Jaguar Land Rover could move to hybrid steel and aluminium construction for a new generation of smaller models.
The firm’s new owner, Tata, is likely to expand the line-ups of both brands, including a new entry-level saloon and a roadster for Jaguar.
But Mark White, that brand’s body structure boss, recently told a trade magazine that if he designed a mixed-material bodyshell, he would use “steel for the box sections” and aluminium sheets for “floorpans, roof panels, door inners and outers” to achieve maximum weight saving for “minimum cost”.
Jaguar has given the green light to a replacement for the X-Type and the long-awaited ‘F-Type’ roadster. Both the new X-Type and F-Type, expected to be called XE for production, need to come in “several variations” according to Tata Motors Group boss Carl-Peter Forster.
The long-rumoured XE baby roadster would slot in below the XK, while the new entry-level model would give Jaguar a replacement to the now discontinued X-Type to rival the BMW 3-series. The XF estate is tipped to launch in 2012 to coincide with the XF’s facelift.