Jaguar’s ambitious expansion plans have been given the go-ahead. Parent firm TATA Motors has green lit the firm’s plans to create a rival for the BMW 3-Series, which replaces the old X-Type, and the long-awaited F-Type small sports car.
The announcement came in an interview with TATA Motors CEO Carl-Peter Forster, who confirmed Auto Express’s previous story of Jaguar’s new model expansion plans.
Before the new models arrive, Jaguar will unveil estate and long-wheelbase versions of the XF. Jaguar claims that 60 per cent of its XF sales are conquests over rival brands, and the estate is designed increase the model’s appeal in Western Europe, while the stretched version is set to further improve sales in China.
It’s been a long time coming, but the two-seater sportscar will then arrive in 2012. Set to be called XE when it launches, the car is likely to be offered as a coupe and a roadster, and built on a new medium-sized lightweight aluminium platform.
The development of this new chassis will absorb much of TATA’s £1bn per year investment in Jaguar Land Rover. Auto Express understands that the platform will be shared with the next XK. But given Jaguar’s need to keep costs in check, it’s likely that the firm’s new underpinnings will be modular, and could be scaled up or down to underpin the new XE and XK, and the replacement for the X-Type and XF, which is currently made from steel.
Despite killing off the old X-Type, the trend towards downsizing has made a replacement even more likely. The firm has already demonstrated that its XF and XJ models can compete with the established contenders from BMW and Mercedes, so a smaller car to take on the top-selling 3-Series is a priority, inspired by the RD6 concept which debuted at Frankfurt seven years ago.