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There have been rumors about plans to replace the Jaguar XK since before the gentleman's coupe ended production in 2014. Depending on which rumor you read, a reborn XK could remain compact and offer a 3.0-liter turbodiesel, grow a bit and move upmarket to challenge the Mercedes S-Class Coupe, or grow even more and challenge the Bentley Continental GT as "an elegant four-seater coupe." About the only three consistent details have been that the new XK would ride on a reworked F-Type platform, that the XK would become Jaguar's new flagship, and brand design director Ian Callum providing all the quotes about a potential resurrection.

Now Hanno Kirner, the head of product strategy at Jaguar Land Rover, has added quotes that could portend the return of the big two-door cat. Kirner told Autocar that Jaguar "will continue to invest in sports cars," and that "I use the plural quite deliberately." That is, the F-Type won't be left to carry the sports car mantle by itself. Questions remain about the definition of the term "sports car," and whether that really means a return of the XK. Kirner suggested it's possible that a future offering could be "a body variant" of the F-Type.

Callum's been fighting for the XK's return ever since Jaguar made the decision to kill it. The designer said the two-seat F-Type wasn't intended to kill the bigger 2+2, and at one point his team had already finished design work on the third-generation XK. However, the F-Type sold so well that the company marketers decided the automaker didn't need both cars.

A number of things needs to happen before any XK gets the green light, though. The next-gen F-Type is in the works and could come as soon as next year, and Jaguar will want to make sure the two-seater continues its run of steady sales. The XK spirit lives on in the current F-Type, since the F-Type sits on a reworked version of the XK's aluminum architecture, and the second-generation F-Type will evolve that aluminum platform again. It's said that the platform could morph back into a 2+2 without undue hassle, but any new XK wouldn't likely arrive before 2021 even if approved. Callum remains on the case, saying in October 2017, "I want a two-seater [the F-Type] and a 2+2. We're working on something now."

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