Why Jaguar Won't Do "Crude" Big Grilles Like Rivals

Jaguar's Director of Design Julian Thomson has spoken out against rivals' "over-the-top" front ends and has insisted his team won't go down that route
Why Jaguar Won't Do

There’s a prominent theme of aggression going on in the world of car design right now. A lot of this is focused on the front ends of premium vehicles, which are featuring ever-sharper lines and increasingly ridiculous grilles.

To get some sense of why this is happening and if Jaguar will soon be jumping on the bandwagon, we spoke to the company’s new Director of Design Julian Thomson, who took over from Ian Callum last year, at the launch of the 2020 F-Type.

The answer, as you might expect, lies in China. Although the market over there is showing signs of stalling, it’s been a huge area of growth for manufactures in recent years, leading many companies to develop “future design languages with a big consideration towards China,” Thomson said.

In contrast to companies like BMW, Jaguar insists it won't be sticking big grilles on its cars
In contrast to companies like BMW, Jaguar insists it won't be sticking big…

“China’s a first generation of car owners, or second-generation now, and they have been quite brand obsessed, [but] not knowing what brand was what,” he went on, adding, “So a lot of manufacturers have reacted to this by doing very strong faces on their cars, just to get known”.

Thomson doesn’t seem awfully keen on the direction this has taken a lot of brands. “I feel some of our competitors have gone really overboard in trying to overemphasise the brand, the face of the car, and in a fairly crude manner in a lot of cases”.

In a design presentation the night before our interview with Thomson, he referred to rival firms “doing faces only a mother could love”. Jaguar, however, won’t ever “torture the metal” in this way, he pledges.

The 2020 F-Type is at the limit of what Jaguar is willing to do in terms of grille size
The 2020 F-Type is at the limit of what Jaguar is willing to do in terms…

Like its competitors, Jaguar still needs to be distinctive to successfully tap into the Chinese market, but it intends to do so in a different way. “Premium brands like ourselves do need to have design languages that are much more cohesive and recognisable, but at Jaguar we’re not going to be funky, we’re not going to do these big faces…we’ve really got to make sure Jaguar has some real integrity and civility about it”.

And so it goes with the new F-Type. Yes, the front end is perhaps more attention-grabbing than before, and the grille is noticeably bigger. Thomson said it’s as big as Jaguar wants to go for now, “but ask me again in a few years!”



The new F Type doesn’t look bad, just not like an F Type

01/30/2020 - 19:42 |
26 | 4

Too corporate

01/31/2020 - 08:38 |
8 | 4
Myrmeko (#CTSquad)

The new F Type looks so good. Omg.
Maybe the headlights are a bit too small, but still. Looks amazing.

01/30/2020 - 20:43 |
22 | 4

looks more menacing and slightly more muscular.

02/02/2020 - 18:25 |
4 | 0
Evan Smith 1

The new F Type looks like a botched nose job.

01/30/2020 - 22:05 |
8 | 2

BMW really disappointed me this year on the auto salon. They sure did learn how to build some monstrosities…

01/30/2020 - 22:23 |
8 | 0

Yet they say this after enlarging the grille on the botched F Type facelift

01/31/2020 - 08:38 |
4 | 0


01/31/2020 - 19:38 |
0 | 0

everybody hating on the new f-type should wait and see one in person before they release their opinion - I doubted it but after seeing one, I would have one over the ole in a heart beat

01/31/2020 - 08:47 |
6 | 2
Extreme Daniel

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

True, but before i see one in the wild, may i shit in it a bit more?

01/31/2020 - 19:39 |
2 | 0
Extreme Daniel

…but they did.

01/31/2020 - 19:38 |
4 | 0

But the grill is already bigger than the kidneys on the bmw 4 concept…
Could almost be an audi grill

01/31/2020 - 19:58 |
4 | 0

Big Grills sometimes work pretty well, the Audi Grille looks great, the Lexus Spindle Grille looks good on its Sedans and the LC (horrible on their SUVs), the Mustang Shelby GT500 has a big grille and it works. But BMW with those Kidney Grilles on the 4 Series Concept, that just doesnt work because the Kidney Grille really fits being small to medium sized (tho on the X7 and 7 Series the big grilles work because they don’t protrude vertically, they spread out like squares)

02/01/2020 - 08:03 |
4 | 0

Most people dislike the front of the new F-Type but honestly… i love it! sure its a bit squashed but it looks more sleek than the current F-Type

02/04/2020 - 14:30 |
0 | 0



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