'The car I have felt most passionate about to date': Designer Ian Callum On Jaguar's New Sportscar

Speaking in an interview with Lookers Jaguar, the award-winning designer of the 2013 F-Type Ian Callum has described the two-seater as a return to the manufacturer's racing past.

Growing up in Dumfries, Ian Callum's ultimate ambition was to work for Jaguar – indeed, he sent his first design to the company in 1968 at the age of 14. It would be 31 more years before the one-time ambitious teenager finally arrived as Design Director at the prestigious carmaker after an illustrious career with Ford and TWR Design. Since taking on the role, however, Callum has certainly made up for lost time, masterminding a complete renaissance in Jaguar's design philosophy.

He views the new F-Type sportscar, scheduled for launch in mid-2013, as the product of his belief that 'Jaguars should be perceived as cool cars and cool cars attract interesting, edgy people'. He also names the new vehicle as 'the car I feel most passionate about to date'. From a designer who played a major role in the creation of such classic cars as the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Aston Martin DB7 and numerous others, this comment is high praise indeed.

Despite its highly contemporary appearance, the F-Type represents the manufacturer's renewed commitment to producing a pure sportscar – none of which, notes Callum, had been produced since the iconic E-Type of the 1960s.

'We wanted to go back to the basic values of what Jaguar stood for', he explains. 'We're a sportscar company, but ironically we didn't have a real sportscar in the family…the XK is capable but that is more of a GT.'

The new model bears clear signs of the E-Type's influence with its elongated bonnet, narrow waist and vertical headlights. It is nevertheless a thoroughly modern vehicle, with an unmatched touchscreen infotainment system, an eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission, and impressive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures. It is also equipped with a choice of two 3.0 litre V6 engines and a top-of-the-range 5.0 litre V8 unit – the latter of which can thrust the car from a standing start to 62mph in 4.2 seconds.

The combination of timeless style and advanced technology has already attracted a huge amount of attention from observers and consumers alike. It has, moreover, added to Callum's already considerable reputation in the world of automotive design and doubtless played a part in his being awarded the Top Gear Man of the Year Award for 2012.

Whilst honoured by the award, the designer does not forget to recognise the contribution made by the team working under him. 'It's all part of a bigger picture really, as there is a whole group of people involved', he remarks. 'I hold the mantle for the team'.

To read the Ian Callum interview in full, visit the News section of the Lookers Jaguar website at http://www.lookers.co.uk/jaguar/news/interview-with-ian-callum . For further details about the new F-Type, visit http://www.lookers.co.uk/jaguar/new-cars/new-jaguar-f-type

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