Earlier this month, we reported on a tidbit that Jaguar was going to the Frankfurt Motor Show with a new sports car concept in tow. Now, thanks to full specifications released by the company ahead of the show, we have a clear picture of what the British automaker is bringing to the biggest auto show in the calendar.
The concept is called the ’C-X16’ and has been described as a production concept that will serve as the prototype for future Jaguar sports cars. This car "aims to set new class benchmarks in design, vehicle dynamics and technology."
Some have speculated that this model will serve as the successor to the XK while others have reported that it’s a completely new model that has the Porsche 911 in its sights. These new specifications, while impressive, don’t exactly spell worthy competition for the new 911.
UPDATE 09/15/11: Jaguar has unveiled a new video for the C-X16 concept just after its official debut in Frankfurt. Also, for those of you who can not be in Germany these day for the show, you should check www.jaguarfuture.com to learn more about the C-X16.
UPDATE 11/18/11: The smokin’ hot Jaguar C-X16 Concept made its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. To our surprise, as well as many others we presume, the car that Jaguar brought to Frankfurt was different from the concept we just saw at LA with the latter sporting a new Neuron White exterior paint finish to go along with all the fancy digs the C-X16 already has in its fold. This, dear friends, is the epitome of a drop-dead, gorgeous Big Cat. Check out all the shots of the Neuron White C-X16 in the photo gallery!
UPDATE 11/29/11: A Jaguar insider has confirmed to TeamSpeed that the C-X16 concept is inches closer to mass production. The same source has told that Jaguar is currently working on the seat frames "to ensure the car will pass stringent crash tests."
Contrary to what we expected, the C-X16 Concept is going to be built using a shorter version of the new XK’s aluminum chassis. It measures 4.45 meters long, 2.048 meters wide, and 1.297 meters high with a wheelbase measuring 2.62 meters.
The design language of the C-X16 blends a mixture of the XK’s front end with what appears to be the rear of the C-X75 concept we saw at the Paris Auto Show last year. The split air intakes on the front end also add a more aggressive tone to the car’s profile while the long bonnet provides an image of power and elegance to make it look splendidly awesome.
The interior of the concept was designed by Jaguar with inspiration from aeronautical ergonomics, including the joystick gear lever, and the plethora of toggle switches on the instrument panel. There are also plenty of different interior color options and trims, including a splashy red interior on the concept that matches well with the silver exterior.
Like in the most advanced air crafts, the C-X16 concept gets a red start button that glows like a heart beat. When pushed it will start the speedometer and the tachometer, the messaging center and the main Touch-screen display activated and all the ambient cabin lighting illuminates. Not the driver knows his car is ready to go.
The design of the C-X16 was born out of the same creative heads that penned the current XJ, XF, and XK, spearheaded by no less than the company’s design director, Ian Callum.
"Great Jaguars have always been beautiful, innovative and have looked firmly to the future," Callum said.
"The finished C-X16 concept has the potential to do these things while retaining the ability to surprise, to excite and invigorate."
The C-X16 comes with a prototype hybrid "Puch to Pass" system that combines a new 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine with 380 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque. This gas engine is then joined by an electric motor generator that has been integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor receives its power from a 1.6kWh battery pack mounted just behind the seats, providing an additional 95 horsepower and 173 lb/ft of torque.
In addition to the hybrid engine set-up, the C-X16 also features a hybrid boost system that draws its set-up from Formula 1’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System. The KERS-like system on the sports car can be activated with a steering-wheel mounted button, providing increased acceleration courtesy of the car’s electric motor. A graphic on the dashboard indicates when the additional boost provided by the electric motor can be deployed.
The concept is also equipped with an intelligent Stop/Start system which further reduces emissions and increases fuel economy. The system operated in heavy traffic or when stopped at traffic lights and is designed to temporarily shut down the engine just 300 milliseconds after the car comes to rest.
All told, the Jaguar C-X16 Concept is capable of hitting 0-62 mph in just 4.4 seconds, whereas the top speed can reach as high as 186 mph.
There’s a pretty good chance that the C-X16 will give birth to a production version down the road and Jaguar has made no bones about targeting the new Porsche 911, among other sports cars in its segment, as its first prey.
Jaguar definitely has its work cut out for them if they’re trying to devour one of the industry’s most iconic sports cars, but you have to admire the bravado and the confidence. On one hand, the C-X16 offers a fresh new alternative that’s going to garner its share of attention with an aggressive design and a powerful engine.
On the other hand, the Porsche 911 is a member of auto royalty. The fact that Porsche will also be introducing the highly anticipated next generation model in Frankfurt is also something that’s just a little bit over Jaguar’s head.
We like the presentation of the C-X16, but until we see the production guise, we can’t make any due comparisons against the Porsche 911. And even then, it’s going to take something mind-blowing for the C-X16 to sniff the air the 911 has been breathing for the better part of 45 years.
The Cayman isn’t sacrificial lamb either; it comes with its own refreshed styling and is powered by a 2.9-liter 6-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower and 221 lb/ft of torque.
The Jaguar C-X16 Concept is being prepared as a close-to-production model, give or take a few tweaks. No word yet on when the production version will be introduce, but we expect it to happen sooner than later.
The momentum Jaguar is having with their recent company overhaul might draw thin if they prolong the debut of their new sports car so we believe we’ll see something concrete in the next couple of years.
Powerful hybrid engine
Interior looks splashy
Still a concept
Going up against the Porsche 911 is almost suicidal
Still a lot of questions that need answers