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Jaguar cans XJ coupe, readying sub-XK coupe and convertible

Speculations of a Jaguar XJ coupe have been swirling since the British automaker launched its all-new flagship XJ sedan last year, but the project has reportedly been canned. Jaguar design head Ian Callum previously stated such a vehicle was under consideration.

According to Edmunds, Jaguar has cancelled its plans to produce a coupe version of its XJ sedan. The big two-door would have taken on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CL - soon to be renamed the S-Class Coupe - and the Bentley Continental GT.

Instead, Jaguar will focus its resources on a smaller sports car, believed to be called the XE, although the C-Type moniker has also been thrown around. The smaller C-Type - which should be available as a coupe and convertible -- will slot beneath Jaguar's XK range but will ride on an aluminum chassis similar to the one underpinning the current XK. However, expected a shorter wheelbase as the XE will only offer seating for two.

Although Jaguar has recently unveiled an updated 5.0L V8, that engine has been deemed too expensive and too inefficient for a small sports car. With little else in the engine stable, Jaguar will reportedly lop off two of the V8's cylinders for the XE, creating a new V6. A naturally aspirated version will likely serve as the car's base engine, with up-level models using a turbocharged version of the same engine - possibly using the same EcoBoost technology used in Ford vehicles. The range-topping XE R model should use a version of the 5.0L supercharged V8 used in other high-performance Jaguar models.

The XE is expected to carry a 2012 model year designation, meaning it should hit the market during the latter half of next year.