Jaguar has finally confirmed what motoring enthusiasts have been waiting years to hear - it will build a successor to the iconic E-Type.
The announcement, at the New York Motor Show, ended nearly four years of speculation about whether the British marque would develop an heir to its 1960s icon.
The E-Type, which was built between 1961 and 1975 with more than 700,000 sold worldwide, has often been described as the most beautiful car ever built.
The catalyst for the decision was the success of the C-X16 concept that was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show last year.
Jaguar's global brand director, Adrian Hallmark, said last week that public reaction to the C-X16 had been so positive they accelerated the development of its all-new sports car.
"That car will be called the F-Type," Mr Hallmark announced. "And it will be unveiled in production form later this year.
"The core appeal of Jaguar's cars is their sporting heart, and that heart will beat stronger than ever before in the F-Type.
"Its development is vivid representation of the confidence and ambition of the Jaguar brand, and the desire amongst our engineers and design team to produce a worldleader in a market segment that we have been absent from for too long."
Design director Ian Callum said a true sports car needed to be pure in both its purpose and its form.
"The C-type, D-type and E-type Jaguars were all sports cars that held true to this principle in their era, and the F-Type will hold true to that same principle in its time."
The F-Type will be a two-seater convertible with a weight-saving all-aluminium body and a strong focus on driver enjoyment.
But Jaguar is not prepared to reveal what engines will power the sports car.
All they are prepared to say at this stage is that a range of petrol engines will be available.
They also are happy to guarantee that it will deliver stunning sports car performance with a 0-100km/h time of under 5secs and a top-speed in excess of 300km/h.
Jaguar has already started on-road testing of engineering prototypes built at its Castle Bromwich plant in the UK - the same plant at which the production cars will be built.Full details of the F-Type will be announced later this year before it goes on sale mid-2013.
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