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2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

2013 Jaguar XE Convertible - FROM $

The 2013 Jaguar XE should be perfect for those who want the larger XK's panache in a smaller, lighter and sportier package.

2013  Jaguar XE Convertible

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Jaguar XE coupe will be an all-new model.

Introduction

As sleek and fast as the Jaguar XK is, it's still not quite a classic sports car. It's certainly a very capable grand tourer, but it's still too big, too heavy and too isolated for the serious driving enthusiast. Fortunately the high-performance 2013 Jaguar XE should fill the sports car slot in the company's current portfolio. It also has the unenviable task of measuring up to the gold standard of sports cars, the Porsche 911.

The XE will be shorter, lighter and more athletic than the XK, riding on a truncated version of the bigger car's chassis. Intensive aluminum construction should keep the car light on its feet -- perhaps as much as 500 pounds less than the 2-ton XK -- and its two-seat profile ticks off one of the main criteria for a world-class sports car.

A supercharged V6 is likely to end up under the hood, as Jaguar needs to reduce its lineup's collective thirst. But we also fully expect to see the direct-injected 5.0-liter V8 offered as an option or perhaps in an R trim level. A six- or seven-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters seems likely, although the XE should offer a six-speed manual -- in the base model at least -- to burnish its sporting credentials.

Although we've seen prototype mules with soft tops, we're not buying it, and expect Jaguar to offer the XE with a retractable hardtop. Furthermore, Jaguar officials are emphatic that the C-X16 concept recently shown at the Frankfurt auto show, with its supercharged V6 hybrid powertrain, is not, in fact, the new XE. We should know more in early April, when Jaguar says it plans to reveal more details about its 911 fighter.

Given the timeline, we don't expect to see the XE on sale until the end of the year at the earliest. Pricing is equally nebulous, although given Jaguar's targets, we expect it'll split the difference between a Porsche Cayman and a base 911. Check back for a full review of the 2013 Jaguar XE, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.