New model yet to be approved, won't appear until 2021 at the earliest

Senior staff at Jaguar Land Rover are keen to revive the Jaguar XK, but even if a business case can be worked out, a third-generation model would still be many years away.

Hanno Kirner, chief product strategist for Jaguar Land Rover, has told Autocar the company is keen to extend its sports car offering.

“The F-Type has been a huge success,” Kirner said. “We love sports cars – and I use the plural quite deliberately.

"Whether that is delivered by a body variant or something else remains to be seen, but for now let’s just say that the body type is very important for us.”

Last year, Ian Callum, head of design for Jaguar, told the same publication: "I want a two-seater [the F-Type] and a 2+2. We’re working on something now. There’s nothing approved, but we instigate in design.”

It's understood the F-Type is due to be replaced in 2019. The next-generation model will use an updated version of today's platform, which itself was spawned from the last XK.

Motivation for the new F-Type, and likely any future XK, will come from turbocharged Ingenium inline four- and six-cylinder petrol engines.

High-performance variants seem set to use the company's supercharged V8. It's unknown if the new F-Type's platform will be engineered to accommodate plug-in hybrid drivetrains.

Although the F-Type sells in small numbers compared to the company's crossovers, it's seen as a vital model, anchoring the brand to its sports car heritage.

The second-generation Jaguar XK went out of production in 2014, and hasn't been replaced. At the time, Kevin Richardson, then head of sports car development, told CarAdvice, "The GT [grand tourer] segment has been shrinking for years".

With the F-Pace still two years away from launch, the company was concentrating on staying lean and turning a profit.