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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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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