Jaguar's transfer to new ownership last year had many, from customers to dealers to industry analysts, worried about what might come of it. But Tata Motors' ownership has so far proven reassuring in its commitment to the Jaguar brand. The latest word from Ratan Tata reaffirms the vision Tata has for Jaguar, and it looks like an attractive one.

The current economic recession has hit the globe hard in almost every sector - the car industry in particular finding it tough. Jaguar's position within the industry is similarly poor - though it has a plan for coming out the other side, and it includes a focus on a new roadster which many think will be called the XE.

Speaking with The Economic Times, Tata confirmed that development of the roadster was well underway and that it was currently in the early stages of design sign-off. "We need to emerge with something shiny and new, which is why we are re-prioritizing the roadster right now," Tata said. “I’m highly excited about what I see.”

Tata's confirmation of the car as a roadster conflicts somewhat with the expected derivation of the XE from the R-Coupe concept from 2001. The F-Type concept from 2000 (pictured) was a roadster, though the new car isn't expected to share any styling cues with that concept.

Talk of a 5.0L V8 engine rated at 385hp (287kW) in standard trim and 510hp (380kW) with a supercharger strapped on in the lithe roadster promises truly impressive performance whatever the layout. Even the company’s new 3.0L V6 diesel would pack enough punch to be exceptionally fun at 272hp (203kW) and 442lb-ft (600Nm) of torque, not to mention giving the expected diesel Mercedes-Benz SLK a run for its money.