By on June 24, 2011

The idea of a “spiritual successor to the E-Type,” has been around since the XJ-S turned out to be anything but, and since 1997 we’ve been tormented with lust-worthy visions of small-roadster loveliness like the XK180 and F-Type concepts. Beyond the realm of ideas, however, the neo-XKE has had a tougher time of things. Jaguar has threatened several times to produce a version of its stunning concepts, but each time the rumors have ended in disappointment. But now Autocar has caught the first physical evidence that a new “E-Type” is actually crossing over into the realm of reality, with these first shots of a test mule.

And though this is  hardly a look at the final styling, it’s no surprise that it looks quite XK-like, as Autocar reports

The new E-Type will be based on the same basic aluminium structure as the next-generation XK… Creating two cars of a different size out of the same basic architecture has provided a significant headache for Jaguar engineers, but insiders say that the final car will be nearly the same width as today’s XK but some 250mm shorter, at around 4.55m long.

As can be seen in these scoops shots, most of the length reduction has taken place between the trailing edge of the driver’s door and the rear wheel arch. However, this short-tail, long-nose, stance is a direct reflection of the proportions of the original E-Type.

The grille shape and headlamp layout is, though, expected to be closer to the CX-75 supercar concept.

Nine inches shorter is good… but there’s something else that’s a little worrying in the Autocar write-up:

American demand for a new-generation XKE (as the E-type was known in that market) is expected to be significant, especially among affluent female buyers who make up a significant proportion of Jaguar’s Stateside customer base.

I should probably know better than to stir up the gender wars on such a lop-sided forum, but one has to wonder how the lads at Jaguar are targeting affluent American females. The fact that length and proportion are known, but weight targets and performance goals aren’t seems to be an indication.

 

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32 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: XKEvolution Edition...”


  • avatar
    bytheway

    I dont get it..why dont car companies knows for building horrible quality cars work on fixing quality and reliability first before they try to introduce new models, gadgets, etc??

    • 0 avatar
      evan

      I have a question as well…

      Why is it people who trash-talk are always the same people who can’t read, research, or otherwise hold intelligent conversations?

      Jaguar’s XK and XKR are five star cars — try reading a review in evo or some other respected magazine for a start. Last time evo group tested top-end convertibles they prefered it to the Ferrari California and Porsche 911 Turbo… In 2009 Jaguar’s quality was high enough to topple Lexus from the top of the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study http://www.jaguar.com/us/en/new_york_times

      • 0 avatar
        bytheway

        What in the world is a five star car?? I dont think I even need to rebut the Jaguar vs Lexus reliability according to JD power. Most of us know what a joke they are to begin with. I dont even know what to say to somebody who honestly thinks that Jaguar builds more dependable cars than Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        Britspeak

        Yes, again here we go with the tired tropes about Jaguar quality and product.

        You’re just wasting your breath trying to introduce facts into the fray. Its much easier to spout some nonsense about horrible quality or crap design and then just disappear when someone challenges you. This works with any car make, or model by the way.

      • 0 avatar
        sandiegorunner

        @kowsnofskia

        Truedelta doesn’t publish information regarding the Jaguar XK, I know because I just looked.

        And who says JD Powers is any worse or better than all of these other sites? No one thinks a reliabilty survey is the last word on quality — its just a general data point. I think the issue was that any company that finishes in the absolute top of a well-recognize and referenced survey doesn’t make crappy cars. Is that such a stretch? And yes, I do trust the opinion of driving enthusiasts regarding the quality of cars over a statistician or a survey writter.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/take-the-2011-jd-power-initial-quality-rorschach-test/

        Jaguar has fallen back to earth. Is it the result of the switch from Ford to Tata? The new XJ is rated as much worse than average overall in a weak group and the XF is much worse than average in overall quality mechanical, in body and materials quality mechanical, and in features & accessories quality mechanical. It is the second highest rated in its class though, as it only faces one car from a high quality manufacturer. That Lexus, of course, trounces the Jaguar, with “Among the best” scores in all the segments that the Jaguar scored much worse than average.

        2009 was in the middle of the SUA witch hunt, and that put Lexus within reach of mortals briefly, but it looks like substance has defeated perception once again. Who respects Evo? Where did that come from? It’s just this side of a vanity publication.

    • 0 avatar
      evan

      Star ratings are common in European auto mags… Its a thumbnail review of the quality, performance, etc of a car.
      http://www.evo.co.uk/carreviews/evocarreviews/234164/jaguar_xkr.html

      And by the way, if you have a problem with car-dependability surveys because they don’t conform to your perspective, I’m not surprised.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @bytheway:
      The days when Jaguars were unreliable are long gone.

      • 0 avatar
        Britspeak

        I think bytheway has more information that he can currently assimilate. Published reliability surveys are a ‘joke’ apparently, and the best sources of information are annonymous commentators on car blogs… duh.

      • 0 avatar
        kowsnofskia

        Have any of you actually read published reliability surveys by well-regarded sources?

        CR, Truedelta, etc all still confirm piss-poor reliability for most new Jaguar models. (Unless, of course, you believe Evo has a better handle on how to judge reliability than sources like the ones listed above.)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        @FreedMike, did you read any of the long term tests performed by US magazines when the current XK or XF were released? They were TR-7s relative to modern expectations. XF drivers got ample opportunity to investigate manual over rides for engaging neutral so the cars could be towed when the gimmicky retracting knob shifters were wiped out by electrical failures. It was business as usual, only with the additional hubris of Jaguar intentionally complicating their primary controls.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Because these days most car’s are fairly reliable and so looks are becoming more important?

    Reliability is more of an American concern than a European one (not that it’s an excuse). How many Japanese cars (famed for reliability) do we buy in Europe? Answer is we are more likely to buy a FIAT than a Nissan…. The answer is the other way round in the USA. I think this is because most cars are thought of a reliable these days. Why lumber yourself with Ugly and dull (most Japanese cars), when you can get stylish/ cool/ exciting (most Euro/ American cars)?

    Anyway we this Jag is only a mule. You can’t judge it’s looks from this. But good to see Jag building a sportscar for Britain (we buy them by the bucket load).

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      Not that many Europeans buy American cars (unless you coun’t Ford Europe and Opel as American, but I don’t).

      The reliability thing is spot on though, I think it’s not only about simply not caring but also interpreting reliability differently. European cars tend to be cheaper to service and fix up when something goes wrong here in Europe than Japanese cars, so yes, maybe they’re a bit more likely to have an issue at some point but you’re not likely to go broke on it. Also, for older cars, there are lots more independant mechanics who will fix up your Veedub or Opel than your Toyondan (tooling and industry standards are different said one mechanic).

    • 0 avatar
      bytheway

      Obviously, looking at the reliability of all European makes..Most cars are not fairly reliable.

      Maybe we have different definitions of what reliability is but I shouldn’t have to take a vehicle in for ANY defect whatsoever more than once a year, if even that.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Tstag,

      I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t buy Nissans, but last time I checked Renaults were one of(the?) best selling brands in Europe. They just call them Nissans here in the US because we learned not to buy Renaults.

  • avatar
    JJ

    “I should probably know better than to stir up the gender wars on such a lop-sided forum, but one has to wonder how the lads at Jaguar are targeting affluent American females.”

    By marketing them to American males.

    Or at least marketing them just to Americans.

    NEVER, EVER, by actually marketing them to American females.

    I’m not a big fan of marketing in general (sorry Bertel), but I think that old rule about magazines applies to cars as well, except in reverse;

    Want to sell a magazine to guys? put a woman on the cover.
    Want to sell a magazine to women? put a woman on the cover.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    My first reaction is both of the cars pictured don’t look very different from the current model (which is nicely styled IMO). In fact IMO the current model has a lot of styling cues from the XKE, especially the rear glass/sheet metal of the coupe.

    If I was Tata I’d be a lot more concerned with boosting the sales of Jaguar’s current lineup then in producing a new XK which will be an extremely low volume model anyway.

    I find it most unfortunate that Jaguars sell in such small numbers as IMO they have some very nice vehicles currently. Jaguar’s reputation of unreliability must be the reason even if it’s not currently the case. When I checked Consumers Reports reliability stats the XF was still considerably below comparable vehicles for major issues.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    If it is merely a shortened and reskinned XK then the car will likely have an overly wide, bloated look like the faux pony cars (Camaro, Mustang and Challenger). Sigh.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This sort of car – particularly the M/B SL – has always been aimed at rich trophy wives who live in nice climates. That’s pretty much who you see driving them. Given that Jaguar is a high-fashion brand I don’t think they’ll have a problem finding a home for these.

    BTW, I think the prototype looks cooler than the old model…

  • avatar

    Anyone else see that shortened butt and long nose and immediately think AM Vantage? It even has the Aston style side strake behind the front wheel. It looks more aston-like than the current XK, which does a good budget interpretation already.

    It shall be interesting to see how it fares. It’s hard to revive old designs in a way that keeps the purists happy while still being able to sell to new buyers who aren’t so easily swayed by nostalgia.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    What’s wrong with that picture is it looks more like a riff on the Cadillac Allante than an E-type. That’s coming from someone who will be a former Jaguar owner in about 5 hours.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    Meh, it could use another six inches or so of front overhang.

  • avatar

    Forgetting the photo and looking from a higher altitude:

    Is the whole strategic idea even that much of a good one at all?

    I know Ian Callum is designing at Jag,
    but why can’t we just make do with the ‘Best-alternative-on-the-market’~=XK/R, instead?

    Because trying to do a ReIncarnation of the E-Type,
    for ANYone,
    even the guy who designed the Maserati GT,
    is going to be a fight of Teddy-F***ing-Roosevelt proportions.

    .
    I just have my doubts a car that awesome, that Burt-Bacharachian-sensual, that ‘BRING ON THE SEXY STEWS, BABY!!!’ can be done today.

    I am preparing myself for disappointment.

  • avatar

    There can NEVER be another E-type. It just is not possible. 50 years ago the E-type arrived and it was truly an affordable supercar. You could walk into a dealer and drive out with the fastest production car in the world, packed with technology that was a decade ahead of its time – FOR ONE-THIRD THE PRICE of a comparable Ferrari or Aston-Martin. Not only was it inexpensive, it looked FAR better than any Ferrari or Aston (or Corvette, or in fact any other car made, before or since!) Enzo Ferrari himself called it “The most beautiful car ever made.”

    Jaguar can not replicate that. Hell, *nobody* can replicate that today. It is just impossible.

    So instead we’ll get a bloated, overpriced, underperforming, car designed specifically for American trophy wives?

    Facelpalm.


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