The formula for a Jaguar sports car has remained relatively unaltered, especially within the last decade or two. It typically would involve a pert chassis, pretty body, rear wheel drive, and either a six-cylinder or V8 mounted closer to the front wheels, perfect for getting the tail out.
Such is the case with Jag’s more recent evolution of this basic set of ingredients: the F-Type. Though it’s not a true successor to the Aston Martin-rivalling XK, a more worthy long-legged GT did not emerge following the F-Type emergence in 2013. What it did to, though, was give the British marque a true rival to the venerable Porsche 911.
In the five or so years that have gone by, it’s debatable if the success of the F-Type put a damper on Zuffenhausen’s sales numbers. What isn’t so ambiguous, though, is the fact that the Jaguar had been living on borrowed time. The reality was that its rivals were routinely the quicker car, the better built car, the more advanced car, and sometimes the less expensive car.
True that its V6 and V8 engines, with or without a supercharger affixed, are emotional engines, but they are aged products from an era when Jaguar was part-owned by the Ford Motor Company. To truly be taken seriously in this new era of high performance, the company needs a machine to make a statement, a pioneering flagship.
As a report by AutoExpress posits, a new breed of Jaguar is already in the works. One that’s due to replace the F-Type while also sharing little of its looks or technical baggage. It will be mid-engine, the first production car to come from Jag since the legendary XJ220. In fact, there’s a good chance that the F-Type name will be dropped entirely.
The report goes on to say that high-level engineers within Jaguar are using the second-generation Honda NSX as a benchmark, wanting their new model to incorporate advanced construction methods and materials as well as a powerful hybrid powertrain to compete with the likes of McLaren, not just Porsche.
Like the XJ220 from the 1990s (and indeed the NSX), this new model will more likely than not feature a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, one derived from their new modular Ingenium family for its efficiency, output potential, and compactness, with a power figure north of 400kW being quite attainable.
Flexibility is key when considering such a vehicle as Jaguar would not want to relegate the buyer base to merely the ultra rich. Rather, it’s their intention to the car’s underlying platform to be easily altered so that a lighter weight, non-hybrid variant or a fully electric version could be accommodated.
The car pictured at the top, the C-X75, came tantalisingly close to being a production reality, but the hybrid supercar project was shelved in light of financial uncertainty at the time, though you may remember it starring in a chase sequence in the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre. In 2018, though, big money exotica is very profitable, evidenced by Ferrari and Lamborghini seeming to rake in millions by producing a yet more expensive version of each car in their line-up.
Time to pounce.