Both companies are paying close attention to the lessons learned as they separately take a crack at the 3 Series sector. Ford with the super-luxury 'Top Ghia' Vignale trim on the Mondeo and others. And Jaguar with a new saloon in 2015 sitting on a flexible rear-drive aluminium architecture previewed by the C-X17 crossover at Frankfurt this year.
"The proportions were plainly wrong," he tells PistonHeads.
How so? "It was a front-wheel drive platform with a long front overhang and the cabin was in the wrong position," he says. "It didn't look mature or powerful or anything. It was just a car." Ouch.
Of course it also had the unhappily retro-styled front end with the quad headlamps. "There was a time when Jaguar was tremendously popular with very beautiful, classic cars, but it was plainly overplayed. It hung onto that too long," says Thomson.
"We wanted a sense of poise. The way the car sits on the wheels needs to be very authoritative [demonstrating] latent power. Big wheels right to the ends of the car, low bonnet, short overhangs, very low cabins. These are the sort of things we asked for," he tells us. And he says he got them too.
Ford meanwhile says it's much happier sprucing up the next version of the Mondeo for the top of the line Vignale trim than it was adapting the Mondeo to suit the demands of a more premium brand.
"Jaguar is the definition of a classical British car. I love it. But If you start to mix this up with a mass production brand you run the risk of losing such a brand," Ford of Europe head of quality, Gunnar Herrmann, tells us. "This is where people were getting concerned. They say, hey, this is a fake Jaguar, because every piece I touch is Ford."
Neither are saying outright the X-Type was a bad car overall (and it's temptingly close to Shed status now) but that it failed on two crucial areas: design and perception of what a Jaguar should be. The average PHer might not rank the perception part that high, but the fact remains X-Type sales stunk and both companies want to avoid that fate again.