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If you look across the back of any current Jag, you'll see a chrome strip on the rear end with J-A-G-U-A-R spelled out across it. According to the marque's design honcho, Ian Callum, that bit of branding is going away. To see where things are heading instead, you need only look at the posterior of the newly-unveiled XF.
While the XF sports the aforementioned chrome strip, a new "leaper" badge is positioned above it. In the next 2 to 3 years, that new badge will supplant the more traditional text-based brand verbiage. In fact, the reason the name was retained on the XF at all is because Callum and company believe that the public won't know what the car is at first sight, and leaving the prominent "Jaguar" badging in back will solve that problem. At the same time, people will be exposed to the new rear-end leaper. A couple of years down the road, the "Jaguar" text will be redundant and expendable since the leaper badge will presumably be familiar to everyone. Of course, whether Jaguar exists as a strong brand by then depends heavily on the success of the XF, new tush leaper notwithstanding.
Headline News: Jaguar to drop name tag
The word 'Jaguar' will start to be ditched from the back of production cars within two or three years, the firm's design boss has confirmed.
Speaking in late June as he showed off the XF at a secret media briefing in London, Ian Callum confirmed the famous name is going. It's still on the boot lip of the XF – to be unveiled at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show – but with it is a flattened version of Jaguar's iconic big cat 'leaper'.
"Eventually we will take the name off and just leave the leaper," said Callum. "When people see the XF they won't know what it is, so they will look for a name badge. That's why we've left it on, but put the leaper there as well, The name will go probably on production cars within two or three years." Callum's comments have been under an embargo until today.
As well as the rear of car – due to replace the S-Type early next year – Callum spent time explaining the front end. "We went through 30-odd models and part of that was to look for a new face. We went through one new look with our show cars, such as the RD6, and because of that we were happy to let it go."
Callum said the objective on the XF's grille was to create something that Sir William Lyons could have penned, moving on from the XJ6 in 1968. "That car was the first one to have the front grille as an air intake and we wanted to evolve that," said the designer. Callum explained how on some of the early XF sketches he had started off with four headlamp roundels – as on the current S-Type – but felt it wasn't taking the design forward. After various revisions the same feature is still there, but inside a more modern shaped light cluster.
And Callum confirmed the nose of the XF wasn't a one-off. "It's styling that you'll see on Jaguars more and more," he added.