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Car and Driver: There Will Be No Jaguar XK Successor, Land Rover Won’t Chase Bentley


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Having seen its last full year of sales (the arrival of the F-type rendered the old girl basically irrelevant), the XK was born in 2006 when the brand was still part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group. Now surrounded with a lineup flush with fresher sedans, coupes, and sports cars, the XK’s role is that a stately Grand Tourer, one it will fill nicely for the roughly 1400 people who just acquired one.


With the F-type SVR now sitting at the top of Jaguar’s lineup, the automaker has abandoned plans to build a flagship coupe. The car that once occupied that slot, the XK, ended production for the 2015 model year.


When we spoke with chief designer Ian Callum last May, Jaguar was mulling over a couple of options: a larger, more expensive car derived from the F-type or a four-seat XJ-based coupe. But now that the 575-hp F-type SVR is the “pinnacle” of the company’s range, selling two high-end coupes side by side won’t work, according to Jaguar Land Rover North America CEO Joe Eberhardt.


The core of the luxury market, says Eberhardt, is in the $35,000-to-$125,000 range. Introducing a vehicle above that price range, especially as more ultra-luxury coupes crowd the market, wouldn’t help Jaguar as it tries to double sales this year, he said.


At the moment, the F-type and XJ each sell roughly 400 copies a month in the U.S. Eberhardt claims he’s happy with those numbers, noting they’re the ends of a “pyramid” sandwiching what Jaguar hopes will be heavy growth from its volume models: the XE, XF, and F-Pace. Additional models will be considered, but nothing will slot below the XE.


Any chump with time and money to spare can option a Ranger Rover to nearly double its approximately 85k MSRP, but the quickest way to get there is by selecting  the Land Rover Holland & Holland Range Rover. Featuring all the luxury accouterments that come hand in hand with the Holland & Holland designation, it also receives performance upgrades courtesy of Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations such as Holland & Holland's signature green paint, and badging on the side vents and tailgate. The interior is trimmed with sustainability sourced polished French walnut veneers that match the wood used to manufacture Holland & Holland firearm stocks.


On the Land Rover side, Eberhardt isn’t at all worried by the Bentley Bentayga or the upcoming Rolls-Royce SUV, even though they’re basically gunning for limited-edition Range Rover models like the SVAutobiography and Holland and Holland Edition to sell for well over $200,000. Eberhardt also is sticking to his statements last year that Land Rover would not introduce a separate nameplate above the Range Rover, saying, “We defined this segment, we own it, and we will defend it.”


Unlike Jaguar, which is struggling to shake off decades of poor reliability, Land Rover has no plans to offer a five-year warranty or five-year scheduled maintenance. For most customers buying Range Rovers service costs are a rather minor concern. Eberhardt said that despite Land Rover’s low reliability rankings, buyers see these big trucks as more dependable than a Jaguar, even though Jaguar has outscored Land Rover in every major quality survey.




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