Jaguar is favouring a mid-engined layout for the next-generation F-Type, and it is set to revive a number of design cues from the ill-fated C-X75 concept.
The brand’s designers and engineers are mulling key decisions about the direction of the next-generation Porsche 911 rival, chief among which is whether to stick with the current front-mid-engined layout or reinvent it as an electrified – or even pure electric – model with a mid-mounted powertrain. According to our sister publication Autocar UK, it is the latter that is favoured by those close to the project.
Speaking recently to Autocar UK, now former design director Ian Callum revealed he had laid out a blueprint for the next generation of sportscar in collaboration with his successor, Julian Thomson. “We could get quite close [to the C-X75],” Callum said.
“There’s still a formula within Jaguar for a front-mid-engined car. I have a preference for mid-engined cars. It’s certainly something I would like to see.”
The suggestion is that Jaguar has progressed at least two design approaches: one in the short-nosed electric/mid-engined format Callum prefers, and another with a longer bonnet to accommodate front-mounted internal combustion engines (ICE), including a hybridised V8.
“For an electric sportscar, you could make a shape like [the C-X75] with the batteries in a T- or H-shape through the middle. Or you could make it as a longitudinal internal-combustion mid-engined car. It would be short enough. So the style won’t dictate the drivetrain, but the drivetrain may dictate the style.”
The current F-Type is set to be on sale for another three years, with a round of updates to bring it into line with newer competitors. But Callum confirmed in April that the development cycle for its successor would have to begin “soon”.
The C-X75 was a groundbreaking supercar originally conceived to use jet turbines as generators for an electric propulsion system when Jaguar first unveiled the concept in 2010. Working prototypes were then produced that instead used a more conventional petrol-electric hybrid system.
But by the end of 2012, the decision to pull the plug on the whole project was taken, meaning Callum’s highly praised exterior design never made it to production.