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.