Wednesday, November 10, 2021


If the latest press release from Jaguar Land Rover Australia means what I think is ‘between the lines’, then NO!


This shock comes straight from m. Bolloré (the Frenchman who now runs JLR).

“La Jaguar F va mouirir” (The Jaguar F-type is dead”).

This week’s breathless announcement from Down Under may be world-leading news, because I haven’t seen the latest changes to the F-type range announced anywhere else in Jaguar’s global markets.


Gone are all the Ingenium-powered models, and the Jaguar F-type will be available in two forms – coupé and convertible with just one engine in two guises – the magnificent supercharged 5.0L V8!

There will be virtually no options list, but the F-type will come equipped with a range of add-ons to justify price increases to protect profit margins. There will be only three models.


The Jaguar R-dynamic will come as a coupé and convertible (the R-Dynamic P450) with power output of 331kW and rear wheel drive; whilst the fire-breathing F-Type R coupé will offer 423kW, and all-wheel-drive.


How can I be so sure? I’ve been in the car industry for 40 years, and this decision to dump the Ingenium engines, and simplify the range strongly suggests ‘clearing the decks’ before the Jaguar F-type est mort!


As I said with prices ranging from AUD$160K to AUD$265K, this is a very efficient way to slim down the complexity of Jaguar’s complicated options offerings; protect margins; and watch as production and sales trickle down to zero.

Before being replaced by a Jaguar EV sports car!


Thierry Bolloré’s ‘Re-Imagine’ plans are guaranteed to change Jaguar’s image, offerings and potential more than at anytime in the Leaper’s 99-year history.

I just hope TATA GROUP is very confidant that this latest strategy switch will work to keep life in the brand.

John Crawford

Sunday, November 7, 2021


Among European high performance, great handling sedan cars the Jaguar XE in all its forms remains a benchmark car. Never mind that many other European high performance lux sedans outsell it – that’s just a comment on the entrenched image and status of the German trio, compared with the difficulties Jaguar has always faced when attempting to build credibility with the badge-snob brigade. Especially when it is forced to change course thanks to its many ownership changes.

However, now that m. Bolloré has explained how Jaguar’s conventional passenger cars will expire, to be replaced by all-electric cars of an uncertain design and image, you had better dash of to your Jaguar dealer and place an order for one of the finest cars Jaguar has ever produced. Yes, that darkness at the end of the tunnel is the XE off to its final resting place.


However, just as one door closes, etc. etc. It is the Hyundai-Kia Motor Group which, I believe, has produced the best alternative to Jaguar’s XE – and that’s the 2021 Genesis G70.

This is not only a very smart design, but it has been imbued with excellent ride and handling, and an interior (which may go a bit hard on the bling), with everything you expect to get in a car in this segment – materials, layout, tech, tight fit and finish, comfort and convenience.

Of course the key to the rise of Genesis is really down to two men – Hyundai’s energetic young President, Euisin Chung, and Hyundai’s Chief Creative Officer, Luc Donckerwolke. Chung has invested confidence and cash in Donckerwolke’s vision and creativity. Luc’s experience in Britain with Bentley has provided him with a unique insight into the design and creative vision which has fashioned British grand touring sedans over the past decades.


Donckerwolke understands the touch points for buyers of this class of car, and he and the design team at Hyundai have executed a very exciting and high-energy shape, matched by impressive performance. He has even had the temerity to round out the G70 range with a dashing ‘Shooting Brake’ – as if to rub Jaguar’s nose in the grease on the garage floor.

As a former Jaguar executive for close to 20 years, it makes me sad to write about the death of such a fine car - but that's what change is all about - so we'd all better get used to it.

So, what I’m saying is, if you’re too slow, too timid or too much of a badge snob to order an XE before the last cars come down the production line, you could safely fall back on the Genesis G70 – and again, that is if you can get past the issue of badge snobbery.



Wednesday, November 3, 2021


Powerful, fast, muscular and capacious – do all those features fit in one design? In the case of the Swedish-built Gemera, you bet. To those qualities you can add one more – incredible functionality – which when you break down the component elements, will blow you away as fast as one of the Koenigsegg turbos.

This is not only one impressive automotive creation, but the tiny company which produces it has established itself as a true innovator, and proves that visionary craftsmen like Christian von Koenigsegg and his design chief Sasha Selipanov are truly able to break (no, smash) boundaries in design, technology and performance.

There will only be 300 lucky individuals who will be able to park the Gemera on the driveway, but I am convinced they will smugly be very proud of their decision. Of course, it’s a megacar, with a mega price tag, but what the Gemera celebrates is the pursuit of targets most mainstream car people have never even thought about, much less contemplated bringing these incredible concepts and ideas in this car to market.


First, I will attempt a simple description (good luck with that then). It’s a PHEV, which has a 2.0L twin-turbocharged three-cylinder ICE, plus three electric motors and it’s a 2+2 coupe featuring Dihedral Synchro-Helix doors – meaning no B-pillar. There is also no camshaft! The engine features Koenigsegg’s patented ‘Freevalve’ technology.

The transmission is an in-house single-speed direct drive which transmits 1268kW (1700hp) to the road, providing a 0-100km/h time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 400 km/h.


But, it’s how you get to that stopwatch-challenging performance that categorically reveals both the art and the science in the Gemera.


Let’s start with the ICE. Carefully note the power output and the performance this car delivers. The TFG (Tiny Friendly Giant) camless engine has twin turbochargers, driving the front wheels. There is an electric motor on each of the rear wheels, with another on the crankshaft. Each rear wheel E-motor delivers 500hp, and the front E-motor delivers 400hp. Oh, and the ICE delivers 600hp – for a combined 1700hp!

The Koenisegg TFG engine is, as I said, camless. It uses a series of solenoids to open and close the intake and exhaust valves. Also, the ICE weighs just 70kg! The car itself weighs in at 1850kg. The EV range is just 33km, but as a hybrid, the driving range extends to 620km.


It may be stretching credulity to describe the Gemera as a four-seat, family hypercar – but it is.

The Dihedral doors extend into the roof, and together with their unique opening mechanism means the occupants enter and leave without twisting into awkward positions, moving seats, flipping the front seat forward, or any other physical challenges to allow effortless ingress and egress.


Being the first all-wheel-drive car from Koenigsegg the Gemera has all-wheel-steering and torque vectoring. Consistent with the company’s construction touchstones, it is a carbon fibre monocoque with aluminium sub-structures. And, if you’re wondering about ground clearance, it also features electronically-adjustable ride height.


Koenigsegg’s innovative three-pot, twin turbo hybrid engine could well be the design which prolongs the life of the enthusiast ICE market.

I don’t care if this sounds like a commercial for Koenigsegg, I am really, really impressed with the innovation and delivery of impressive design, technical integrity and performance, which proves that, much like my other favourite car maker (Touring Superleggera of Milan), small, highly skilled ateliers following the energetic pursuit of perfection shows it remains within reach – even today.

John Crawford