Jaguar’s F-Type will be its sportiest model for 40 years

Jaguar unveiled the car billed as the 21st century successor to the E-Type at this week’s Detroit Motor Show.

The ability to put the F-Type into production was a key part of the design team’s brief, and industry insiders believe Jaguar is almost certain to give it the go-ahead.

With a likely price of £35,000, it would compete with the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes SLK. It would take up to three years to put it into production.

`The F-Type shows Jaguar’s intent to return to the true sports car market in which we were so successful in the 1950s and 60s,’ said Jonathan Browning, Jaguar managing director.

At first sight similar to the XK180 concept shown at the Paris Motor Show in 1998, the F-type has big differences. It is more than 25mm shorter and 100mm narrower than the XK180. More importantly, unlike the XK180, the F-Type will not be constrained by being designed around existing components.

The F-Type has advanced aerodynamics, including a front aerofoil which moves automatically with increasing speed to increase downforce.

A key engineering aim was to achieve equal front to back weight distribution, dictating the long bonnet and cockpit position relative to the wheelbase.

Power is likely to be supplied by Jaguar’s AJ-V6 engine used in the S-Type saloon. Automatic or manual transmission would drive the rear wheels, and four-wheel drive is a possibility.