Mike Stevens | Feb 9, 2009

If the superb handling of a Lotus appeals to you, but the stripped-out racer levels of comfort do not, then rest assured: Jaguar has your best interests at heart. After collaborating with Lotus Engineering for suspension tuning of the XKR and limited edition XKR-S coupe, the two Brits are working together, this time on the engineering package for Jaguar's front-engined XE roadster.

Although not yet confirmed for production, Lotus is reportedly crunching the numbers on Jaguar’s behalf to see how the figures will stack up for an aluminium structure to sit beneath the XE. Already the steel structure of the XF sedan has been ruled out. Jaguar, you'll recall, is no stranger to aluminium construction with the classic XK and XJ having made extensive use of the weight-saving metal.

If Lotus can make the books balance on the XE project then Jaguar is said to also be considering out-sourcing production to Lotus.

Jaguar previously considered out-sourcing production of the F-type roadster, however the mid-engined project never made it as far as production. Getting Lotus to produce the car is an attractive option as it will help Jaguar to keep a lid on production overheads.

Provided Lotus Engineering can find a way to make the numbers work, Jaguar is expected to launch the new model at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

[Autocar]

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