Hard Shoulder


A round-up of today's other stories in brief...

2013 BMW 1 Series spotted

While BMW is busy launching the facelifted 1 Series, work is already under way on completely new versions of the entry-level model. The big news is that it’s a front-wheel-drive, set for an official launch in 2013.

The new version is much bigger than it appears - and than the current model. There is room inside for four adults sitting comfortably. Set to compete against the Mercedes B-Class and VW Golf Plus, it shares its platform with the next Mini Cooper, as confirmed by BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer. “For these new vehicles we are developing a common architecture for both front- and four-wheel drive,” he said.

Jaguar revives E-Type for anniversary

It’s the 50th anniversary this year of the introduction of the car that still defines the Jaguar brand: the E-Type.

So it’s appropriate that in recent weeks the first prototypes of a spiritual successor, probably to be called XE, have rolled out of Jaguar’s design centres.

In spite of which, Jaguar senior management are still not officially admitting to the new model’s existence. However, insiders admit that the styling is signed off.

At first, it will be available only with a 3.0 V6 petrol engine, but a more powerful V8 version is also likely. The XE will be pitched against the Porsche Boxster and Cayman and Mercedes- Benz SLK, which means a more affordable four- cylinder model is likely.

Twice in the past decade, Jaguar has tried to create a compact, affordable two-seater and twice it has faltered at the last step. Fifty years on, the E-Type really looks to be coming home.