This is the car we have all been waiting for – it's Jaguar's much-rumoured small two-seater roadster. And we've caught the first prototype testing near to the Big Cat's Coventry home.
The new model, codenamed XE, will sit beneath the current XK in the firm's line-up and is thought of as a spiritual successor to the legendary E-Type. Aimed at stealing sales from Porsche, it will carry a price tag somewhere between the Boxster and 911, boasting a compact body, two seats and a folding canvas roof. It will be one of Jaguar's biggest sellers in Europe, the US and the Far East.
Underneath the skin lies a modified rear-wheel drive aluminium chassis from the XK, with a much shorter wheelbase – something that is obvious from the XK-based prototype caught in these pictures near to Jaguar's Whitley engineering centre.
Details surrounding engines are limited, but it's expected that the XE will feature a range of new V6 units, hooked up to the company's six-speed automatic gearbox. As well as high performance supercharged R versions, there's a very definite possibility that diesels will feature too.
Insiders have revealed that Jaguar is set to take the wraps off a concept for the new XE in early 2012 – potentially at the Geneva Motor Show – while sales of the new model will start in 2013 with a price tag between £40,000 and £50,000.
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