Jaguar’s new sports car will be called the F-type. The production version of the C-X16 concept is currently well into its development phase, and will wear the F-type badge that’s been touted to join the Jag range for over a decade. Just the final on-road test phase separates these camouflage-clad prototypes from showroom examples.
Seen by many as a spiritual successor to the E-type, it should be offered in both roadster and coupe forms, the former launching first (and previewed by this heavily stickered test car). ‘We expect the first cars go on sale by June 2013, so it makes sense to launch the convertible version first’ says Jaguar brand director Adrian Hallmark. ‘It's also the toughest version to engineer but with prototypes hitting the road this week, we are confident we'll be ready in time’. It won’t have a folding hard-top; this was considered, but the weight and packaging benefits of a canvas roof were too hard to ignore.
A strict two-seater, it’ll come in below the XK and XKR in Jaguar’s range; size-wise, it will sit between the Porsche Boxster S and 911 Cabriolet, and its performance and price-point should echo that – it’s expected to kick off at around £55,000.
The engine range hasn’t yet been confimed, the C-X16 exhibiting a clever hybrid drivetrain. This could feature at a later date says Hallmark, but a more traditional powerplant will feature at launch. Rumours suggest a 3-litre V6, with a naturally aspirated car kicking off the F-type range a high-performance, supercharged R version – with up to 400bhp – tackling the Porsche 911 Carrera S head on. A more hardcore RS version hasn’t been ruled out. Despite Jaguar’s range currently being all auto, don’t rule out a manual F-type: ‘we will offer more than just a traditional auto gearbox in this car but I can't say what yet, this is a very focused car’, Hallmark hints.
Full details of the F-type will be fully revealed later in 2012, most likely at autumn’s Paris motor show. Sales will begin in the middle of 2013, with the car’s production taking place at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant in the UK.