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A new derivative of the Jaguar F-Type will launch every 12 to 18 months over the supercharged sports car’s lifecycle as the British marque aims to replicate the ‘obsessive’ nature of Porsche with its 911.

In an open discussion with a small group of Australian journalists at the New York auto show, Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark said everything from a targa-top version of the F-Type to ultra-high-performance all-wheel-drive flagship models were on the table between now and the end of the car’s lifecycle in 2020.

“I worked for Porsche for 10 years, so I’ve got a certain affinity to the brand,” Hallmark explained.

“The parallel to Porsche is their almost paranoid obsession with lifecycle management, and I think it’s exactly the way to go for a sports car. Every year you’ve got to do something that gives someone that’s already bought one the reason to come and look again, even if they don’t need one.

“If you can get people to change every 18 months, you get two customers for every normal three-year period, you get two sales for every one customer.”

Hallmark said the decision to launch with the Jaguar F-Type cabriolet – a more difficult vehicle to develop from an engineering perspective than a conventional hardtop – made developing additional body styles with more rigidity and body stiffness easy.

“We’ve not confirmed which body styles [we’ll add to F-Type], but doing a coupe is so simple, a targa is simple as well, and then of course we’ll always keep the prototype body tools, so if you want to make the wheel arches a little bit wider or put holes in certain places we can do that on a low volume at relatively low cost but high added perceived value. The potential for this car is massive.

“We’ve kicked off with cabriolet, we’ve kicked off with two core engines at three power levels, but over the next seven years I promise you we will innovate like crazy, we will be active in the product lifecycle of that vehicle and we will be fully competitive from day one until the final day of its generation.”

Hallmark said with the obvious exception of the bodywork, every component of the limited edition Jaguar XKR-S GT track special could be applied to F-Type, paving the way for a high-performance F-Type R and even more hardcore models beyond that.

“If you look at the XKR-S GT and all those components that we’ve developed – the brakes, the wheels, the steering stiffening, the suspension stiffening, the damping that we’ve created, and the anti-roll bars – all of that is retrofittable on other models in the range,” he said.

“So this was really a test bed, not just to have a bit of fun for this particular car, but also to be able to build a kit of parts that we can use on other products.

“You can imagine F-Type has way more potential performance headroom than we’ve currently realised with the first cars.

“I won’t today confirm if or when we will do an F-Type R, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t.”

Hallmark said the introduction of all-wheel drive was a serious consideration for such a model with in excess of 500hp (373kW). The initial F-Type flagship – the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 S – sends 364kW of power and 625Nm of torque to its rear wheels.

“When you get over 500hp … getting more power to the engine is not a problem – you can put different gear on the supercharger, we could even turbocharge and go crazy if we wanted – but getting the power down in a rear-drive car is the real issue,” he explained.

“We want to build a modern, intelligent sports car. It’s not just going to be brute force, it’s going to be manageable, absolutely rewarding, take you to your limits but never punish you when you get there, and so all-wheel drive is absolutely key to managing much higher power than 500hp if you want to do it in a really controlled manner.

“I think for the real high-performance cars of the future, all-wheel drive is important. We don’t have a date for that, but we’re considering it.”

The Jaguar F-Type launches globally in April ahead of its arrival in Australia around the middle of the year.

Read more about the Jaguar F-Type.

  • http://www.tomsforeign.com/ Angela

    I think this is a great idea. The 911 is very popular and if the F-Type resembles it in any way, I think people are going to love it.

  • Guestovovic

    Yeah but the 911 is unique in the way it looks, drives & sounds & has a cult following for 50 yrs.
    It’s quality and reliability is legendary…did I mention great fuel economy.(816km per tank@@7:disqus.8L/100km/2012 Carrera S).What sets the F-Type apart as unique from half a dozen other front engined V8 sports cars?

    • Phil

      Unique could well be a euphemism for ugly, and some people would rather not join a cult. There’s a whole lot of potential buyers who would have this because it isn’t a Porsche. And really, what other FR V8 sports cars are there to compete against? For the projected price, the SLK55. And that’s it, there is nothing else. The next closest is the XK and from there it’s to the dizzying pricetags of Aston Martin, Maserati etc. A 911 cabrio is over $250k.

      • Guestovovic

        Or maybe unique in this context means rear engined, flat 6 motor, unique sound, unique handling, etc.
        …and seriously, who buys something for what it’s not rather than for what it is ?
        That’s crazy assumption.
        Btw, you can add Audi RS5 & BMW 650 to your list of FR V8 sports cars.

        • Phil

          RS5 and 650i? Again, well above the price range. They’re up against the XK. They are 2+2’s, unlike the F-type which is strictly a 2 seater (or 1+1 in Jaguar parlance). You could go cheaper with the z4 and Boxster, but the F-type is really in the small niche above that, which the SLK55 has had all to itself. This Jag is going to worry Mercedes more than it will Porsche.

          As for unique, how about the choice of 250 or 280kw supercharged V6, or a 364kw supercharged V8?

          BTW, the F-type has just won the 2013 World Car design award. For good reason – it’s gorgeous to look at. The F-type and the Vantage roadster are such fantastically good looking cars, it makes the Germans look like an exercise in Modernist brutality.

          • Guestovovic

            At $ 160-170k the RS5 is probably cheaper than the F-type V8 but certainly in the same price range. True the 650i is more expensive.
            I think we have a different understanding of the word ‘unique’.
            The Porsche 911 is one of a kind. There is no other rear engined flat six production car in existence and this design is reflected in the way it drives, sounds, etc.
            There are quite a few turbocharged or supercharged V8 sports cars on the market and also with different engine options.
            Using your logic, then every model from every manufacturer is unique. Eg: Kia Sorento is unique coz no other car has that very same badge…or the new Mercedes CLA is unique coz no other car has the exact same tail lights. There’s a Mercedes C-class model that has a supercharged engine but I’d hardly call that car unique.
            But I think we both know that the 911’s uniqueness extends far further than engine options, body design, etc.
            The F-type looks very good, well priced and can’t wait for a full review.

          • Phil

            Your price for the rs5 is the coupe, not cabrio. And it seats 4. Try to stick to comparable products. Afaik only jaguar and Chevrolet offer supercharged v8 FR 2 seat convertible sports cars, and only jag build in RHD. You are well off base including German 4 seat cabrios.

            You keep banging on about the uniqueness of the 911, but unique does not mean better either. I appreciate how good the 911 is, but I also know the Boxster and Cayman have better balance. There are people the 911 appeals to, but even Porsche realise they can make a better handling, more usable car without the engineering problems of an engine hanging past the rear axle. The 911 continue to exist because there’s a market it appeals to, but there is a much bigger market for more conventional designs.

  • GooSE

    That’s a very candid interview with Jag. Blatantly trying to sell twice to a customer within a 3 year period doesn’t show innovation, it shows a business model. I think they should be very careful about how open their discussions are because they may turn some people off the brand with that attitude if people take it the wrong way.

  • Skybreak

    If Jaguar want the F-Type to compete with the 911 in Australia then they will have to look at what is sells for in the US, add the costs for local certification, shipping, taxes etc, and then mark the selling price up my an extra 50%
    Then can then explain the price differences with some vague explaination that includes the phrase “what the market will bear”.

    • Nick

      You missed the bit about bend over

  • Devil666

    It’s beautiful but it should have been priced closer to the Boxster.