Jaguar is speculated to be working on a compact five-door coupe, which is said to be along the lines of Audi's new A5 Sportback, according to IL. The car is said to have evolved from the RD6 concept unveiled in 2003. Code-named RD7, the five-door coupe features suicide rear doors, a side-hinged tailgate arrangement inspired by the XK-E coupe, and a 2.7-liter V6 diesel engine.
The preceding RD6 was meant to be a low-volume niche model replacement for the failed Jaguar X-Type.
Since this model has been withdrawn from the US and will soon exit Europe in the next few months, the Jaguar is left with no entrant in the huge compact premium sedan segment, and a model range that starts part-way up the segment above.
That is why the search for a new entry-level sedan/coupe is vital. Being considered are both three- and five-door versions of the hatchback RD7.
It is more likely though it will limit itself to the higher volume five-door, which could be based on a shrunken version of the XF's steel body architecture. But don't expect it to come immediately; it is still some way off.
Meanwhile, Jaguar said that its next major new model debut will be its new sport car, code-named XE, a spiritual successor to the legendary XK-E. The car is believed to be unveiled in 2011 and to go on sale in 2012.
Insiders are quoted to have said that the company doesn't have the resources to fast-track either model even if the sports car is based on a cut-down version of the existing XK platform.
RD7 is predicted to be at least 4 years away. What's exciting is that the heavily modified Jaguar S-Type mules were recently spied near Jaguar's engineering center. [via il]