The successor to the Jaguar F-Type will embrace hybrid technology and go mid-engined when it launches around 2022, Auto Express can exclusively reveal. And further down the line, Jag could launch a fully-electric version to rival the forthcoming Porsche Taycan.
Development work on the F-Type’s successor is under way, with engineers devising a plan that will transform the model into the brand’s halo product to compete with McLaren and Audi Sport.
Central to the plan and favoured by engineers is the shift from a front to mid-engined layout for the performance car. According to high-ranking technicians working on the project, the Honda NSX is being used as a benchmark for the next-generation Jaguar model, because key to the car’s armoury will be the use of hybrid technology to boost performance.
Although it will be a replacement for the current F-Type, the new product is likely to bear little resemblance to the existing car. The switch to a mid-engined layout will enable Jaguar to be more daring with the proportions; the long bonnet and cab- rearward design of the current F-Type will make way for a lower, sleeker overall look, previewed in our exclusive images.
The mechanical make-up of the car is yet to be finalised, but it’s expected that at least two electric motors, one on each axle to give four-wheel drive, will supplement a mid-mounted V6 engine. If it is to be competitive, a power figure upwards of 550bhp is likely, placing it among competitors such as the McLaren 570S and Audi R8.
It will be only the second mid-engined car in Jaguar’s 83-year history, following on from the XJ220 of the nineties. The firm came close to launching another in 2010 with the C-X75. Developed with Williams Advanced Engineering, the supercar was pitched as a rival for the McLaren P1, but the economic situation at the time concerned Jaguar and the project was axed due to a fear of a lack of return on the company’s investment.The flexible platform on which the new F-Type will be based will also allow the brand to develop a fully-electric version. Auto Express understands engineers are keeping a close eye on the Taycan project and are keen to build a rival for that car.
Jaguar has much more experience recently with developing electric cars as opposed to mid-engined vehicles. The I-Pace is widely regarded as the best of its kind and is driven by concentric permanent magnet synchronous motors – that means the car’s driveshaft runs through the middle of them – which are designed and built by Jaguar itself.
It’s also possible that by the time the F-Type EV arrives, solid state battery technology, which is being analysed and developed by a host of global car brands, could be ready for production.
Given the extensive changes the F-Type’s successor will undergo, it’s possible Jaguar could rename the model J-Type. The firm applied to trademark the name as recently as last month.