Mike Stevens | Mar 9, 2012

Jaguar's push to get a new sports car to market could soon be rewarded, with reports this week suggesting that a decision on last year's C-X16 concept is near.

Jag fans have had their hopes dashed for getting on fifteen years, starting with the unfulfilled promise of the 1998 XK180 concept and the 2000 F-Type.

The XK180 morphed into the large XK grand tourer, while the F-Type went nowhere.

First shown at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the C-X16 would slot in beneath the XK, enabling Jaguar to fill the lower end of their catalogue, creating a new and more affordable option for would-be buyers.

This strategy isn't new: as cars grow larger, they either become more expensive or their margins shrink.

In the prestige market, Mercedes met this need by introducing the A-Class. BMW followed with the 1 Series (and, arguably, the Mini) and Audi slotted the A1 in beneath the A3.

The C-X16 will fill the void for Jaguar, and as global brand director Adrian Hallmark recently said in an interview this week, "Jaguar without a sports car is like Porsche without a 911."

Coupe and convertible body styles to land in 2014 or 2015 followed by a rumoured R version to take on the Porsche 911 Turbo.

Before the C-X16 arrives however, Jaguar is expected to introduce a new medium sedan.

Today, the Jaguar range starts with the XF, a large luxury sedan. Its success means more buyers want a Jaguar, but for now there is nothing in the range that meets the needs of those looking at the 3 Series and C-Class.

Jaguar's last foray into the small car segment was the X-Type, a model that never proved to be a sales success.

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