October 12, 2015
British automaker Jaguar is partnering with Wired magazine to reach a new market segment with its latest innovations.
The luxury carmaker will unveil the XF C-X75 supercar, featured in the upcoming James Bond film “Spectre,” while the Land Rover brand will unveil its new “Mind Sense,” “Air Bubble,” “Predictive Infotainment” and “Cargo Sense” technologies. By coupling a hyped vehicle that has wide interest among consumers with technological advances, Jaguar will be able to reach a larger audience when it details its innovations.
"Jaguar is reinforcing technology as a distinction from competition. Marrying NASA, Wired and Jaguar seems a perfect progression," said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami, FL. "Events exist to create buzz; sexing-up sells."
"Fascinating prospects is a pillar of selling luxury. Any opportunity to leverage NASA technology such as ‘Mind Sense’ is sure to fascinate and create desire."
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The event takes place on Thursday Oct. 15 and Friday Oct. 16. Jaguar will partake in a half-hour session each day; “Humanity in the digital age” on Thursday and “Car design and engineering” on Friday, both of which will be recorded and made available online.
Among the XFs selling points are InControl Touch Pro, the latest in the company’s multimedia interface, which allows drivers to monitor weather, navigate, control temperature and lighting and maintain communications.
The latest advances include door-to-door navigation, Meridian surround sound and connectivity with both Apple and Android operating systems. The XF will also be able to brake on its own in emergency situations to avoid an accident, park “semi-automatically” and even stay in a lane on curved roads while on cruise control, all in addition to advances enabling a smoother, safer ride on difficult terrain.
Jaguar XF interior
The Mind Sense technology, which has been used previously by NASA and is currently being tested, monitors the driver’s attention and focus and will jolt the steering wheel or pedals to grip them if it detects their concentration slipping. Fittingly, Jaguar is also working on Predictive Infotainment that will use cameras to determine what the driver wants to do based on the direction their finger is moving and previous actions. Both initiatives will limit distractions and thereby improve safety.
On the efficiency side, Jaguar is looking to advancements in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC). Rather than heating or cooling a continuous stream of air that enters the car, one alternative being investigated is heating or cooling an “Air Bubble” to a set temperature once, and then using energy to retain the same temperature within the vehicle. This temperature control would be managed with new HVAC technologies, such as infra-red reflective glass that would reflect the sun’s rays, keeping the car cooler (see story).
Jaguar C-X75 James Bond supercar
Sharing these advances at an event focused on technology rather than at an auto show, where competitors may be showcasing similar or similarly impressive advances could give Jaguar an edge. Those more interested in technology than luxury automobiles could be especially impressed by the innovations and set their eyes on the XF without knowledge of its competition.
Similarly, those interested in the C-X75 because of its ties to James Bond would be equally impressed by the automaker's other advances. Such innovations in safety and efficiency through technology help it maintain status as an industry leader.
Jaguar has previously sought to leverage the popularity of James Bond to boost its brand. As of last month, the automaker has been generating publicity with a vehicle placement in Spectre.
The brand has launched a microsite that includes a video of the C-X75, the model driven by the villain during a climactic car chase, along with commentary by the film’s cast and crew. The never-ending popularity of the debonair spy makes Bond films a popular choice for brands aiming to gain visibility and attract a specific demographic (see story).
Likewise, the company has been pushing the innovations of its new vehicles in recent campaigns.
Earlier this week, it met expectations as a leader in identifying new market segments with its latest vehicle.
The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is the first luxury compact SUV convertible and maintains the all-terrain capabilities the brand is known for. The vehicle is another testament to how Land Rover has found new market niches to separate it from other luxury automakers, which are increasingly encroaching on the SUV market (see story).
"Automotive is one of the competitive categories in luxury," Mr. Ramey said. "Yet, the gestation period for a new model is one of the slowest. Leading edge technology bridges the gap.
"Comfort is a given; unless you can demonstrate to a prospect that your product is more comfortable than their current car. ‘Air Bubble’ illustrates Jag is creating it."
Forrest Cardamenis, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York