Jaguar is working on a new compact executive of its own to challenge the dominance of the BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class. The latest issue of CAR Magazine, the October 2010 issue out now, has a six-page feature with the definitive story on the new small Jag, codenamedand X760, all the other new models due by 2015.
Our artist's impressions of the X760 baby Jag aren't merely pie-in-the-sky; senior sources at Jaguar coughed the details to our well connected European editor, Georg Kacher.
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Jaguar's new compact exec: a Jag 3-series?
That's the nub of this story. The Three dominates this sector and Jaguar is currently plotting a four-door coupe, in the mould of the Audi A5 Sportback and upcoming next-gen BMW 3-series Gran Turismo.
It'll be rear- or four-wheel drive and a lightweight aluminium construction is planned. That will add expense (around 1500 euros, according to our experts), but the benefit will be reaped in performance, handling and emissions from the likely 150kg weight saving.
What will underpin the new small Jaguar?
X760 will have a standalone Jaguar platform, and Jaguar will decide by the end of 2010 exactly how to deploy its architecture. One option is to use a matrix of existing XJ and XK modules, but the more favoured route is to create a new bespoke Premium Lightweight Architecture which could be scaled for use on the next-generation XF and sports cars in the pipeline.
Look to the Range Rover Evoque for an idea of likely engines. The Ford 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost engine is a shoe-in, while the 2.2-litre diesel is likely for the derv options. As the X760 will use ZF's eight-speed auto box, it could in theory be available with the hybrid option too (although JLR is concentrating on its top-end models first for maximum benefit).
The new baby Jaguar is depicted here as a four-door coupe, but a more conventional four-door saloon and five-door estate are being readied by Jaguar design director Ian Callum.
>> Read the full story on the new baby Jaguar in the October 2010 issue of CAR Magazine