Not only did we have high expectations for it because of the company’s history at the Geneva Motor Show, but more importantly, we didn’t know a whole lot about this car. Sure, there have been some birds chirping about a Jaguar concept by Bertone called the ’B99’, but it wasn’t until the luxury concept was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show that we finally got a really good look at it.
To be clear, the B99 isn’t a production car - at least not yet - but a conceptual proposal for a ’baby’ Jaguar model that will feature a traditional four-door sedan body with more classic proportions and styling cues than the XJ and XF.
Seeing as this is a concept, the B99 still has a ways to go before it is given the green light for production. But from what we’ve seen of the car so far, we wouldn’t be surprised if this mysterious concept finds its way past a pipe dream and into production lines real soon.
UPDATE 03/02/11: This review has been updated with the Bertone B99’s full specs, as well as new images.
UPDATE 03/08/11: According to Automotive News, Jaguar was not impressed by the B99 concept and will not put it to production: "It is not our concept. We appreciate the fact that Jaguar is interesting enough for people to do a concept around. It’s not that we are offended by it, or against it — it is just not for us." Jaguar has plans to enter new market segments by 2014, but this will be done with their own work: "We have concepts all over the place. A lot of work has been done," said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director.
Bertone and Jaguar have joined forces again, and the result is this lovely little concept called the B99. Celebrating 99 years of existence, Bertone ’s B99 is meant to showcase what a Jaguar 3-Series could look like (and thankfully there’s no silly black C-pillar as found on the XJ). While some may disagree with this design’s placement in the lineup, one thing is certain: an X-Type this ain’t.
Measuring 4.5 meters long, 1.95 meters wide, and 1.35 meters high with a 2.8-meter wheelbase, the B99 has the dimensions to make a run at the luxury car segment. That is if the car ever makes it to production.
On the outside, you’ll immediately notice a few styling cues that are unmistakably Jaguar, including the iconic ‘leaping cat’ ornament on the hood. On top of that, the B99 also features a couple of new high-tech and safety features, not the least of which are pedestrian safety sensors on the front and rear of the B99 that work as retractors should a collision take place on either end of the car. Inside the B99, Bertone added enough luxury and high-tech digs to amp up the concept’s exclusive and high-brow interior. The seats come with floating armrests that add a luxurious touch to the interior with each seat also coming with their own set of flip-down trays.
As for all the techie goodness, among the additions found on the interior of the B99 are trumpet gauges wrapped in aluminum and suspended between the wing and the dashboard, a discrete multi-media screen, “Ebony Macasar African Wood, and air vents that are partly hidden just behind the car’s wrap-around wing. On top of that, there’s also an infotainment controller that rises from the B99’s center console.
Just like with a lot of high-grade cars these days, the B99 comes with its own powertrain in the form of a 1.4-liter gas engine with 168 horsepower that goes together with two 150 kW motors - each motor has 201 horsepower apiece - rounding out the total output to around 570 horsepower while only emitting 30g/km of CO2.
Bertone didn’t divulge any pricing information on the B99 Concept so your guess is as good as ours. Jaguar and Bertone are pegging the car as a future luxury car so we expect the price tag attached to this baby to hit somewhere around $70,000 to $80,000.
Word has it that this Jaguar concept will be gunning for a couple of established models, including the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class . With a traditional four-door body, it’s also looking like the car will bear some striking similarities with its long-standing brethren, the XJ and XF.
While we need to see more about the the B99 Concept before we can start comparing it to the aesthetics of a 3-Series or a C-Class, the powertrain numbers are something that we can already start comparing, especially if the engine that this concept has under its bonnet will be the same one that’s going to be used if a production model materializes.
So when talking about powertrains, the B99 Concept blows the top-level 3-Series out of the water with the latter’s 4.0-liter V8 engine with 414 horsepower compared to the B99’s 1.4-liter gas engine combined with the two 150 kW motors, producing a total of 570 horsepower. Conversely, the Mercedes C-Class also falls short in the engine department compared to the B99 with its 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 302 horsepower.
Now the numbers might seem to be severely skewed towards the B99 Concept, but from what we’ve heard, Jaguar and Bertone are pegging the future production version to compete against the two German rivals.
- Jaguar’s entering the luxury jungle with new and aggressive cat
- Exterior details are simple yet classy
- Powerful engine
- Not a lot of interior details divulged
- Far from production
- Competition is fierce