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Jaguar XE Roadster: Jaguar’s new small sports car at Frankfurt

Tue, 02 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Jaguar XE Mule - the real deal will be at Frankfurt

We’ve known for a long time that the idea of a small sports car from Jaguar was not fantasy but fact. We know because Jaguar gave us a breakdown of their future plans last year, and they included the Jaguar XE. Or whatever Jaguar choose to call their new sports car.

When we managed to spy the first Jaguar XE out on the road in June – well, a shortened XK mule (above) – we thought Jaguar were on course to reveal their new baby roadster at Geneva 2012. But it seems they’re much closer to a concept car than we thought and are planning on Frankfurt next month to debut the XE.

The Jaguar XE is going to be very Jaguar, with a long snout and stubby tail. That much we can deduce from the mule photo. It will be based on an aluminium platform destined to be used for the next generation XK in a couple of years, but with the best part of a couple of feet chopped off the length, mainly from where you’d find the back seats in the XK.

In terms of design, although we may see echoes of the iconic Jaguar E-Type if we look hard, Jaguar has learned their lesson the hard way about producing cars that are a pastiche of past glories. So don’t expect an E-Type reincarnated, but rather a contemporary design with more than a passing nod to the C-X75 in style.

Engines for the XE are guesswork at the moment, although we’ve long expected Jaguar to take the AJ-V8 engine and lop two cylinders off to create a new V6. That would give the XE (or F-Type or C-Type – but definitely not E-Type) the choice of naturally aspirated or supercharged lumps of varying outputs.

We also think that a diesel is on the cards. A Jaguar XE weighing about the same as a Porsche Boxster could be very lively with Jaguar’s V6 diesel churning out around 300bhp and a wall of torque. And at the other end, we would hope that there’s room under the bonnet for the (compact) AJ-V8 with a supercharger to fit.

We’ll know more soon enough, but from what we do know it seems certain the Jaguar XE will steal the limelight from the Germans in their own back yard at Frankfurt.

There’s a shame.

By Cars UK