The Jaguar F-Type roadster will make its production debut at the Paris Motor Show on September 27. The aluminum roadster was announced in April at the New York auto show, and is expected to go on sale by summer 2013.
The F-Type heralds a new direction for Jaguar. In recent years, the company has mostly made grand tourers and luxury cars, but the new F-Type is supposed to be a pure-bred sports car. The name even pays homage to the E-Type and D-Type from Jaguar's lengthy history. The car should bring younger customers to the brand -- currently the average Jag buyer is 52 years old -- and about 40 percent of F-Type sales are expected to be in the U.S.
Jaguar has already revealed that the F-Type will be offered with its new supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine, producing either 340 hp or 380 hp, as well as a version of the brand's supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. It's also rumored the F-Type might receive the 2.0-liter turbo-four from the Range Rover Evoque. All of the engines will have stop-start technology and drive the rear wheels by way of an eight-speed automatic transmission. We're told the car will have a 0-to-60-mph time of less than five seconds and a top speed of at least 180 mph, though it's unclear whether that's with the V-6 or V-8. The new V-6 engine, incidentally, is derived from the basic architecture of Jaguar's V-8.
So far, Jaguar has only shown off camouflaged prototype models of the F-Type, but we already like the styling. The car was inspired by the C-X16 hybrid concept shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. It looks like a scaled-down Jaguar XK, with a dropping nose, gentle curves throughout, and a slightly tapered rear end.
We'll have more information on the car once the Jaguar F-Type makes its official debut next month in Paris. After the F-Type droptop, Jaguar also will launch a hardtop coupe model at a later date.