Jaguar sets up unique high-wire stunt to promote new XF

18 Mar 2015


Jaguar, the Tata Motors-owned luxury brand, is to launch its new XF compact saloon with a unique promo. The UK-based company will showcase the car in the world's first dramatic 'high-wire drive'.

As it released the first 'teaser' pictures of the second generation XF, it announced that the full reveal will take place at great height over water on 24 March, one week ahead of its public debut at the New York Motor Show.

Jaguar has teamed up with expert British stuntman Jim Dowdell – a veteran who has done action stunts in movies including the Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones series - to perform ''a world first high-wire water crossing'' in the all-new aluminium-intensive Jaguar XF, using a pair of parallel wires just over an inch thick.

A Jaguar spokesman said, ''The dramatic drive across two 34mm-diameter wires suspended high above water will highlight the lightweight and agile credentials of the new XF.''

The high-wire feat - a fitting symbol for the sort of high-wire act Britain's Jaguar is performing for real to take on far bigger German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz - is to be streamed globally on at 19:00 GMT on 24 March.

Jaguar's original XF range was first launched in 2007 and is Jaguar's biggest selling and most awarded car in its current product range.

The firm said, ''The next generation XF is completely new from the ground up and will be the second Jaguar model to use the brand's advanced aluminium-intensive architecture.

The all-new XF will set new business segment benchmarks for weight and efficiency, resulting in class leading fuel economy figures of over 70 mpg.''

Jaguar design director Ian Callum said, ''I believe the all-new XF will be the best-looking car in its class.''

He promised a car that is ''elegant, handsome and with proportions that imbue a great sense of integrity. It will be true to the strong tradition of sporting Jaguar saloons while being completely of its time.''

It also promises ''exceptional levels of technology, refinement, luxury and comfort''.

New tech centre
Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover on Tuesday laid the foundations for a new £150-million automotive technology and innovation centre at Warwick University which is to open in 2017 and employ 1,000 people.

The 33,000 sq m facility will become the hub for Jaguar Land Rover's advanced research with cutting-edge workshops, laboratories, virtual engineering suites and advanced engine facilities. It will also ''focus on inspiring the next generation of engineers – from schoolchildren to undergraduates'' to provide a ''pipeline'' of qualified people into industry and develop the skills required ''to keep the UK globally competitive''.

Jaguar Land Rover already employs more than 8,000 engineers and designers in the UK and in 2015/16 the business will invest up to £3.8 billion in product creation.

The Tata Group's chairman emiritus Ratan Tata, chairman Cyrus Mistry and Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Dr Ralf Speth joined Warwick Manufacturing Group chairman Prof Lord Bhattacharyya to unveil the foundation stone for the new National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) at the University of Warwick.

Dr Speth said, ''The National Automotive Innovation Centre will serve as a generator of new skills and new thinking, providing a perfect, collaborative environment in which to learn, research and develop the designs and technologies that will shape the vehicles and personal mobility solutions of the future.

''It will have a significant role inspiring the engineers of tomorrow and will help develop the skills we need the UK to nurture and develop to ensure we remain globally competitive.''

The new centre will also host visits from schoolchildren to inspire them into engineering and science careers and to help address the shortage of skilled staff in supplier companies.

The new centre will complement Jaguar Land Rover's existing product research and development centres in Gaydon and Whitley.

Jaguar Land Rover has invested more than £10 billion in the last five years and currently employs 34,000 people in total. Last year Jaguar land Rover sold 462,678 vehicles – up nine per cent increase on 2013.

Its turnover has almost trebled to £19.4 billion in its financial year ending 31st March 2014, with a pre-tax profit of £2.5 billion.

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