Jaguar's heritage is built on sports cars powered by a big, front-mounted engine covered by a long hood. The F-Type perfectly fits into this mold, but the company is ready and willing to set tradition aside in order to inject more performance into its next two-door model.
Ian Callum, Jaguar's former design director, told Autocar that he had worked with Julian Thomson, his successor, to outline what the next F might look like, and the Chevrolet Corvette's recent transformation seemingly inspired them. His proposal calls for moving the engine from directly in front of the firewall to right behind the cabin. Making the F-Type mid-engined would shift its proportions in a wider, lower, and more aggressive direction. Sound familiar? It will if you've kept up with Jaguar news over the past few years. "We could get quite close [to the C-X75]," Callum said.
The jet turbine-powered, James Bond-fighting C-X75 concept released in 2010 was on track for production, but it was canceled at the last minute. Callum's comments confirm there is still a small but vocal group of engineers in Jaguar's research and development department who want to see a mid-engined coupe join the company's portfolio. Whether such a model will appear is up in the air.
Callum retired to form his own design firm a few weeks ago, so the F-Type's fate is no longer in his hands. He added that the option of making the second-generation model another front-engined, rear-wheel drive two-door is still on the table. The current F will soldier on for another three years after receiving significant updates for the 2021 model year, so Jaguar will need to decide whether to stay the course or shift to a mid-engined configuration relatively soon. Either way, enthusiasts will be pleased to hear the F-Type will return.