2008 Jaguar X-Type

2008 Jaguar X-Type

Jaguar's XF and new 2010 XJ sedans have made waves in the sport-luxury seas, bringing a newer, fresher face to what was once a bit of a stodgy lineup. Now it looks like Jaguar may be planning even more boat-rocking, with several new models in the pipeline including a sports car, a BMW 3-Series rival and an estate wagon.

The reasoning behind the new models is obvious: moving metal. To make money, Jaguar needs higher volume models, and that means lowering the bar for entry. While the XF might be argued as Jaguar's current foray into that field, it's nearer a 5-Series/E-Class size than a midsize sedan, and it starts from $52,000 and quickly runs upward of $80,000 for the XFR Supercharged. That leaves a lot of headroom for several sub-XF models.

While a new sports car and stylish estate wagon would be nice, the model of most importance will in fact be the cheapest: an entry-level sedan to replace the unpopular X-Type and go head-to-head with the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Jaguar is reportedly developing a brand new all-aluminum platform whose modular design will eventually form the basis for the next-generation XF, XK and a new sports car. Aluminum construction will ensure that the X-Type replacement will be the lightest in its class, enabling it to become one of the most fuel efficient and best handling executive sedans on the market.

Powertrains will consist of a series of downsized four-cylinder units benefitting from direct injection and turbocharging technologies. A high-performance R variant to take on the likes of the M3 and C63 AMG is almost certain.

It’s still too early to determine what the car’s styling will look like but we can expect influences from the current XF and XJ models to carry over.

The expected release date is late 2012, about the same time the next-generation BMW 3-Series is due.