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Spy shot: Jaguar XK

Jaguar will break with tradition next year when it launches its first diesel sports car.

It’s only a couple of years since the Midlands firm introduced its first oil-burner, but so far they’ve been reserved for its saloons and estates. Not any more.

The rejigged XK range, due to be unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in January, will be spearheaded by a new diesel model. 

It’s a prescient move; even buyers spending £60k on a sports car aren’t immune from the ravages of the economic downfall and swingeing attacks on high-CO2 vehicles.

Visual changes to the XK will be minor enough. There’s not much you can do to improve on Jag’s coupé and convertible, after all. Expect some tidying-up of the styling, with design flourishes borrowed from the XKR-S special edition.

Bigger news lies under the bonnet, where the old 4.2 V8 is finally pensioned off. 

In its place comes a new 5.0-litre V8, complete with direct injection for greater power and greener consumption. But the big news is the arrival of a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel.

The 3.0 TD is an evolution of the 2.7 derv from today’s XJ and XF. The increase in cubic capacity should give the sports cars a real boost in performance – while trimming CO2 emissions to less than 200g/km. Impressive for a top-end sports car.

If the diesel’s not for you, don’t worry – the 5.0 V8 will develop 400bhp or, with the R-spec supercharger, 500bhp for red-hot performance.

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