Jaguar's Boxster-fighter continues development off radar

Jaguar has been quietly working on a new, small, two-door sports car for some time, but rumor has it the concept car may soon be revealed.

Back in late 2009 Leftlane reported that Ratan Tata, head of Jaguar parent company Tata Motors, had confirmed an all-new roadster for the Jaguar brand that would be coming in 2012. Rumors then suggested that Jaguar would show its new Porsche Boxtser-beating (in Jaguar's words) sports car, at least in concept form, at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, which obviously came and went without a reveal. Despite the no-show, all indications still point toward ongoing development of the car - possibly in both coupe and convertible form. It is believed that the concept that will first be revealed will be the roadster variant, rumored to weigh just over 3,300 lbs, or about 300 lbs more than the current Porsche Boxster. The all-new XE model will likely come in both Roadster and Coupe form, and was confirmed to by CEO Carl-Peter Forster to be set to arrive in 2012. Forster has not commented about body styles, but Leftlane's previous reports confirmed a roadster model, with a two-door coupe being a strong possibility in order to better compete with segment rivals from Porsche and Lotus, such as the Boxster, Caymen and Evora models. The XE will feature an all-new aluminum platform, which will eventually underpin upcoming models of the XK, XF and XJ. Although a mid-engine setup had been rumored, the XE will use a more conventional front-engine, rear-drive configuration. Power for the base model XE is expected to come from a supercharged V6, which could produce up to 350 horsepower - but given Tata's use of Ford-sourced motors, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of an EcoBoosted 3.5-liter V6 with power in the same realm. A mid-level model will check in with at least a 385 horsepower version of Jaguar's 5.0-liter V8, while a 510 horsepower supercharged V8 will be reserved for the range's top billing. A hybrid model is also rumored to be in the works - but likely several years away if it comes to fruition. Previous reports suggested the XE could be in Jaguar showrooms as early as 2011, but it looks like the XE won't hit the market until 2012 as a 2013 model year car. When the smaller Jag sports car does hits the market, expect it to carry a price tag somewhere between that of the Porsche Cayman and 911.

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