Gallery: the long road to the Jaguar F-Type
Ian Callum, director of design, talks exclusively on the cars that led Jaguar to today’s all-conquering roadster
Posted: 02 May 2013
Ian Callum on… the 2000 F-Type concept
“This car was well underway when I arrived at Jaguar. Although I unveiled the car at the Detroit show, I take no credit for it. The work was almost completed by Geoff Lawson before his death, and by Keith Helfet and Adam Hatton.
“This was an exciting and promising proposal yet again to establish a Jag two-seater — the name clearly signaled its intention. But although it caught the imagination of many, including Ford boss Jacques Nasser and design boss J Mays, who both loved the car, the design was fundamentally flawed. It worried me at the unveiling, because I knew that by the time it had gone through all its legal and feasibility requirements it could look quite ordinary.
“We continued with the design to make it feasible, but the required windscreen height and legal bonnet height took so much away from the exciting proportions. At this point I instigated the idea of a mid engine car, the X600, which developed to a significant level of design and engineering before it was dropped so the company could pay for some new diesel engines. From a business point of view, the right thing to do, but it broke my heart. This X600 was a beautiful little car. Very similar to a Boxster in size and layout with a mid engine and very sophisticated rear suspension. Nobody outside of Jaguar has ever seen it. Sorry!
“Although I was working on a mid-engined Aston at the same time that has also never been seen in public (it would go on to become the front-engined Vantage) there was absolutely no connection between the two. Different construction and size: the X600 a transverse V6, the Aston a north/south V8. Two gorgeous cars that never saw the light of day. Shame.”