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.

Tata has previously confirmed that development of the roadster was well underway and that it was currently in the early stages of the design phase. According to Motor Trend, the car will miss its originally scheduled 2011 release date though the extra development time will allow Jaguar to offer a new plug-in hybrid option. The advanced drivetrain will reportedly feature a fuel-efficient three-cylinder petrol engine matched to an electric motor running on lithium-ion batteries.

We already know that the British government has provided Jaguar with funding in order to speed up the development of emissions reducing technologies, and there have also been reports that the company is planning a plug-in hybrid option for its upcoming XJ flagship saloon as well.

As for the roadster, expected to see Jaguar’s new 5.0L V8 engine rated at 385hp (287kW) in standard trim and 510hp (380kW) with a supercharger strapped on for the range-topping model. 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.

Jaguar recently registered the ‘C-XE’ trademark with the UK Intellectual Property Office, suggesting that the XE will appear at least in concept form. The concept version of the XF was labelled the C-XF, which means the new roadster model will likely be called the XE.