Jaguar has confirmed it is to start production of a new two-seater sports car – christened the F-Type – at its Castle Bromwich plant.
The news was announced at the New York Motor Show and is a further boost to a car maker which has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in its fortunes in recent years.
Based on the C-X16 production concept unveiled at last September’s Frankfurt Motor Show the lightweight aluminium F-Type will initially be launched as a convertible with a coupe model set to follow.
The new car will be unveiled in production form this year, with the first models expected to be on sale in mid-2013.
Jaguar’s global brand director Adrian Hallmark said the process to put the model into production had been fast-forwarded following a rapturous response to the concept car.
“We showed the C-X16 concept in September 2011, and the reaction to it has been so positive that we’ve accelerated our development of an all-new Jaguar sports car,” he said.
“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.”
When the concept was unveiled it was hailed by some as the spiritual successor to the legendary E-type but the comparisons were played down by Jaguar’s director of design Ian Callum who, at the time, said: “The E-type is rightly held to be iconic but it is the public that create icons. Jaguar is not aiming to build an ‘icon’ and the E-type is something that can never be recreated.
“With the C-X16 Jaguar is looking forward not back by demonstrating its technical expertise and the next stage of its current award-winning design language.”
Explaining the design philosophy behind the car he added: “Style, presence and the sense it is taking a bold step forwards.