This time, Jaguar really is going to make a new sports car. Honest. The confirmation at today's New York motor show that the Jaguar F-type will make production follows several aborted attempts from Jaguar over the years to produce a spiritual successor to the E-type.
First there was the XJ41 and XJ42 concepts of the early 1980s, then there was the original F-type concept itself of 2000. Both got tantalisingly close to production, but never made it due to the state of the company at the time."
"Jaguar is a small company," design director Ian Callum told me at the show today. "You have to get the fundamentals across the rest of the range right before you look at models like sports cars."
"The boards at the time said we needed to get the fundamentals right before making an indulgent promise. Now, we've rebuilt the foundations of the range and have permission to make a car like the F-type."
Permission is a word that surrounds the F-type a lot. Jaguar expects the F-type's halo effect will rub off on the rest of the range, and also bring the brand to a younger audience.
"Age is a state of mind," said Callum. "A 15-year-old liking the F-type gives the real buyers permission and credibility to buy the car. It will change perceptions of the brand."
One thing Jaguar doesn't want the F-type to be known as is the "new E-type". Giving the naming, such comparisons are inevitable but Jaguar won't be trading on its past anymore to promote its future. "We won't be wheeling out old cars to sell new ones," said Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark. "We can use our history in a positive way, but the F-type is strong enough to stand on its own.
"If people see the nod to the E-type in little design touches or with the name then great," said Callum. "This car will be as significant as the E-type in time."
Roll on 2013.