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 1992 Aston Martin DB7
“Time to put the record straight on this one. It’s well-documented that the Aston Martin ‘NPX’, or DB7, project started off as a Jaguar, named project ‘XX’.
“The idea was to take the essence of XJ41 (a much bigger car don’t forget) and place it on an XJS platform. That was Tom Walkinshaw’s idea anyhow. The challenge was making the basic architecture (the cowl, the overhangs and so on) adopt more modern proportions. The car evolved to a point as a Jaguar, but met with resistance from the Jag’ boys. And I could understand that they felt uncomfortable about an outsider changing their design, because change it I did. Much more shape overall.
“However before we got finished, the project was stopped by Jaguar, by which time Tom had a new customer — Aston Martin. Almost immediately the project took on a more vibrant and freer spirit. All surfaces were changed to accommodate, albeit subtly, the Aston aura. It just got better. I still like the car very much and it led to a further Aston project for myself including the original Vanquish, the DB9 and — and this might be news to you — a mid-engined V8! That would eventually turn into the front-engined Vantage.”