With the all the news coming out of Jaguar, it's obvious its Indian parents are intent on making the leaping cat a credible competitor to the world's luxury automakers. To wit: not only has Jag green-lit the XE – a next-generation XK-based competitor to the Porsche Boxster – it ready to take the fight to the BMW 3 Series in the form of a reborn X-Type.
2011 Jaguar XJ – Click above for high-res image gallery
As Tata Motors continues to shovel money into the expansion of the Jaguar and Land Rover marques, expect to see more and more new products from the two brands over the next few years. We've already seen the new Evoque, Land Rover's small crossover, and new reports state that Jaguar's new small sports car will be revealed in concept form at next year's Geneva Motor Show.
More exciting than that is reported talk about expanding the Jaguar lineup with more choices and even a smaller, baby Jag. Autocar quotes Kant as saying, "It has to happen if you want to keep the brand alive. We need an entry-level car." Tata and Jaguar could possibly work with another automaker on an entry-level rear-wheel-drive chassis so the storied British automaker could produce a competitor for the BMW 3 Series. After the new XJ is officially launched, the next step will reportedly be an X
To put it mildly, sales of the Jaguar X-Type have never quite lived up to worldwide expectations, and that's especially true in the American market where the car did way more damage to the automaker's reputation that its middling sales numbers were ever worth. Jaguar is hoping that its upcoming XJ restores some of the leaping cat's lost luster, and if that happens, exciting prospects may very well open up for the classic British automaker.
Ratan Tata, Jaguar's owner, knows that the future of the company rests on "shiny and new" products. That's why the XE roadster was reportedly moved to the front of the line and given a 2011 release date. If the soothsayers at Motor Trend are correct, Tata also understands that cleaner engines are the future of the industry itself, because the XE could also bolster Jaguar's credentials by reportedly including the option of a Volt-like range-extending hybrid drivetrain.
We've been hearing rumors for at least the last few months that Jaguar was working on a new extended-range electric vehicle. Up until now, we had expected the eco-friendly hardware to show up in the British brand's upcoming XJ revision, but a new report from Motor Trend indicates that Ratan Tata, head of the Indian company that owns Jaguar, is putting his weight behind a new two-seat roadster that would likely be known as the XE.
Autocar is reporting that the compact Jaguar XE sports car due in about two years time will be based on a shortened version of the XK's extruded and cast aluminum frame. The dimensions are supposedly going to challenge those of the Mercedes SLK, and that narrower chassis created for the XE could then be lengthened something that would "compete in the compact premium segment."
Will Jaguar's XJ220 supercar finally have a successor? Although Jaguar denies it, Auto Express thinks so, and we hope they're right. While rumors have suggested the return of the F-type as Tata's next project, Auto Express expects Jaguar to show an all-new mid-engine supercar concept within the next year. And they even have some rather artful renderings to back up their claims.