ROLLS-ROYCE DEBUTS ‘SPIRIT OF ECSTASY’ FABERGÉ EGG
That’s all fed through an eight-speed ZF automatic that uses GPS data to predict shifts – the result is a box that’s smoother than a Michelin-starred maître d’
Jaguar F-Type successor, which could be called J-Type, will feature a mid-engine layout and hybrid tech. A full EV model could also follow
The successor to the Jaguar F-Type will embrace hybrid technology and go mid-engined when it launches around 2022, Auto Express can exclusively reveal. And further down the line, Jag could launch a fully-electric version to rival the forthcoming Porsche Taycan.
Development work on the F-Type’s successor is under way, with engineers devising a plan that will transform the model into the brand’s halo product to compete with McLaren and Audi Sport.
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Central to the plan and favoured by engineers is the shift from a front to mid-engined layout for the performance car. According to high-ranking technicians working on the project, the Honda NSX is being used as a benchmark for the next-generation Jaguar model, because key to the car’s armoury will be the use of hybrid technology to boost performance.
Although it will be a replacement for the current F-Type, the new product is likely to bear little resemblance to the existing car. The switch to a mid-engined layout will enable Jaguar to be more daring with the proportions; the long bonnet and cab- rearward design of the current F-Type will make way for a lower, sleeker overall look, previewed in our exclusive images.
The mechanical make-up of the car is yet to be finalised, but it’s expected that at least two electric motors, one on each axle to give four-wheel drive, will supplement a mid-mounted V6 engine. If it is to be competitive, a power figure upwards of 550bhp is likely, placing it among competitors such as the McLaren 570S and Audi R8.
It will be only the second mid-engined car in Jaguar’s 83-year history, following on from the XJ220 of the nineties. The firm came close to launching another in 2010 with the C-X75. Developed with Williams Advanced Engineering, the supercar was pitched as a rival for the McLaren P1, but the economic situation at the time concerned Jaguar and the project was axed due to a fear of a lack of return on the company’s investment.
The flexible platform on which the new F-Type will be based will also allow the brand to develop a fully-electric version. Auto Express understands engineers are keeping a close eye on the Taycan project and are keen to build a rival for that car.
Jaguar has much more experience recently with developing electric cars as opposed to mid-engined vehicles. The I-Pace is widely regarded as the best of its kind and is driven by concentric permanent magnet synchronous motors – that means the car’s driveshaft runs through the middle of them – which are designed and built by Jaguar itself.
It’s also possible that by the time the F-Type EV arrives, solid state battery technology, which is being analysed and developed by a host of global car brands, could be ready for production.
Given the extensive changes the F-Type’s successor will undergo, it’s possible Jaguar could rename the model J-Type. The firm applied to trademark the name as recently as last month.
£4.5m Bugatti Divo revealed at Monterey Car Week
The new Bugatti Divo will be a more focused, aggressive and expensive sibling to the Chiron
The silk sheets have been taken off Bugatti’s new flagship hypercar, the Divo. Although the new Bugatti Divo shares its chassis and powertrain with the Chiron, its all-new bodywork and re-fettled chassis have, according to Bugatti, been designed to make the Divo a sweeter-handling hypercar than the Chiron. Priced at around £4.5million at current exchange rates, the model is limited to 40 units, all of which are already spoken for.
One look at the Divo and it’s obvious that it could only be a modern Bugatti. However, compared to the sleek and sophisticated Chiron, the Divo takes a more menacing approach, with all-new carbonfibre bodywork that’s studded with ornate aerodynamic detailing.
The new aesthetic starts with the ‘Bugatti line’. On the Chiron the iconic C-shaped line contains the cabin within its unbroken sweep. On the Divo, however, Bugatti has raised this line to halfway up the door, giving Bugatti’s designers the ability to integrate more complex groundwork aero skirting around the car.
The aggressive aero is most prominent on the front end, where a wider horseshoe grille dominates. The lower, stealthier nose might also initially look like its missing its headlights, but they now reside in a tiny 35mm shadow gap beneath the new daytime running lights, which stretch their way back up the front wings. At the light’s termination points are new 911 GT3 RS-like louvres.
Moving up and over the cabin, the roof now incorporates a wide but shallow NACA duct, split by a blue-coloured centre seam that recalls the weld seam that defined many historic Bugatti models, such as the Type 57S Atlantic. The carbonfibre that is exposed has been finished with a blue tint in the resin, but owners will be able to specify their own combination of colours.
The rear design takes a similar approach to the Chiron in having a fairly open tail to release the masses of heat being produced by the powertrain. The biggest design difference is the replacement of the Chiron’s distinctive full-width lightbar (milled from a single, giant piece of aluminium, no less) with a new, 3D-printed mesh that the taillights ‘bleed’ into. The effect is not dissimilar to that on the rear of the Aston Martin Vulcan. The Divo’s rear aero is also less subtle than the Chiron’s, as the wing no longer fully retracts into the rear bodywork. As a result, the new stacked wing is 23 per cent wider, contributing to the extra 90kg of downforce produced by the Divo. Overall weight has been reduced by 35kg compared with the Chiron, although at 1995kg you still wouldn’t call the Divo a lightweight.
Under the new carbonfibre skin is the same 7993cc quad-turbocharged W16 engine, connected to a Ricardo-built dual-clutch automatic gearbox powering all four wheels. Peak power is rated at 1479bhp at 6700rpm, with 1180lb ft of torque available across an astonishingly wide 2000-6000rpm powerband. Bugatti quotes a 0-62mph time of 2.4 seconds, but the top speed is limited to 236mph – because the Divo lacks the ‘Top Speed’ mode that can lift the speed limiter by a further 25mph on the Chiron.
Inside, much of the Chiron’s interior is carried over. The example picture here features an asymmetrical colour palette of light blue and black Alcantara. There’s a wider use of satin-finish carbonfibre, as well as a dark anodisation on the interior’s usually bright aluminium highlights around the steering wheel and dash.
Although many Divos will doubtlessly live their lives squirrelled away in private collections, all 40 vehicles will be homologated for road use.
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You can keep your Panamera now…