The Hunt For a Green Car: Jaguar

As it happens, Jaguar unveiled its new XF today, hailing it as the best looking car in its class. 

Automotive News´s image of the new XF.
Automotive News’ image of the new XF.

I misread the headline at Automotive News and thought they had done some more unveiling of the XE. You know how these unveilings run and run. Maybe this was the official unveiling of the car for actual sale as opposed to the unveiling for the automotive press or some car show or other. Cars seem to spend a third of their lives being gradually unveiled.

This how Automotive News started the article, noting all the new features and innovations. “The XF competes against the BMW 5 series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E class. The all-new model is underpinned by Jaguar Land Rover’s aluminum-intensive architecture. The platform helped Jaguar to reduce the XF’s weight by 190kg, the automaker said in a statement.

The latest XF is slightly shorter than the current model but its wheelbase is 51mm longer to increase cabin space. The sedan has class-leading rear seat room, Jaguar said in a statement. The XF will be key to Jaguar achieving its goal of increasing its annual global sales to more than 200,000 by the end of the decade from a little more than 80,000 last year.”

So why in heck does the new car look like a modest revision of the old one? Even the new Corsa looks more distinctly different from its predecessor than this car. Golfs are always the same yet you can always tell one generation from the next. What has happened here? I really don’t think Jaguar have given customers much of a visual receipt with this new model’s styling. You’d need to see the cars side by side to tell which one was the newcomer. If you didn’t like the old one, you won’t like the new one.

Moving back to colours. Jaguar offer a metallic green (among 18 paint colours, hooray) for their new small saloon, the XE. I digress, but doesn’t Jaguar’s nomenclature sound like a set of different trim versions of the one car: XE, XF and XJ? XE would be the base model with cloth and 14″ steel wheels; XF adds metallic paint, a radio and alloys, and XJ has leather and a V6 with 18″ rims as standard.

Moving back to colours. I configured my XE with British Racing Green. Note the setting. Inspired by the Lincoln Versailles, Jaguar have parked their car 19 storeys up, somewhere over New York.

2015 Jaguar XE in British Racing Green. You can´t park that there, sir.
2015 Jaguar XE in British Racing Green. You can’t park that there, sir.

2015 Jaguar XE British Racing Green

And this is the interior (below). I notice that the way the parts are split up, Jaguar can’t offer a whole lot of colour variation. You are confined to three pale colour inserts for parts of the door and the very lowest sections of the dashboard. I opted for satin-finish walnut fillets but in this image they did not come out all that well.

2015 Jaguar XE: a rather dull range of interior colourways.
2015 Jaguar XE: a rather dull range of interior colourways.

It is an odd colour break-up, no? The colour of the glove box and under the steering wheel changes and so does part of the doors. But the upper part is black as standard. In this sense, Hyundai and BMW have the advantage of Jaguar. I don’t really like the way the centre console mates with the instrument pod either. Looking on the bright side, we have found one of the few cars available in any kind of green.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

8 thoughts on “The Hunt For a Green Car: Jaguar”

  1. BRG is not a great colour for a modern car. Quite a bit clichéd too for any British car – hence it was a popular colour with latter-day Rovers.

  2. I remember the anticipation that a group of us a TWBCM had when the present XJ was launched all those years ago. Now, this new XF has just slipped in unnoticed (by me). Is this a perverse sign that Jaguar is now finally a mainstream manufacturer – in everything but sales figures? The relevant news is that the engineering beneath the ‘evolutionary’ skin will add to Jaguar’s ambition to become The Ultimate Driving Machine for the 21st Century. Just a pity there is nowhere left to drive ultimately.

    As for the styling it is disappointing but not surprising. It looks like work has been done to improve rear headroom and visibility, which is good, but the price to pay is that the rear door features one of my pet dislikes, a large bit of black plastic shoved into the glass area. Is it true that the start-up swivelling vents are no more? And they still have that leaper on the rear bootlid – which still looks wrong.

  3. Laurent. I accept your comment, in so far as I admit that I would feel almost as self-conscious buying a BRG Jaguar as a red Ferrari. But that’s a pity because it can look very well. Possibly one could consider one of the earlier ‘British Racing Greens’ since, on a point of pedantry, the present deep shade’s general acceptance only goes back about 85 years and, since sponsorship generally put an end to it in the late 60s, it was really only around in its official capacity for 40 years.

  4. They (XE/ F) are both rather underwhelming stylistically, albeit very “polished”. The risks taken with the XJ have been avoided, resulting in a handsome, but unarresting (is that a word?) car. It will probably sell very well …

    1. +1
      I really had to thoroughly check if it’s really a new car after having seen the pictures.

  5. I much prefer the window treatment on the original XF, with no three quarter light, but overall I find it to be a handsome if conservative update. Whether it will win Jaguar new fans on looks alone, possibly, but hopefully the driving dynamics (increasingly Jaguar’s USP) will tempt a few disenchanted BMW cross shoppers.

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