While the X-type, Jaguar‘s first attempt into the entry-luxury class, was ultimately a failure that earned a spot on Time Magazine’s “50 Worst Cars Of All Time,” Jaguar’s new and rejuvenated line-up of late looks to be the perfect opportunity to try again.
This time, due to CAFE regulations, Jaguar must begin preparing a significant amount of petrol-engined cars that are capable of 50mpg. There’s not a moment to lose then, as Jaguar’s engineers are reportedly in development of a brand new front wheel drive baby sedan that will pit against the Audi A3 and Benz CLC compact sedans, both of which are front wheel drive platforms as well. To launch by 2015, this entry sedan will be powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s latest three cylinder 1.5 liter engine and four cylinder and 1.8 or 2.0 liter turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.Its gearbox will be just as sophisticated with a choice of eight and nine-speed automatics.
Aimed to boost sales in China, India, and the United states, the little kitten seems to be off to a good start. While we cannot be certain whether its exterior will resemble the illustration, the rendering does hint at a miniaturized XF. That’s a compliment.
According to former Jaguar Land Rover boss, Carl-Peter Forster, Jaguar needs a, “successor to the X-type… and we need [it] in several variations.” Adian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director, adds, ” We’ve got to be careful, and not be too British and think that just because we didn’t hit the bull’s eye first time[with the X-type], we cant’ hit it a second time.”
From the get-go, this model was not meant to compete against the rear wheel drive BMW 3-series. Jaguar wanted to create a compact, eco-friendly, executive vehicle instead. Beyond the new selection of small engines, further measures to address the vehicle’s efficiency include the promise of an extremely aerodynamic exterior and a “mixed-materials” structure that will show extensive use of aluminum and is designed to achieve maximum strength and rigidity while costs are kept to a minimum.
On the topic of cost, expect the entry level Jaguar to begin at £22,000 or $35,000.