The 2013 Jaguar F-Type, a new sports car from the legendary British marque, was supposed to be kept under wraps until the Paris Motor Show. However, this cat got out of the bag a little early. Jaguar apparently decided to e-mail a photo of its rakish new roadster to automotive spy photographer Chris Doane, who posted it on Facebook.
There are no aesthetic surprises with the F-Type. This two-seat roadster closely resembles the C-X16 concept from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, just as Jaguar said it would. The result is a more aggressive and emotional design that is still recognizable as a Jag.
Like the rest of Jaguar’s current lineup, the F-Type pairs a big, almost rectangular grille with thin headlights that flow along the front fenders. The proportions are vaguely reminiscent of Jaguar’s classic E-Type, but there isn’t an explicitly retro touch anywhere on this roadster.
The headlights include J-shaped LED running lights, and the C-X16’s double front intakes and side vents remain. The rear fenders also bulge away from the body, giving the F-Type a bit of a Coke bottle shape.
The F-Type was first announced at the New York Auto Show in April; Jaguar says it is a modern sports car that carries on the legacies of cars like the E-Type and XK120.
At the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, Jaguar elaborated on its plans, saying that the F-Type would be offered with three engine options. Buyers will choose from the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 from the XF and XJ sedans, with either 335 hp and lb-ft of torque, or 375 hp and 339 lb-ft, and a 5.0-liter V8 with at least 500 hp.
Automatic aside, the F-Type should be an engaging drive. Underneath that sexy skin is an aluminum monocoque, so it will be a very light car. Jaguar’s performance targets include a 0 to 60 mph time of under five seconds and a top speed of over 180 mph.
When it goes on sale, the F-Type will compete against two-seat sports cars from jaguar’s German luxury rivals, including the BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster, and Mercedes-Benz SLK. The four-seat XK will continue as Jag’s grand tourer, rivaling the BMW 6 Series and Mercedes SL.
With its unique styling, powerful engines, and aluminum skeleton, the F-Type looks ready to take the sports car world by storm. Only time will tell if it proves to be a worthy successor to Jag’s classic sports cars, though. A six-speed manual would probably help its case.