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Paris show: Jaguar F-Type sportscar leaked

Out there: Australians will be among the first people in the world to see the F-Type in the metal on Jaguar’s Sydney motor show stand just weeks after its world debut at Paris.

Official image reveals Jaguar F-Type sportscar to closely resemble C-X16 concept

20 Sep 2012

JAGUAR’S new F-Type sportscar has emerged with styling almost unchanged from the C-X16 concept that debuted at the Frankfurt motor show a year ago – apart from the switch from coupe to soft-top convertible.

The first official image, showing the F-Type in three colour and trim combinations, spread across the internet overnight after being leaked in the US ahead of the next week’s world debut at the Paris motor show and subsequent unveiling at the Sydney show on October 18.

With the F-Type’s modern – if a little conservative – design, Jaguar has resisted the temptation to reference its classic E-Type, even dropping the oval grille design that has linked the British company’s sportscars over the decades.

In the transition from concept to production model, the F-Type has retained the chrome-rimmed mesh grille flanked by gill-like air intakes, triangular headlights framed by strip-like LED daytime running lights and indicators and vents on the bonnet and front guards.

Sheet metal on the bonnet, front guards and doors appears unchanged, while the front splitter and side-skirt design has also been retained, as have the Aston Martin-style flush door handles.

Understandably the production car – expected to arrive in local showrooms soon after its mid-2013 European launch – gets larger door mirrors and rides slightly higher over smaller wheels that do not over-fill the arches.

Meanwhile, the interior appears to have been toned down from the garish crimson concept cabin with its race-style bucket seats, which have been replaced by a still-sporty pair of pews featuring faux-racing harness apertures.

A choice of three engines has been confirmed for the lightweight aluminium rear-drive two-seater, comprising a new 3.0-litre supercharged V6 in 250kW and 280kW tunes, plus a derivative of Jaguar Land Rover’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 that produces 380kW in the XF, XJ and XK.

There is no official word on a production version of the hot V6-based hybrid that powered the concept, which Jaguar said could yield similar performance to the $340,000 XKR-S but use half the fuel.

Like the BMW with the 6 Series, Jaguar has decided to debut the F-Type as a convertible, perhaps to demonstrate that the car’s performance is not compromised by the lack of a roof.

A coupe variant is expected to emerge in 2014 and is likely to share the CX-16 concept’s roof line, which flows right to the rear of the car – but the access to the boot is likely to be via a conventional tailgate rather than the concept’s unusual side-hinged rear window design.

The compact sportscar is part of Jaguar Land Rover's five-year product development blitz that will also result in the big cat brand releasing either a competitor to the BMW 3 Series or a luxury SUV.

Jaguar’s sales in Australia are up 25.9 per cent year-to-date and sister brand Land Rover is enjoying 38.1 per cent growth.

Strong sales performance in Australia, plus this country’s proximity to key emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region will have no doubt helped the local Jaguar Land Rover outfit to secure the F-Type and Range Rover Vogue for the Sydney show fresh from Paris.

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