07/09/2011 Jaguar C-X16 concept: Pictures and full details
“It embodies the established Jaguar strengths of sensual design, animal-like agility and inspirational performance,” says Jaguar of the C-X16 prototype, the so-called successor to the iconic E-type. The concept will be revealed in all its sensual glory at the Frankfurt motor show next week, when visitors will be able to give their personal thumbs-up or thumbs-down to this “bold statement of Jaguar’s future design and technological intent”.
And that future is hybrid, judging by the front-engined, rear-wheel-drive C-X16’s drivetrain. Based around a new, supercharged, all-alloy, 3.0-litre V6 promising 380HP and 332lb ft of torque, supplemented by an electric motor capable of spitting out another 95HP and 173lb ft – and here’s an interesting bit – available to the driver at the push of a steering-wheel boost button.
What this means in performance terms (with help from the eight-speed ZF gearbox and lightweight aluminium chassis) is 0 to 62mph in 4.4 seconds and and a top speed of 186mph, while boasting not-at-all-bad green credentials of 41mpg and 165g/km of CO2. Oh, and in electric-only mode, the C-X16 can apparently scoot along at as much as 50mph.
The concept’s two-seater cabin is somewhat shoutily trimmed in red leather, but it’s the external styling that will make it or break it for potential customers. And for most, almost certainly make it. There’s nothing overtly challenging in its appearance, but the wet-T-shirt approach to the aluminium bodywork, closely hugging the mechanical components underneath, helps give it that sensual, muscular, ready-to-pounce appearance. But not too brashly. Seductive, yes, but Jaguar still favours a fairly sophisticated form of seduction.
Still, it’s no shrinking violet. From the “gill-like strakes dividing the air intakes flanking the grille” through to the tail, “which mimics the appearance of the trailing edge of a swept aeroplane wing”, the C-X16 is a bold, dramatic beast.
The driver (once he has recovered from the after-image of all that red leather) will enjoy such futuristic technologies as ‘multimodal rotary controls’, which incorporate tiny OLED screens to show the different functions of that control. And we like the idea of Jaguar’s ‘Connect and View’ system, linked to the central TouchScreen which is reconfigured to mimic the screen of – say – your connected smartphone.
Looking past the leather and Alcantara micro-suede, the main touch surfaces in the cabin are a combination of anodised aluminium, piano blacks, dark chrome and carbonfibre, while the (manually adjusted) bucket seats are lightweight composite with a central carbonfibre spine. Seductive but very sporty, in other words. And, we hope, the final production version shouldn’t be too different from the concept when the C-X16 goes on sale late next year.