Los Angeles —Hot on the heels of unveiling the X-Type mid-size sports sedan (see DN 1/6/01, p. 37), Jaguar stunned the LA Auto Show in January by announcing production commitment to a new roadster—the F-Type, which will compete with the likes of BMW's Z3 and the Porsche Boxster two seaters. While the X-Type hits the streets this year, "It will take us around three years to deliver the F-Type roadster to market," said Wolfgang Reitzle, Jaguar chairman.
The new design is seen as a smaller, "more affordable" complement to the current XK series of two seaters. A concept version of the F-Type debuted at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show, and "the overwhelmingly positive reaction across the globe to last year's concept has convinced Jaguar to build the F-Type roadster," added Reitzle.
It is nearly 40 years since Jaguar introduced its E-type sports car at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1961. The new F-Type is aimed at recalling the E-type in a contemporary car. Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar, noted, "The challenge is to create a true 21 st Century successor to the E-type"—considered a '60s automotive icon.