We first scooped the new four-wheel drive Jaguar F-type back in July 2014 - and now it’s out on manoeuvres again, in what appears to be production-ready, showroom-badged guise.
Our man with the long lens noticed the taped-up rear of this F-type prototype, masking what he believes to be the AWD badge on the right-hand side. Jaguar is planning to stick with its AWD name for the 4wd F-type, to reflect the nomenclature of the US-market XJ and XF (see last two photos in our gallery).
Why is Jag launching a 4wd F-type?
Simple. To keep up with the Porsche 911. Naturally, it will hoover up some extra sales in wintry climes such as North America and Alpine countries, but it’s more to do with matching the rear-engined German trend-setter which hogs every little micro-niche in the sports car sector.
You see, the venerable 911 is currently available in 20 different guises, if you check out the UK Porsche website. And Jaguar wants a slice of that action.
At a stroke, introducing four-wheel drive on the F-type range means it’ll effectively double its market coverage, extending the appeal of the F-type twins, hitherto available only in ballsy man-spec rear-wheel drive.
CAR understands the F-type AWD will be available with both V6 and V8 powertrains. It’s not yet clear whether it will also be available with the forthcoming six-speed manual transmission.
What’s going on with that F-type raised bonnet bump?
Good spot. That is understood to be a bulge bound for future F-type AWD models - needed to accommodate the extra driveshafts and differentials that are being packaged in to the four-wheel drive models, forcing a slightly higher bonnet.
Expect to see the all-paw F-type at the Los Angeles motor show in November 2014, ahead of a UK showroom debut expected in March 2015. Although all our spy photos so far depict left-hand drive F-type AWDs, we are confident that right-hookers won’t be excluded from the programme. Coventry-based Jag can hardly deny its homeland the 4wd party piece, can it?
In the US, the four-wheel drive XF and XJ models carry around a $3000 (£1900) premium. That points to a starter price around £53,000 for a Jaguar F-type V6 Coupe AWD.
Click here for our Jaguar F-type review.