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Baby Q Tye Jaguar Taking Its First Steps

By raccars Published

Jaguar's compact, lightweight Q Type saloon is about 18 months away from hitting forecourts, according to the latest reports. The car is currently undergoing testing in Germany, with a view to a public debut by the end of 2014.

After the recent annexing of the Q Type and XQ trademarks, industry rumour at the moment suggests the designation 'Q Type' for the car, which will be gunning for the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. The Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull is already gearing up for the production of what is expected to be a key model for the brand and a probable new compact SUV companion car – logically this would be the XQ. The auto press has been buzzing about the possibility of the latter for the last few months.

The baby Jaguar will be all aluminium and ride upon the company's new PLR (Premium Lightweight Architecture) platform. Early insights into its design suggest a sporting 'wheel at each corner' stance with very little overhang front or back, a low slung bonnet and engine placement way back from the front wheels. Such a layout lends weight to the claim that this Jag will be all about the handling, with an ideal weight distribution. Certainly, JLR can't afford any half measures if the Q Type is to be considered a worthy rival to the stalwart BMW 3 Series, even if that car is beginning to show its age. The engine used for testing so far has been JLR's own new four cylinder unit, the i54 – named for the plant building it in petrol and diesel variants.

The first generation Q Type is unlikely to be a money spinner for JLR, but the company is playing the long game here, banking on the continuation of a trend which has seen cost conscious consumers shun large executive cars, in favour of their more compact and economical siblings – a market segment JLR can no longer afford to ignore.

However, Jaguar seems fairly set on building upon the racy image conveyed by the F Type and while this should help it appeal to a younger demographic, there's also the risk of turning off its more traditional over 40s buyers. Tata-owned JLR is in the middle of an ambitious growth plan that has seen massive investment in research and development, along with new engineering plants and the new model range.

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