A long-awaited return to competitive motorsport racing for the Jaguar brand has been hinted at, which could come shortly after the company’s new sports car the F-Type goes on sale in 2013.
Jaguar has not had an official presence in motorsport since 2004, back when it ran a Formula One team which was sold at the end of that year to the energy drinks company Red Bull.
It’s now been over eight years since Jaguar officially competed in motorsport. Now however, speaking about the new F-Type and future plans, the Global Brand Director for Jaguar, Adrian Hallmark, hinted the roadster could help spark a return to motorsport racing for the company.
He said: “In terms of a return to racing we have made no commitment but we absolutely want to, but not in F1 or Le Mans. Those are too expensive”.
“Motorsport is all about customer engagement and the F-Type is clearly a sports car. There are all sorts of moves in terms of regulations changes going on at the moment in motorsport and this all starts to make things more attractive to us in terms of cost”.
With a return to F1 and Le Mans ruled out, Jaguar could most likely make its motorsport return in other sports car racing categories, such as the GT3 or GT4 European Championships, both of which a racing version of the Jaguar F-Type could become eligible for.
Both of these championships currently attract potential rivals to the F-Type sports car, such as the BMW Z4 and Porsche 911.[YouTube:CtdiEKbDlJ8]
Hallmark also spoke more about the Jaguar F-Type itself, revealing the sports car is on schedule to launch in late April 2013.
Prior to that the new sports car will make its debut UK appearance on 10 November 2012, when it will attend the Lord Mayor’s Show in London. Here the F-Type will be driven through London’s streets during the annual procession, with London Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis sitting behind the wheel.
When it launches next year, the Jaguar F-Type will initially be sold as a soft-top roadster, with a hardtop coupe following later on in 2013. The standard model will use a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with 335bhp, while the mid-range F-Type S uses a similar engine but with 375bhp.
The range-topping F-Type V8 S will boast a 5.0-litre supercharged engine with 488bhp, allowing the sports car to hit a top speed of 186mph and cover the 0-60mph sprint in 4.2 seconds.
Hallmark also revealed that the F-Type and XK sports cars will spearhead a new high performance sub-brand for Jaguar, similar in concept to BMW’s M Sport outfit or the Mercedes AMG division.
The Jaguar F-Type will be sold at Perrys Jaguar dealerships from April next year.