At the launch of the all-new Jaguar XF ahead of the 2015 New York auto show, Jaguar global brand director Steven De Ploey told CarAdvice that the British brand has every intention to expand the F-Type line-up to offer as much choice as Porsche does with its expansive (21-model) 911 range.
"Expect more," De Ploey said. "They [Porsche] have anything from a C2 [Carrera] up to a Turbo S – so that’s the kind of breadth of capability we want to achieve as well. Have your pick."
De Ploey said the brand has made its intentions clear with the 2016 update for the F-Type, which included the addition of all-wheel drive and a manual gearbox option for some models.
"We introduced the all-wheel drive which is critical to expand the reach here in the US, where a lot of states – unless you have the all-wheel drive – you’re simply not selling," he said. "Lots of overseas markets – Russia, for example – if you have no all-wheel drive you’re not going anywhere."
That surmises why all-wheel drive was critical, but De Ploey said the manual derivative also proved crucial in luring more buyers - with different budgets - to the brand.
"The introduction of the manual, obviously we had more for the purist driver but it also gives you a lower entry-point to the F-Type range," De Ploey said.
"And clearly we’re – as you’ve picked up from the rumours – we’re looking up other variants. But if you say you’re going to be the performance brand of choice, if you just look at the 911 range or the Cayman range, there’s a lot more there for selected buyers that we still can go at."
"So, expect more," he said.
Going on these spy shots from our European photographers, a new hard-edged F-Type Roadster - which could be an R-S or SVR model mule - is likely to be the next cab off the rank.
The car seen in these images while undergoing testing at the Nurburgring doesn't have its production body work just yet - expect a more aggressive front bumper - but there's clearly a unique rear spoiler that will work to differentiate it from the rest of the range.
It also appears the rear has seen a new diffuser added, while behind its large wheels there are carbon ceramic brakes - which are currently available as an option.
Under the bonnet, there's said to be a reworked version of the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, possibly with as much as 450kW of power and more than 700Nm of torque. Currently the F-Type R has 404kW and peak torque is rated at 680Nm.
Stay tuned for more.