The British luxury car maker Jaguar, once considered a world-class sports car maker and maker of all things “shagadelic,” looks like it will heading back to its roots this fall at the Frankfurt motor show when it debuts an entry-level sports car to do battle against the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4. Known internally as the XE, if rumors prove correct the lightweight sports car will be made of aluminum and come with a turbocharged four-cylinder, a non-turbo six-cylinder, and V-8 engine options.
Conceived in the spirit of the iconic XK-E (known as the E-Type overseas or to anyone who may be a fan of the Austin Powers movies), the new car will usher in a smaller, purer sports car experience for Jaguar shoppers than the current XK, which starts at $83,875 for the XK coupe. According to insiders interviewed by British Autocar, the XE will “blow the rest of the industry away.”
Since being acquired by India’s Tata Motors, Jaguar has begun to go back to its longtime sports car strengths. At last year’s Paris Motor Show, Jaguar unveiled its C-X75, a million-dollar hybrid supercar set to go into production in the near future. The brand has toyed around with the idea of a smaller sports car model for more than a decade, but this time it might be for real, with rumors indicating the XE will debut in September with a build date beginning in 2012.
Introducing the XE at Frankfurt raises some eyebrows, however, if only because Porsche has announced for some time that its new 911 flagship sports car would also debut at the show. Could this Jag be groovy enough to upstage the long-awaited Porsche? We’ll find out in a few weeks.