For some time now two of UK's significant auto companies, Jaguar and Lotus Engineering, have been collaborating on some important projects, an example of which is the Jaguar front-engined XE roadster.
Lotus Engineering is currently helping Jaguar with the chassis settings of the latest Jaguar XKR-S coupe, a collaboration that enabled Jaguar to finalize the settings of the latest 503 hp XKR.
Another project in progress is the advance engineering viability for the XE sports car, which is unlikely to show at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show launch but has been set for production.
The assignment of Lotus in this regard is to determine whether the two-seat front-engined roadster can reach production lines with the figures it is generating. The XKR received an aluminum chassis after a steel frame was ruled out on the XF.
It was Lotus who, with the Elise, started aluminum sports car technology which it later used on the Aston Martin Vanquish. Jaguar has currently two available aluminum technology for the XE. One is the extrusions/castings structure of the XK and the other is a riveted monocoque of the present XJ.
In the event that Jaguar will be outsourcing production of the XE, Lotus heads the list as it possesses extra production capabilities at its Hethel plant.
Although this might not be the case, the fact is Jaguar was forced to seek outsourcing partners for the alloy-bodied, mid-engined F-type to reduce its production expenses, a situation much the same with the current XE model.[via autocar]