Jaguar to build new F-type sports car in Birmingham
Jaguar Land Rover is to build a successor to its previous sports cars called the F-type at its factory in Birmingham.
It will launch as a two-seater convertible with petrol engines made at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant with the design to be unveiled this year, the carmaker said.
As the iconic E-type was last made in 1975, Jaguar said it had been "absent for too long" from making sports cars.
The car will go on sale in mid-2013.
Jaguar has previously described it as "the spiritual successor to the E-type", which had its debut more than 50 years ago.
The F-type may be just one of 40 "significant new products" that Jaguar Land Rover says it will launch during a five-year period.
But it may also be the most significant one, in that it carries on a history of iconic sportscars that include the C-, D- and E-type.
Jaguar sees the F-type as the spiritual successor to its E-type, though it is eager to stress that this is only so in terms of the brand values it represents, rather than in terms of its looks.
Jaguar wants to be seen as a technologically-advanced and modern carmaker, rather than one that replicates models that were successful in the past.
The F-type will be central to this message.
"The C-type, D-type and E-type Jaguars were all sports cars that held true to this principle in their era, and the F-type will hold true to that same principle in its time, a time that is soon to arrive," said Ian Callum, Jaguar's director of design.
The design will be based on the C-X16 concept that it unveiled in September 2011.
"The reaction to it has been so positive that we've accelerated our development of an all-new Jaguar sports car," the carmaker said.
The C-X16 can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 4.4 seconds, yet emit just 165g/km of CO2, Jaguar said at the time.
That concept car was also fitted with a Kers system, short for Kinetic Energy Recovery System, that has been developed by the Formula 1 industry.
The system allows a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack, mounted behind the seats for weight distribution reasons, to be charged through a rear axle electro-hydraulic brake energy regeneration system.Investment plan
Jaguar's new sports car is part of a £5bn investment plan, announced by Jaguar Land Rover last year to launch 40 "significant new products" over the next five years.
Last May, Jaguar unveiled plans to build a £700,000 petrol-electric hybrid supercar in the UK in partnership with Williams F1.
Jaguar had previously tried to re-launch the F-type while under ownership of US carmaker Ford, but that car was never launched.
By the time it rolls off the plant, it will join Jaguar's range of other cars - the XF saloon and Sportbrake, the XJ saloon and the XK coupe and convertible.
The carmaker said last month that it would create 1,000 new jobs at its Halewood factory on Merseyside to meet strong demand for its Range Rover Evoque and Freelander 2.
Jaguar and Land Rover are now owned by Indian firm Tata Motors.
Separately, Ford raised its forecast for auto sales this year in the US on improving consumer confidence.
The company now expects full-year US sales in the range of 14.5 million to 15 million, up from the 13.5 million to 14.5 million it had predicted earlier.