Rumours of a new, smaller and sportier addition to the Jaguar line-up are back in the news. Reports out of Europe this week suggest that a production version of the F-Type concept (below) has been given the green light.
The new model, previewed in our XJ-styled rendering above, would likely be aimed at Porsche’s Boxster convertible and the hardtop Cayman. Earlier reports claimed that the new model would be offered in both roadster and coupe form, designed to turn Jaguar into the UK’s own version of the German brand.
Slotting into the Jaguar line-up beneath the XK coupe and convertible, the smaller F-Type (or 'XE' as it has also been called in the press) is believed to form part of a product plan that would see the Tata-owned Jaguar building more than 100,000 cars a year by 2015.
British magazine Autocar has this week reported that Carl-Peter Forster, CEO of Jaguar owner Tata, confirmed the 'green light' status of the XE in an interview with German industry paper Automobilwoche.
Forster reportedly revealed little else on the project, although confirmation of the long-speculated project is no small thing.
According to earlier reports in car magazine, the F-Type/XE is to be built on a new aluminium platform designed to be shared across Jaguar’s range, and is expected to be powered by a 205kW naturally-aspirated V6. A supercharged version producing a Cayman-beating 260kW is also suggested as likely.
In the same interview with Automobilwoche, Forster reportedly confirmed that an Estate (wagon) version of the XF is also in development, along with a long-wheelbase version for the Chinese market.
Our new rendering, above, offers a look at how the XF Estate might appear when it reaches production.
Jaguar Land Rover To Open Facilities In China
If the new roadster does go into production, there is a good chance it will be built in China, with Jaguar Land Rover confirming recently that it will open a Chinese plant in the next two years.
The plant is expected to build around 40,000 vehicles per year, including the Land Rover Defender, Discovery and Freelander models.
JLR owner Tata said that the move is about expanding in emerging markets rather than taking production out of Europe.
“China is one growth market,” Tata CEO Carl-Peter Forster said at a press conference late last week.
“We need to grow everywhere else as well. We need to grow in China, in Europe, South Africa, South America. We have lots of growth markets."
The new production facilities follows the opening of more showrooms in India and China, the latter seeing full-year JLR deliveries double from 8821 units in the 10-month period before March 2009.