Jaguar Land Rover to roll out customized cars from F1-inspired tech center

Customers will be able to visit the commissioning suites at the center and work with a Jaguar or Land Rover design team member to customize their vehicle

Jaguar Land Rover yesterday fully opened a new £20 million (US$25.9 million) Technical Centre in Coventry, UK. The facility is the new headquarter of its Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) arm, which was launched in 2014, and is said to have been inspired by a Formula 1 engineering center.

The SVO arm was launched with the aim of producing highly specced "halo vehicles," bespoke commissions, classic car products and branded goods. Since being set up, it has been behind the Jaguar F-TYPE Project 7, the F-TYPE SVR, the Range Rover Sport SVR and the Range Rover SVAutobiography.

John Edwards, the managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, explains that the new center is aimed at helping the firm to build upon its previous launches and introduction of new vehicle personalization programs. The 20,000-sq m (215,300-sq ft) center houses commissioning and presentation suites, a technical suite, a paint facility and a manufacturing facility.

SVO customers will be able to visit the commissioning suites at the center and work with a Jaguar or Land Rover design team member to customize their vehicle. There are two customer-facing suites, in which SVO experts can guide customers through 365 physical colour samples, a range of seatbelt, brake caliper and wheel finish options and a large selection of leather hides, veneers and threads. Customers are able to see interior and exterior colour choices on a physical vehicle, as well as virtually via high-tech visualization tables.

Once a vehicle's design has been finalized, it is moved onto the technical suite. Here, there are advanced workstations that are designed to aid the completion of vehicles by hand.

The next step in the process sees vehicles moved to the paint facility, which, at 12,000 sq m (129,200 sq ft), is the largest zone with the Technical Centre. An "unlimited number" of bespoke paint colour options can be created here, with finishes that include satin, matt, chromaflair, pearlescent, liquid metal and duo tone.

The paint zone features 564 m (1,850 ft) of conveyor track and four "state-of-the-art" robots that are said to achieve 95 percent of paint-spraying efficiency. Jaguar Land Rover also claims that it's one of the world's most environmentally efficient paint shops. Among the features that contribute to this are "dry" recycled cardboard filters help the facility to save around 2.6 million liters (571,900 gal) of water a year, water purifying technology that uses no chemicals, and conveyors that move only when a vehicle is present.

The final stage of the process is the manufacturing facility, which Jaguar Land Rover says is home to some of the most stringent quality control procedures in the world. In this area, extremely bright lights are used for the inspection of vehicles so as to highlight any slight imperfections.

The company says it is creating 250 jobs across its SVO arm this year, which represents an increase of nearly 25 percent. The new roles are in part tied to the launch of the Technical Centre.

Work on the center, which is housed in a former industrial building, began around 18 months ago and it has been operational, in part, for around a year. The final phase of redevelopment was completed three weeks ago.

The video below gives an insight into the tech center.

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