Jaguar is axing its S-Type model and replacing it with a new sports saloon called the XF. The new model will appear next autumn and will go on sale in spring 2008.
The S-Type, which was launched as a direct competitor to the BMW 5-Series in 1999, has been widely criticised for being overly conservative, and the model will be discontinued from the end of next year.
The details of the XF, which is likely to be launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show next year, have yet to be revealed but it will be aimed at the upper end of the premium mid-size market
The XF is expected to be a “dramatically” designed four-door car with a coupé-like profile and a ground-hugging nose that will move Jaguar away from the S-Type’s 60s-inspired look.
It will be the first saloon model from the company’s design chief Ian Callum, who was behind the recent XK and previously the Aston Martin DB7.
A Jaguar spokesman says: “The S-Type has come to the end of its natural life and we’ve got to move the brand forward. The XK has had a sensational start and we want to build on that.”
The new “design language” is likely to be applied to the marque’s flagship XJ model in 2009 or 2010.
The future of Jaguar’s bottom-end and much-criticised X-Type model is also in doubt after sources claimed it would be discontinued in the US next year (MW January 12).
The company gave the clearest indication yet that it would be scrapped earlier this year when it admitted “a smaller, more focused Jaguar is where we are heading” (MW August 10).
The S-Type sold 50,000 models globally at its peak in 2000, but last year its sales fell to 25,000, according to Jaguar.