A new family of sports cars could be spawned.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Jaguar XK was killed off back in 2014 since the F-Type was effectively cannibalizing its sales. It looked like Jaguar wasn’t planning to replace it, but recent reports have claimed the automaker wants to develop a new four-seater GT based on the F-Type, leading to speculation that the beloved XK could be coming back from the dead. According to Autocar, plans to relaunch the Jaguar XK “are gathering momentum.”
Jaguar’s head of product strategy Hanno Kirner confirmed the company is working on a proposal to launch a new range of sports cars led by the reborn XK. The fact that Jaguar is considering launching a new range of sports cars may come as a surprise when the E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs are absolutely dominating the automaker’s sales, but Kirner asserted the company is still committed to sports cars. “The F-Type has been a huge success,” he said. “We love sports cars – and I use the plural quite deliberately. Whether that is delivered by a body variant or something else remains to be seen, but for now let’s just say that the body type is very important for us.”
Last year, Jaguar’s head of design Ian Callum also hinted that work on a reborn XK had begun. “I want a two-seater [the F-Type] and a 2+2. We’re working on something now. There’s nothing approved, but we instigate in design,” he told Autocar. It’s believed a design concept for an XK replacement was completed before the second-generation model was axed, but this proposed project is believed to be entirely new. If it gets the green light, it isn’t likely to launch until at least 2021. Kirner’s comments suggest that a new sports car family is dependent on JLR’s next-generation platform strategy.
The F-Type is based on a modified version of the discontinued XK’s platform but is due to be replaced in 2019. The reborn XK would therefore be based on the new F-Type, which is expected to be built on a new version of the platform that is flexible enough to adopt a 2+2 layout. Kirner hinted at the possibility of developing future platforms flexible enough to accept multiple powertrain types, but it isn’t clear if this would be applied to Jaguar’s future sports car family. Both the new F-Type and reborn XK are expected to be powered by JLR’s range of Ingenium engines, including an entry-level four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged unit with 296 hp.
Straight six powertrains are also expected to replace the Ford-sourced V6s in the current F-Type and range-topping SVR models will also inevitably form part of the lineup. The current F-Type SVR is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with 572 hp and takes 3.7 seconds to sprint to 62 mph, but a heavier four-seater would increase that time.