There have been plenty of rumors circulating about Jaguar planning a new lightweight sports car to rival the likes of the Porsche 911 but until recently we haven’t had any substantial evidence that officials were even contemplating launching a new car. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show back in March, the boss of Jaguar’s new parent company, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, said he would be “delighted” to have the new sports car in Jaguar’s future lineup.

When further questioned about it, he said he had a “strong view about it,” which left little doubt as to whether the car would be given the green light.

We now have the first semi-official details that suggest Jaguar is at least working on a new concept vehicle to be called the C-XE. The British carmaker has registered several new trademarks with the UK Intellectual Property Office. The names include the aforementioned ‘C-XE’, the production version ‘XE’, and the concept version of the next-generation XJ saloon, aptly named the ‘C-XJ’. All three names were grouped in the ‘Land Motor Vehicles’ section of the registry.

The introduction of a concept version for the next XJ saloon is not unexpected – the car is due in 2010 and test-mules have already been spotted at the Nurburgring – but confirmation that Jaguar is working on a new XE model is certainly interesting.

While it’s still too early to confirm if the C-XE will be a preview of a new E-Type successor, most reports have speculated that Jaguar’s newest model will be a lightweight sports car. Jaguar even previewed such a car back in 2000 when it rolled out the original F-Type Concept.

It caused so much excitement that the project was immediately given the green light but that was before the carmaker’s well-documented sales slump. All of a sudden, plans for an exotic flagship like the F-Type were dropped in favor of the mass market X-Type sedan.

The latest rumor is that Jaguar is working on a two-seater sports car based on a shortened XJ platform and powered by the same naturally aspirated and supercharged V8 engines found in the XF range.


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