The complete reinvention of Jaguar is perhaps the toughest assignment of Gerry McGovern’s career.
McGovern, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief creative officer, will oversee the team charged with one of the biggest jobs in the industry: developing a completely new design language for a luxury brand. And Jaguar is not just any luxury brand.
It’s a marque whose key appeal has always been about melding extraordinarily handsome design with advanced technology in an attainable package. Jaguar’s sexy sports cars and sensuous sedans from the late 1940s to the mid-’80s were some of the industry’s most admired vehicles and remain some of the hottest classics today. Style never goes out of style.
Jaguar as we know it will cease to exist in four years. The brand’s entire lineup will be replaced in 2025 with vehicles built on a Jaguar-only, electric vehicle-only platform. Liberated from the constraints of having to design around a traditional combustion-engine powertrain and all the baggage that goes with it, McGovern’s crew will have unprecedented levels of freedom as they reimagine Jaguar’s proportions, stance and the other elements of the brand’s design language.
While we don’t yet know the body styles of the new Jaguars, we do know they are going to be far more opulent and expensive than current Jaguars. The new lineup will be moving upmarket to compete with some models from Bentley and Aston Martin, two sources told Automotive News.
McGovern has proved his team can design a vehicle every bit as stylish and luxurious as a Bentley or even a Rolls-Royce. But the world never got the chance to buy it. The Range Rover SV Coupe, which had an announced base price of $295,000, was — to my eyes — much better looking than both the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It was axed during JLR’s 2019 financial crisis, but it would have shown well against Rolls-Royce.
The pressure on McGovern’s team to create something equally as exquisite for Jaguar is immense.
For much of his career, McGovern has been handed one famous vehicle after another to redesign, or he’s been given the task of creating vehicles for new segments. And he’s aced the test every time.
The new Jaguars may be unlike anything we’ve ever seen from the brand. Some critics are already writing Jaguar off. But I’m not betting against McGovern.