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Auto blogSat, 24 Nov 2012 14:02:00 EST
While the European auto market for Jaguar and Land Rover is waning, Chinese car buyers can't get enough of the British marques. To meet that demand, Tata Motors, parent company of Jag and Land Rover, is partnering with Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co.
The two announced plans to invest $1.75 billion to build a new plant and create a new, China-focused brand. 2014 is the target for completion of the factory. Jaguars and Land Rovers built at the facility will be the first ever produced outside the UK according to the Associated Press. The JV will be called Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd.
The announcement comes less than a month after JLR announced it would open a design studio in China. It's not clear from the reports whether the two announcements are part of the same JV or two separate plans.
With its well-deserved reputation for high design, it is not particularly surprising to see Jaguar reaching outside of the automotive realm for future inspiration. To that end, the British automaker recently enlisted the talents of students at the Royal College of Art to create a piece of forward-looking, automotive-inspired sculpture.
The result of this project can be seen above; a sculpture created by RCA students Claire Miller and Ewan Gallimore, and unveiled to a small audience to kick off London's Clerkenwell Design Week. The spare and rather elegant form created by the talented pair absolutely harkens back to coupes from Jaguar's past as well as its present (read: F-Type) without aping any one model particularly.
In a press release, the artists had this to say about the work: "Our form relates to the Jaguar brand through its sculptural volumes, bespoke materials and visual lightness. These elements helped us to create a sculpture that aimed to display a seamless transition between interior and exterior space." Get a better look at the Jaguar artwork in the gallery above, or read through the press release, which follows.
With around a month away from its world debut on September 8, Jaguar continues to issue a constant drip of updates about its upcoming XE compact luxury sedan that's aiming to take on the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Where the company's last bit of info focused on the car's suspension setup, this time Jag's putting the spotlight on the new model's modular platform and making some big promises about it, too. How big? Try over 75 miles per gallon big.
That's the headline figure that Jaguar is claiming for its new sedan, but it's keeping mum on just what powertrain will realize that figure. Furthermore, that result is on the European test cycle, which is more lenient than America's EPA testing regime. In any case, when the XE hits the road, Jag says it will be the most efficient vehicle from the company, ever.
That's thanks in no small part to the aluminum-intensive monocoque chassis underpinning the sedan. It's constructed from a new grade of the lightweight metal called RC 5754 that uses a high portion of recycled material. "The Jaguar XE body uses over 75-percent aluminum content, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This gives us a body structure with unrivaled low weight: it's light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness," said Dr. Mark White, Jaguar Chief Technical Specialist; Body Complete.