Following close behind the opening of JLR’s mammoth Gaydon engineering centre, the company has unveiled an all-new, Jaguar-specific design studio that brings the marque’s entire 280-strong design staff together for the first time in 84 years.
Design director Julian Thomson, who recently succeeded long-time incumbent Ian Callum, proudly claims the new studio is the most advanced automotive design centre in the world. It is built around a central “heart space” that aims to create a seamless work-flow between design and engineering teams.
Surrounding this are separate working spaces for Interior, Exterior and Colour and Materials teams, plus other support functions. The Jaguar design group even includes a 46-strong team of specialist sculptors.
The main design studios are named Studio 3 and Studio 4, to recall the racing numbers of the Le Mans winning D-types in 1957 and 1956 respectively, and the new design centre’s meetings rooms carry the names of important people in Jaguar history like former design director Geoff Lawson, actor Steve McQueen and Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons.
The new studio’s industry-leading equipment includes custom-made clay modelling machine that allow up to 20 models to be worked on at once. There are several virtual reality systems, and a central feature is an 11-metre 4K digital display known as “The Electric”.
Jaguar’s creative staff nowadays includes designers from well over a dozen countries across the globe, with specialisms in fashion, watch-making, sports equipment design and gaming. Julian Thomson says the variety of skills is already vital in delivering Jaguar’s special interpretation of Britishness — and will only become more so in future.