WHAT: Caught testing dressed in a modified XF body is Jaguar’s upcoming BMW 3-Series sized sedan. Likely called the Q-Type (or possibly the XS), the premium compact will make liberal use of weight-saving aluminum in its structure and outer skin. Borrowing powertrains from the midsize XF, Jaguar will offer Q-Type buyers a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. Rear- and all-wheel drive will be available. The sedan is expected to be joined by a two-door coupe and possibly even a convertible. Virtually certain is that Jaguar will use its platform and running gear for a new compact crossover SUV with a coupe-like four-door body.
WHEN: Look for the Q-Type in showrooms during the second half of 2014 as a 2015 model. The alternate body styles would appear in subsequent model years, with the crossover probably launching in early 2015 as a 2016.
WHY: Jaguar desperately needs an entry in the highest-volume luxury-car segment, premium compact sedans. It’ll plug that hole in its lineup with the Q-Type and use aluminum construction, svelte styling, and British luxury to differentiate it from formidable rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Lexus IS, and Cadillac ATS.
HOW MUCH: Along with the compact crossover it’ll spawn, the Q-Type is Jaguar’s hope to attract younger buyers. So expect it to start under $40,000.