Jaguar's new E-Type

Jaguar has revealed its modern day interpretation of the iconic E-Type sports car.

According to the British brand the stunning C-X16 compact coupe concept "marks a new chapter for Jaguar", featuring a new design language, a technologically advanced drivetrain and highlighting a new way of thinking while also harking back to the brand's most famous car.

The rear-wheel-drive, two-door, two-seat C-X16 is the smallest car Jaguar has built since the XK120 of 1954. It measures up at 4.45m in length, 1.29m high and a massive 2.05m wide - dimensions similar to those of the next-generation Porsche 911 (4.49m long, 1.8m wide and 1.3m tall).

The C-X16 is powered by a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine producing 280kW of power and 450Nm of torque. Cogs are swapped by an eight-speed automatic 'box that is linked to a formula one-style brake energy-storing battery reserve situated at the back of the car. Pressing the steering wheel-mounted "Push to Pass" button sees the engine's power outputs increase by 70kW and 235Nm for short bursts, such as overtaking manoeuvres.

Despite the extra weight of the battery pack at the rear of the car, Jaguar claims the C-X16 offers the "ideal 50:50 weight distribution", and say its claimed 0-100km/h time is a blistering 4.4 seconds.

While all of Jaguar's claimed figures are eye-watering, the consumption and emissions figures the UK brand is boasting are equally as impressive. Jaguar claims the C-X16 will sip just 5.7 litres per 100km and emit only 165g/km partly due to its lightweight aluminium underbody structure and also because the C-X16 can travel on electric power alone at speeds of up to 80km/h.

While Jaguar hasn't publicly stated that it sees the C-X16 as the successor the E-Type, the brand's design boss Ian Callum told Drive earlier this year that he's been "very keen" to build a new compact coupe that follows in the tyre tracks of the sexy 1960s long-bonnet model.

"Put it this way: I've always been a fan of producing a two-seater sports car with Jaguar. There never has been one since the E-type... So I've been very keen, along with the team at Jaguar to get back to that focal point of what Jaguar stands for," Callum told Drive.

"Beyond that we'll just have to wait and see what happens. But I do believe that is the focal point of the brand, a two-seater sports car. That's where we make our most impact in the world and then everything else can stem from that."

Tata Motors CEO Carl-Peter Forster indicated to Drive earlier this year that production of the new small sports car would likely commence sometime in 2012.

"We won't be able to make it this year. It would have been nice. The recession clearly took a little bit too long to be able to get it to launch this year."

The Jaguar C-X16 will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show next week.

Courtesy: Drive