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Jaguar has earmarked March 2011 and the Geneva show to launch a new two-seat sports car, likely to be called the Jaguar XE.

“Geneva 2011 will be the 50th anniversary of the launch of the E-type and what better way to celebrate that than to launch a new sports car,” company boss Mike O’Driscoll told Autocar.

The new sports car is tipped to be a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive, alumninium car based on a cut-down Jaguar XJ platform. Speculation is also mounting that it could be powered by a supercharged V6 engine, based on the all-new V8 motor powering the new Jaguar XFR saloon, which was unveiled at this week’s Detroit motor show.

O’Driscoll also hinted that a new sports car was not the only ambition of Jaguar and that he and his team were considering a fifth, smaller model.

But the new small Jaguar would not be a direct replacement for the X-type, which is due to bow out next year. O’Driscoll said: “A smaller car could be interesting for us, but it shouldn’t be a cheaper Jaguar.” He wouldn’t be drawn on Jag’s exact plans, but insiders have hinted that a car based on the 2003 RD6 concept is still being considered.

O’Driscoll hasn’t ruled out further engine options for the Jaguar XF either. “In a couple of years there’s no reason why we shouldn’t put a four-cylinder diesel in it," he said.
Jaguar XFR

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