With the F-Type, Jaguar intends to offer a full range of models in order to broaden the appeal of its sports cars. The most likely extension to the line-up is a coupe. The original concept car – the Jaguar C-X16, revealed at the Frankfurt show in 2011 - had a hardtop. It would also fit with Jaguar’s plans to make the F-Type a rival for the world’s best-selling sports car, the Porsche 911.
‘While developing the initial V6- and V8-engined automatic-transmission convertibles, Jaguar has considered all possible options – a coupe, ultra-high-performance R-S versions, manuals, diesels and hybrids, small-capacity engines and even four-wheel drive,’ said Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark.
‘The reason we did the roadster first is that it is the most complicated and provided us with the biggest challenges,’ said Hallmark. ‘At this level the market for coupes and convertibles is split roughly 50:50, but convertibles command a price premium in return for being harder to engineer. Now all the hard work is done. The foundations are there.’
Jaguar recently introduced four-wheel-drive versions of the XF and XJ saloons in markets prone to extreme weather or plagued by poor roads, and the F-Type is capable of accommodating all-wheel-drive if the demand is there, revealed Hallmark. ‘The V6 engine was developed with all-wheel drive in mind and the F-Type is four-wheel drive-capable. The restricting factor with any all-wheel-drive car, is the shape and size of the engine and whether it is possible to add the additional components needed to take drive to the front wheels.’
‘The main purpose of four-wheel drive is to increase traction with high-power engines,’ added Hallmark. He feels that the 490bhp of the range-topping F-Type V8 S is, ‘the limit of two-wheel drive in a controllable way’ in the car, but says that it is not technically feasible to offer four-wheel drive with the V8 engine. That suggests that if there is to be an R-S model with more than 500bhp, it would be a variant of the V6.
Also, rather interestingly, we posted this speculative rendering image (below) first shown by Jaguar magazine, and Ian Callum responded to the question we raised about production with, ‘…funny you should say that.’ We’ll just leave this with you…