Jaguar performance cars: the story behind the badge

Jaguar R badge 8

How well do you know your Jaguar badges? This one above – what does the colours and shape signify? If, like me, you’re not sure, it’s Jaguar studio director Wayne Burgess to the rescue.

The badge is used to denote Jaguar’s performance car line: R and R-S. So, a red and green circle, with lettering to denote which grade of performance car it is.

Arriving in the early 2000s, he explained to me, it started off on the XJR models, and was once a much darker green (with, unlike today, green preceding red). This was to tie in with the ill-fated Jaguar Racing F1 team.

Jaguar R badge 1

But “this didn’t work well on road cars – it was too dark, so didn’t stand out on a small car badge”. Hence, the gradual evolution: the letter was cut out, the red flash grew…

Jaguar R badge 2

… and, more recently, the green changed from racing green to vivid lime green (and the layout of the colours flipped).

Jaguar R badge 6

The badge used to be rectangular. But another car maker that uses a similar badge (can you guess who?) took umbrage. So Jaguar changed it to a circular badge (and copyrighted this layout for good measure).

Jaguar R badge 3

Which takes us to the shape we have today. Finally established, Jaguar’s using it on all its sports line cars, perhaps hoping it will become as recognisable and as iconic as the BMW M flash (in forum speak, ///M).

Branding guidelines include fitting it to the right hand side of the grill and right hand side of the rear deck: pride of place at each end.

Jaguar S badge

Oh, and if the R roundel seems familiar, you’re right: a variation is used on Jaguar’s F-Type S models, as above. It boasts green before red rather than the red and green of the ‘S’ roundel.

What’s the story here, and what’s the significance of switch in colour layout? Another coffee with Burgess is needed…