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Brand New Jaguar F-TYPE

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Tony O'Kane | May 14, 2008

The last time we reported on the Jaguar F-Type, not much was known other than Tata's willingness to eventually build it. Now Road & Track magazine have reignited speculation on the entry-level (for Jaguar, anyway) coupe, saying that it could be based on a modified version of the XF's chassis and employ a twin-turbocharged Ford V6.

R&T believe the easiest and cheapest way of getting the F-Type project off the ground is to use a shortened and narrowed XF floorpan (otherwise known as the Ford DEW98) to create the base for the two-door coupe, while using the same aluminium suspension links from the XK to give the F-Type some sporting DNA. In order to avoid cannibalising XK sales a V8 is not likely to make it onto the F-Type's option list, however the beauty of using the XF platform is that the 179kW 3-litre V6 from Jag's newest sedan should bolt straight up, along with its 6-speed paddle-shifted automatic gearbox.

According to R&T, the low-ish power output of the Ford-derived V6 could possibly be raised by the use of forced-induction, however we're not sure whether we buy that. The base model XK's 3.5-litre V8 has only 13kW more than the 3-litre V6, which doesn't leave much to separate the two in terms of showroom bragging rights and already gives little ammunition for salesmen to "up-sell" prospective buyers to the more opulent XK. Our opinion is that the F-Type, if and when it arrives, will be powered by a naturally-aspirated V6, although we wouldn't rule out a force-fed Type R further down the track.

In terms of styling, not much is known beyond the number of doors it'll have and the fact that it will most likely be offered in both coupe and cabriolet form. R&T have produced their own rendering of what the F-Type could look like (above), which we think is definitely a step in the right direction. However, remember that it's still early days, and as yet there's been no concrete commitment by Tata Motors to produce the F-Type, so it could be a while before we see anything conclusive.

[Source: Road & Track]

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