Jaguar has confirmed that its new sports car will be called the F-Type, and that it will go on sale in the middle of next year as a roadster.
First revealed in the form of the C-X16 concept at last September's Frankfurt Motor Show, the news was revealed at this week's New York Motor Show.
Video: Watch official footage of a prototype F-Type in action
"The reaction to the C-X16 has been so positive that we've accelerated our development of an all-new Jaguar sports car," said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar global brand director. "That car will be called the F-Type, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year. The core appeal of Jaguar's cars is their sporting heart, and that heart will beat stronger than ever before in the F-Type.
"Its development is a vivid representation of the confidence and ambition of the Jaguar brand, and the desire amongst our engineers and design team to produce a world-leader in a market segment that we have been absent from for too long. But no longer – the F-Type is coming."
As well as confirming the name, which follows on from the C-, D- and E-Type models, Jaguar released images of the new roadster, albeit covered in disguise – the camouflage is made up of 'F-Type' lettering. However, you can make out that the shape is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar, while insiders tell us that the final production car will look almost identical to the C-X16 concept.
"A true sports car needs to be pure in both its purpose and its form," said Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design. "To have the opportunity to produce such a car for Jaguar has been a privilege both for myself and my team. The C-Type, D-Type and E-Type Jaguars were all sports cars that held true to this principle in their era, and the F-Type will hold true to that same principle in its time, a time that is soon to arrive."
The new two-seater will cost from around £55,000 rising to £70,000, and will sit below the XK in the company's line-up. It will rival models such as the Porsche Boxster and 911, as well as the Mercedes SL and Lotus Evora.
It will use an all-aluminium construction, featuring a cut-down version of the chassis used by the range-topping XK, so it will be very lightweight. As you can see from these pictures, it will also use a fabric soft-top roof, although a coupe version like the C-X16 concept car will eventually be available too.
Jaguar is remaining tight-lipped on the F-Type's engine range, but sources have revealed that it gets a new 3.0-litre V6 powerplant, which is essentially the XK's 5.0-litre V8 with two cylinders removed. This new engine is expected to be offered in normally aspirated form with around 250bhp and in supercharged R form with around 375bhp.
The car will be built at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich factory near to Coventry. Full technical details will be announced in late 2012.