a touch cramped in the back so the good news is despite being 7mm shorter on the outside there’s 24mm more knee room and 155 more legroom for rear occupants. The XF has been a tremendously important car for Jaguar. Everything that followed it, from the mass market XE to the iconic F-Type flowed from its design language. While it was a bit heavy there was nothing badly wrong with the way the original drove. Times have moved on, however, and in particular BMW’s 5 Series has surged ahead when it comes to driver involvement. Lightweight and technological, the new XF has what it takes to tangle with the best executive saloons out there.   Price: £49,995 0-62mph: 6.2 seconds Top speed: 155mph Economy: 51.4mpg CO2 emissions: 144g/km

Motoring news

Most powerful Jaguar of all time breaks cover

May 31 2017

Jaguar has unveiled its most powerful road-going car ever. The XE SV Project is being developed by the company’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) arm and will boast 592bhp from a 5.0 litre V8 engine. Seen here in a prototype stage with camouflage paint, the production version will be limited to just 300 models. It’s based on Jaguar’s compact XE saloon car but is lower and wider for improved traction. Not much else is known but it’s expected to have four-wheel drive. The finished version will be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Jaguar’s staying mum about prices for now but it won’t be cheap. Expect to pay more than two and possible close to three times the £48,000 price of the current fastest XE.

Motoring news

Electric Jaguar to start from £59k

March 7 2018

Jaguar has revealed prices for the most hotly anticipated car of 2018. The all electric I-Pace is available to order now with prices starting at £63,495 – brought down to £58,995 once the government’s £4,500 electric car grant has been subtracted. That’s not cheap but it’s a significant amount less than its closest rival, Tesla’s Model X, which starts at around £75,000. Penned by Jaguar’s Scottish head of design Ian Callum, it’s a stunning looking car. Callum and his team could have taken the easy route of putting batteries and an electric motor into one of Jaguar’s other SUVs, the F-Pace and E-Pace. Instead they’ve come up with a bespoke piece of design that mixes SUV credentials with the dynamism of the XJ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF1kPptiKfI A short, low bonnet, aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear screen allows it to achieve a drag co-efficient to just 0.29Cd. That aerodynamic shape means the electric motors don’t have to work as hard, improving range. Jaguar says the I-Pace will be able to travel just shy of 300 miles on a single charge. That’s lower than the 351 miles claimed by the longest range model of Tesla Model X (which you have to pay £93,000 for) but much farther than any other electric car currently on sale. The battery pack slots in under the floor, meaning the I-Pace has much more passenger space than its modest 4.86m by 2.14m dimensions would suggest. Jaguar says each passenger has 89cm of legroom and the absence of a transmission tunnel allows for a central 10.5 litre storage compartment. The boot is a capacious 656 litres and there’s a 30 litre compartment under the bonnet that stores the charging cables. The battery pack brings the I-Pace’s weight up to more than two tonnes but a very low centre of gravity means it should grip the road well. Power is provided by two electric motors, giving the I-Pace four-wheel drive. Using a home wall charger takes around 10 hours to get the battery up to 80% , so it can be charged overnight. The 50kw public fast chargers that are now common will take it to 80% in 85 minutes, while the 100kw rapid chargers due to be rolled out over the next couple of years will do it in just 45 minutes. The I-Pace will go from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s well off the pace of a Tesla Model X equipped with “ludicrous mode,” which does it in 2.9 seconds (although you pay £129,000 for the privilege) but still faster than a Porsche 911. Top speed is 124mph. Premium fully electric cars are due from BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Volvo but Jaguar is the first mainstream premium manufacturer to get theirs to market. With superb looks and comparatively keen pricing, the I-Pace looks like a winner.


Dundee design museum launches Jaguar time capsule contest

September 7 2016

The V&A at Dundee is offering one Scottish school pupil the chance to work with car manufacturers Jaguar to create a unique time capsule. Students studying the Scottish Qualifications Authority's Higher Design and Manufacture course this year are being challenged to design a time capsule to celebrate the construction of V&A Dundee. One winning design will be selected by an expert panel chaired by Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum. The winning pupil will then work in Jaguar’s design studio in Coventry for a week where their design will be developed and built. The finished time capsule will be installed in front of the new V&A Dundee museum ahead of its opening in 2018. The time capsule will be filled with items created by Scottish primary school pupils and opened in 2068. V&A Dundee is working in partnership with SQA, with the design challenge forming an accredited module that counts towards the students’ Design and Manufacture Higher qualification. The competition was launched at Pacific Quay in Glasgow on Tuesday. Scottish Government culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The V&A Dundee Time Capsule is an incredibly exciting and dynamic project, and I encourage school pupils across Scotland, who are studying for this qualification, to embrace the challenge." Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “Scottish designers are leading internationally significant companies all around the world, and Ian Callum is a superb example of a designer who has transformed the creative and commercial success of an iconic business like Jaguar. "The opportunity for one Scottish school pupil to spend a week working at Jaguar with its designers and engineers is a genuinely life-changing opportunity." Alastair MacGregor, head of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths at SQA, said: “This is a unique competition for young designers across Scotland to pitch their ideas to the V&A Dundee and literally make history. “Their capsule designs need to last for 50 years, so this is a significant challenge. With each and every one having their designs recognised as part of their final portfolio, there’s already a compelling reason  to take part. "But the added incentive of winning a placement with Jaguar to oversee the fabrication and construction of the final design makes this a fantastic opportunity.” Pupils studying the Higher Design and Manufacture course have received a design brief for the time capsule, with all of their work for the competition counting as credit towards their Higher qualification. The brief specifies the design and engineering requirements for the time capsule, including being weatherproof for 50 years, guaranteeing consistent environment conditions for the objects placed inside the capsule, occupying a space of no more than 1.5 cubic metres, and being a creative design inspired by Jaguar and the V&A Dundee building. Schools, and Higher Design and Manufacture candidates interested in taking part, should contact joanna.mawdsley@vandadundee.org