Eleven years before the Jaguar F-Type you all know and love today, there was another F-Type. It was smaller and lighter, aimed at the Porsche Boxster instead of the 911. But by 2002, it was dead thanks to Jaguar’s pointless Formula One efforts and Ford counting those beans, no doubt.
Geoff Lawson was Jaguar’s Design Director from Ford’s takeover in 1989 until his fatal stroke in 1999. According to the New York Times’ obituary, Lawson liked nothing more than American hot rods and handguns, and that passion certainly shines through his retro designs, with the last project bearing his signature being this F-Type Concept from 2000.
The team behind this very promising concept consisted of Keith Helfet, Adam Hatton and Pasi Pennanen, and the car was presented at the Detroit Auto Show by Lawson’s successor, Ian Callum.
While the crowd went wild for this sleek and lightweight homage to Jaguar’s ‘50s and ‘60s glory, rumors of the S-Type’s supercharged V6, the option of a manual or an automatic gearbox, and the possibility of an advanced all-wheel drive system filled the air.
After Ford cut Jag’s budget and it came to making a decision, Jaguar decided to fork more money into the F1 team instead of building this to boost brand awareness.
By 2002, the F-Type and its sexy lines were off the table.
On the plus side, Ian Callum and the rest at Jaguar did not give up on their E-Type successor.
The production-ready concept presented at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show might grew a size or two since Jag’s last try, but turned into the F-Type we all love to bits. With a supercharged V8, a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes, and a rather advanced, rear-axle biased all-wheel drive system.
Ford: 0, Tata Motors: 1.