REPORTS OF a new dedicated roadster from Jaguar, to be named the XE, first surfaced back in early January, and the story has done nothing but build momentum since then.
The XE was initially expected to debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, but according to Motor Trend, that date is now looking less likely, thanks to the impact of the global financial crisis on Jaguar's resources.
However, it's not all bad news, as the XE is now believed to include a new plug-in hybrid option, similar to that featured in the Chevrolet Volt.
The heads at Motor Trend say the hybrid powertrain will feature a fuel-efficient three-cylinder petrol engine, paired with an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries - a more advanced battery type than the nickel-cadmium type used in many current hybrids, including the all-new Toyota Prius.
This news follows an April report that Jaguar is working on an electric version of the upcoming 2010 Jaguar XJ four-door saloon, and talk that the Tata-owned British manufacturer may benefit from a sizeable loan from the UK government.
The regular, traditionally-powered XE is expected to be powered by Jaguar's new 5.0 litre V8 engine, developing 287kW, while a 380kW supercharged version is expected to appear in the range-topping model.