4 Jul 2011

First 2013 Jaguar XE mules spied on the road

The first test mules for a new roadster model from Jaguar, a car many think will be called the XE (there’s a chance it may also be called the F-Type) has been spied riding on road. Note that this is not an actual prototype for the car but rather just its running gear, which has been installed inside the makeshift body of the current Jaguar XK.

We can clearly see that the new XE will be significantly smaller than the XK, with the rear panels of the Jaguar flagship having been cut much shorter to wrap around the new roadster’s chassis. Interestingly, the rear track of the XE test mule looks to be wider than that of the XK, suggested by the extended wheel arches seen on this test mule, though this could simply be due to the modifications made to the XK body.

The XE, which is only in the very early stages of development, is expected to be launched in late 2013, most likely for the 2014 model year. It is also expected to be available in both roadster and coupe bodystyles, targeting the Porsche Boxster and Cayman models primarily, although several Lotus models will also be in the XE’s crosshairs. Unsurprisingly, pricing should be similar to that of its aforementioned rivals, somewhere around the $50,000 to $60,000 mark.

Under the makeshift XK panels of this test mule is expected to be a brand new bonded and riveted aluminum platform that will eventually form the basis of the next-generation XK and XF, as well as Jaguar’s long-rumored BMW 3-Series rival. It will reportedly be a common aluminum matrix, housing the engine up front with drive sent to the rear wheels.

As for the XE’s powertrain, expect to see a gasoline V-6 used with both naturally-aspirated and supercharged versions available. Power will range from around 275 horsepower in the base model and run right up until 350 horsepower for the force-fed range-topper. Previous reports suggested that a hybrid variant may even be launched though the chances of this model are slim.

The mesh camouflage gear on the front of test mule could mean engineers are testing some form of front-mount intercooler, though it’s still too early to tell.

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