The Jaguar F-Type Concept (2000) was a developed version of the XK180, as the company sought to make the car production viable. This is the second in our series of Jaguar concept cars you (sadly) cannot buy, as they were never actually produced.
The XK180 had a superb response from the motoring press, but was only built to generate publicity, even though it was fully working which was rare for a concept car. I am of the opinion that the XK180 was intended for production, I think a limited edition sports car wasn’t what Jaguar needed.
Jaguar then began to investigate a production model that would satisfy the demand the XK180 had created. The designer responsible for the follow up would be Keith Helfet, who had designed the earlier XK180.
The F-Type was to be a clean sheet design, this meant less of the constraints of having to work with an adapted platform. Free of the restriction of the XK8 platform, Helfet designed the F-Type to be smaller and more lithe. While the platform was bespoke, the car was deliberately built to house the AJ V6 engine already in use in the S and X-Type cars. This would give the new F-Type a range of proven engines.
First revealed at the Detroit Auto show in 2000, the F-Type had an excellent response and Jaguar representatives said the car would be on sale in 2002. Getting the car to production would prove more of a challenge. The design Director Ian Callum, suggested a mid engine layout to maintain the cars pretty lines. In the end Jaguar decided to focus it’s effort on diesel engines and the project was mothballed.
I think it’s one of the most coherent and beautiful concept cars ever; I’m sure it would have been a highly successful car if it was launched. The concept car can be found at the Heritage Museum in Gaydon, UK. More information here.
Road trip, car show or track day Ed is sure to be there taking photos and notes to blog about. Ed has a particular fascination with the volatile history of the British sports car industry which is where the idea for the site came from!