Jaguar’s green light for XF roadster

20 Nov, 2008 11:10am Jack Rix

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You heard it here first! Way back in September last year, Auto Express revealed Jaguar’s plans to expand its XF range.

And, just as we predicted, a source from within the maker’s parent company, Tata, has confirmed that a raft of sporty new models is on the way from the revived British marque. We can now bring you the full story.

Our pictures show how the big cat’s new litter will shape up, starting with a two-door cabriolet version of the hugely successful XF saloon.

The XF Roadster will employ a folding fabric roof, along with a slightly shortened wheelbase to improve structural rigidity, while maintaining the saloon’s handsome profile. Bosses will ensure there is a significant cost differential, so that the new model doesn’t poach sales from the XK Cabriolet. As a result, prices are set to start at around the £35,000 mark.

But that’s not the only XF variant which has been earmarked for production: a two-door Coupé is also on the way. Designed to lock horns with Audi’s curvy A5, it will add even more style to the XF’s taut bodyshape with a tapered roof and high waistline. This, too, will be pitched below the XK in the £30,000 bracket. Both models are expected to borrow engines from the XF saloon.

The line-up will include V6 petrol and diesel units, plus the firm’s 4.2-litre V8, available in normally aspirated 300bhp or supercharged 420bhp form.

Jaguar is tipped to take the wraps off the two newcomers in 2010. And don’t forget the hardcore 500bhp XFR, with its 5.0-litre supercharged V8.

It was seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, and is set to debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January.

Our sources have also revealed that Jaguar is eyeing up the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes SLK – and seriously considering a ‘budget’ two-seater to compete in this lucrative sector of the market. We published images of the sporty roadster in Issue 1,012.

Following in the footsteps of the F-Type concept, this model will be pitched firmly in £40,000 Boxster territory – leaving room for a coupé model to rival the Cayman.

The small two-seater, which is due in 2012, will use a cut-down version of the lightweight aluminium chassis from the new XJ – itself due in 2010. Styling inspiration will be taken from the XF, while power is from a 4.2-litre V8.

There are also rumours that both cars could benefit from the top-of-the-range 5.0-litre V8 in the forthcoming XFR.

Extra Info

More on the horizon?

Bosses have confirmed that there will definitely be no Jaguar SUV, as they don’t want to tread on sister brand Land Rover’s toes. But it’s believed that an ultra-luxurious saloon could be on the cards. This would use the forthcoming XJ’s platform, and target fellow British marque Bentley.