Some of the most gorgeous cars on the planet were created here.
Along with its motorsport history and fast road cars, Jaguar has always been known for its sexy and groundbreaking designs, such as the I-Pace and F-Type. Needless to say, the UK automaker, which has fallen on some hard financial times lately, has never been too keen to reveal its design secrets. Until now, that is. Jaguar has just announced that it has not only opened a new and larger design studio in Gaydon, England next to that of its sister brand Land Rover, but also some inner workings details and photos about its award-winning design process. There are six stages to a new Jaguar's design with both exterior and interior teams collaborating from start to finish.
These stages are as follows in this order: Sketching, Clay Sculpting, Digitalization, Color and Materials, Design Technical, and Model Manufacture. The first two stages actually begin about four years the vehicle's reveal. What's interesting is that each full-size clay model is not 100 percent clay, but rather comprises of an aluminum chassis and foam core. There's also 90 mm of pure clay body.
The only element that is actually real, meaning production-ready, are the wheels. Each clay model is hand-crafted and are even taken outside the studio so they can be examined in natural light. The entire process takes months as they are many revisions and adjustments required. All throughout, the clay models are scanned with data re-inputted to computer software. Then the digitalization process gets underway. The clay designs and sketches are converted into 3D models. Engineering and packaging data is also integrated as it's released by the engineering teams. Real-world animated concepts, based on the 3D designs, are created with the help of experts from television, film, and gaming.
As the VR designs evolve, the interior continues to take shape as those designers experiment with details such as headlinings, seat movements, active aerodynamics, and even the lighting and infotainment screen start-up sequence. Colors and materials are next with team members comprised of experts in not just automotive but also fashion, jewelry, and product design. They have to determine "what's next," materials and colors wise.
Design Technical is charged with turning the designers' creations into a reality. This team is made up of engineers who work directly with the designers and are tasked with making sure the designs are feasible. The transition from sketchpad to production needs to be as smooth as possible.
Lastly comes Model Manufacture. Clay modeling is done and full-size models are created for both exterior and interior. This stage happens in the first six to 12 months after initial concept sketches but there's a lot to still be worked out until the final production design is completed. For example, milled metal components, functioning lamps, and other key details are developed and tested. A full inside/outside drivable model, at low speeds only, built on a custom chassis is then made, complete with a fully trimmed interior with functioning displays.
Even once the design process for any model is officially completed, there's still tons more work to be done before launch, such as lining up suppliers, re-tooling factories, and more.