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Auto blogTue, 25 Sep 2012 16:30:00 EST
It's hard to think back now, but the same man overseeing the design of the 2013 Ford Fusion also presided over a rather lackluster period in Ford design, highlighted by vehicles like the Five Hundred and Freestyle. With the redesigned Fusion receiving high praise, J Mays tells Automotive News that he feels vindicated from criticisms suggesting he's not a daring enough designer.
When Mays took over as lead of design in 1997, he admits to having quite an ego ("My head would barely fit through the door some days. I've long since gotten over myself") and the workload to match. With the Blue Oval's portfolio full of premium brands like Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo at that point, along with the bread-and-butter Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, Mays certainly had quite the challenge.
It was in the mid-2000s that Mays took over just the premium brands, and took on the new title of Chief Creative Officer. At the time, Mays endured some criticism for looking backwards to retro styling, rather than setting a new standard for American car design - criticism that Mays says he is free from with the all-new Fusion.
Last year, Jaguar told us that "if you get a convertible right, it's easy to do a coupe" in reference to a coupe version of the Jaguar F-Type, and now we might be seeing our first unofficial look at a hardtop version of the convertible. The German publication Auto Motor und Sport has dug up what it is reporting to be patent images filed by Jaguar showing the lines of the new coupe.
If these are actually patent drawings, they have definitely been enhanced with color and shadowing compared to what we usually see from OEM patent filings. We wouldn't be surprised if they are just altered images of Jaguar's C-X16 Concept, but either way, it's going to be a sharp car. On top of the new coupe, the article also says that the F-Type could be getting the same 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is currently used in the Jaguar XF, as well as the Land Rover LR2 and Range Rover Evoque.
Episode #396 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, and Chris Paukert talk about the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 2016 Jaguar XE, and the 2015 Lexus RC. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #396: