The Jaguar F-Type Roadster prototype made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the weekend. The still camouflaged convertible sports car was driven up the famous hill-climb event with Jaguar’s Head of Vehicle Integrity, Mike Cross at the wheel. The F-Type followed a procession of classic Jaguar C-type, D-type and E-type models giving the spectators a display of the evolution of the brand’s sporting heritage.
The F-Type should be the spiritual successor to the famous Jaguar E-Type Roadster and continue the tradition of exotic looks and performance without the super-car price tag. Both the looks and sound suggest it will be a success and the significant development programme suggests that the handling and performance will be there to match. While Jaguar has with the XK and XJS models provided sports models since the E-Type these have had been more luxury GT cars rather than hardened performance cars. In recent years the Jaguar XKR and XKR-S have offered super-car performance but have also been priced out of reach of many drivers. The F-Type should fill this gap and compete with the likes of the Porche Boxster S and Mercedes SLK 55 AMG.
Despite the camouflage, the new Jaguar F-Type Roadster is generally expected to be much the same as the Jaguar C-X16 Concept that debuted in 2011 (which is a good thing). The sports car, still under development is on track to be revealed in production-ready form by the end of the year with sales beginning in the Spring of 2013.
The Jaguar F-Type prototype displayed at Goodwood was powered by a Supercharged V6 engine while a range topping Supercharged V8 will also be available when the car is launched. The F-Type is expected to first launch in convertible form with a 2-seater coupe to follow some months later.