The revival clearly continues apace at historic British car marque Jaguar.
Far from resting on their laurels following the recent launch of the new flagship XJ, Jaguar has given the go-ahead to production of a stunning new BMW 3-series rival.
In an exclusive report, British car magazine Auto Express reveals this week that bosses at Jaguar’s new parent company, Tata, have confirmed that an X-Type replacement is already under development.
The all-new smallest car in the Jaguar range looks set to follow eye-catching design cues set down by the ground-breaking new XF and XJ models.
At the front end will be a subtly re-worked version of the company’s new rectangular mesh grille and XF-style swept-back twin headlights.
At the back, trademark curved rear haunches will lead to the marque’s new-style smooth rear, complemented by sleek rear lights.
The effect will create a significantly more modern, sporty and muscular stance than that of the existing X-Type.
But it’s what will be under the skin that may spell the biggest trouble for BMW, as Jaguar appears to be targeting the German company’s reputation for handling prowess.
The magazine reveals that Jaguar is working on an all-new aluminium rear-drive chassis for its new baby model, with the aim of making it the lightest and best handling car in its class.
When it appears in 2012, the company may continue to offer a 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine to power the next X-Type. But with ever greater focus on cutting emissions, the mainstays of the engine range will be a pair of four-cylinder petrol and diesel units.
While the old X-Type had a strong band of followers – attracted by the Jaguar brand image and the car’s competent, Mondeo-based handling – the model was never a sales success.
Yet Jaguar realises that to continue the fight back against its key German competitors like BMW, Audi and Mercedes it must make greater headway in the higher volume market for smaller executive cars.
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