Jaguar has released the first image of the new Jaguar F-type following a leak on a US website. The F-type, the long-awaited successor to the E-type, will be revealed in full at the Paris motor show next week.

The leaked image shows three F-types parked with their soft-top roofs down. Each is sporting an ‘S’ badge on the front grille, suggesting this will be the initial range-topper; Jaguar has previously confirmed there will be no F-type R from launch.

The image also reveals the two-seat F-type has stayed remarkably true to the C-X16 coupe concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show 12 months ago. The new car will be launched as a convertible first in spring 2013, with a coupe expected to follow in late summer 2014.

The oval grille, such a prominent feature of Jaguar sports cars throughout history, has been axed in favour of a more modern four-cornered mouth. The grille is finished in a black hexagonal mesh and has a gloss black horizontal bar running through it.

The grille is flanked on each side by a pair of gills, which have been carried over from the C-X16. The front also features a splitter finished in gloss black.

Spy pictures have previously revealed the bonnet to be a clamshell design, and there’s a prominent power dome as part of its sculpted shape. The headlights are vertical in design and feature a distinctive LED strip that curves from the outside in.

One of the big questions over the F-type was just how much Jaguar design director Ian Callum would be influenced by the E-type, but references to the iconic model seem few. The main reference the leaked image reveals is an E-type-style sloping tail for the new F-type.

Jaguar has previously confirmed the F-type’s engine line-up will consist of its all-new supercharged 3.0-litre V6 and a new version of its familiar supercharged 5.0-litre V8. The former will be available with either 335bhp or 375bhp, but the V8’s figure is as yet unknown.

Each of the three petrol engine choices will send power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Stop-start technology will also be standard.

The F-type is based on a shortened version of the XK’s all aluminium monocoque and body, but the car will be tuned for a greater driver focus. Bosses have previously said that even the entry-level F-type will be a more focused driver’s tool than the XKR-S.

It will be sized between the Porsche Boxster and Porsche 911 and priced between them, too. A starting price tag of around £55,000 has previously been mooted.

“The unveiling of the F-type in Paris will be a truly significant day in Jaguar’s history as it will mark the company’s return to the sports car market, a market it originally helped to create,” Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark said last month in confirming the F-type’s Paris launch.

“As its sporting forebears did in their era, the F-type will break new ground by delivering stunning sports car performance while vividly demonstrating Jaguar’s cutting-edge engineering technologies and world-class design excellence. The next step in Jaguar’s sporting bloodline is about to become reality.”