It’s set to be one of the hottest cars of 2013, providing a direct challenge to Porsche’s 911 and Boxster. Now, after an image was leaked online, Jaguar has chosen to release the first official picture of the F-TYPE, showing three different specifications of its new compact roadster.

The three cars wear an ‘S’ badge on their front grille, but with each showing a different style of alloy wheel and interior trim.

The production F-TYPE has stayed remarkably true to the original C-X16 Concept, featuring the same oval grille and wing-mounted gills. The grille is flanked on each side by a pair of vertical gills, with a gloss black front splitter finishing off the look.

Three F-TYPE models will be available, powered by 335bhp and 375bhp versions of Jaguar’s new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine and a new derivative of its 5.0-litre V8 supercharged unit.

Compared to the C-X16 the F-TYPE features a chrome finish around the edge of the oval grille, plus a horizontal bar where the number plate will be mounted.

As was previously confirmed by Jaguar, The F-Type will be launched as a strict two-seater – initially in convertible form, with a choice of three petrol engines – 335bhp and 375bhp versions of Jaguar’s all-new 3.0-litre supercharged V6, and a new derivative of its existing supercharged 5.0-litre V8 with more than 400bhp.

Power will be sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but unlike the C-X16, the F-TYPE will no longer offer a hybrid powerplant with its petrol engines augmented by a secondary electric motor. Stop-start technology will be standard, in move to compete against the Boxster and 911’s remarkably fuel efficient performance.

A man who knows better than most the driving experience that the F-TYPE will deliver is Jaguar’s Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity: “Fundamentally, a great sports car is one you’ll look forward to driving because it’s fun, and the F-TYPE definitely delivers on that score.

“We’ve worked hard to make sure that responses to steering, throttle and brakes are absolutely immediate, a task made far easier by the rigid aluminium structure at the car’s base. It’s precise and exciting, a car that you’ll want to drive for the sake of driving alone – and it sounds fantastic!”

You can watch the test footage of Mike’s team in action in the video above.

The production F-TYPE has stayed remarkably true to Jaguar’s C-X16 Concept.

“As its sporting forebears did in their era, the F-TYPE will break new ground by delivering stunning sports car performance while vividly demonstrating Jaguar’s cutting-edge engineering technologies and world-class design excellence. The next step in Jaguar’s sporting bloodline is about to become reality”, said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director.

Priced to fit between the £37,600 Boxster and £71,500 911, the F-TYPE is expected to retail at around £55,000 for the 335bhp entry-level model.

Full details will be released next week at the Paris Motor Show, before going on sale in mid 2013.