Cosmopolitan genesis, high-gloss outcome, with a nice dose of speed on the side

In 2003, Fuore Design debuted the Jaguar XF-10 concept car at the Barcelona Motor Show. The study was framed as an amalgamation between the two-seater Jags created in the ‘50s, and more contemporary Formula 1 race cars, combining old-school class with cutting edge go-fast technology. The Fuore team, lead by designer Erwin Leo Himmel, created the XF-10 with complete independence from Jaguar, merely asking for the marque’s permission in using the Jaguar brand name and badging. The goal was to persuade Jag to create something production-ready that mirrored the concept in shape and substance, as well as show off Fuore’s design chops. The result is a one-off two-seater sports car with unique styling and gobs of performance potential.

Taking a trip through the XF-10’s origins requires a passport and a translator – the “make” is British, the design team is Spanish, the lead designer is Austrian, and the builder (Modarte) is Italian.

That’s a lot of flags to pin to one name, which begs the question – does the XF-10 walk away feeling cohesive, or more like a big jumble of parts?

Continue reading to learn more about 2003 Jaguar XF-10.

  • 2003 Jaguar XF-10
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    7000 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    211 mph
  • car segment:

History And Background

2003 Jaguar XF-10 High Resolution Exterior
- image 6647
Jaguar XF10

Before we dive into the car, let’s take a brief look at the driving creative force behind it. The man most responsible for the XF-10 is Erwin Leo Himmel, an automotive designer born in Austria. Himmel got his first gig in 1982 working for Audi, and was the pen behind models like the Audi 80, Audi 100, Audi V8, and most notably, the Audi Quattro Spyder. Himmel later worked for Volkswagen, Seat, and Skoda, helping with the creation of the Audi A8, Audi RS4, Volkswagen Touareg, and Volkswagen Golf IV.

By the end of 1999, Himmel had decided he wanted to start his own business – Fuore Design, which was eventually headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. During Fuore Design’s seven-year operation (2000 through 2007), Himmel worked with several major automakers, offering brand consulting services and concept car design work. Standout projects include the Dakar Rally-winning Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, the Subaru B11 S, and later, the BlackJag.


2003 Jaguar XF-10 High Resolution Exterior
- image 6649

And that brings me to the XF-10. Let’s start in front, where we see a long, drooping fascia that pulls the hood line towards the ground with a parabola-shaped nose. The headlights are placed high into the corners and near the fenders, adding visual width, and the grille is divided into three distinct sections – a central vertical piece bookended by two horizontal pieces. A fine silver mesh is inserted into the three intakes. Additional vertical intakes are in the trailing bumper edges, while dual fog lights hug the lower lip.

The whole fascia is distinctly Fuore-esque, and mimics similar designs seen in the Subaru B11 S concept, which later inspired production models like B9 Tribeca SUV

The whole fascia is distinctly Fuore-esque, and mimics similar designs seen in the Subaru B11 S concept, which later inspired production models like B9 Tribeca SUV. I also see a little Alfa Romeo in the way the hood dips into the trio of grilles, and a little Bugatti in the way the whole frontend slopes towards the ground.

Moving to the sides, there is a distinct shoulder line leading off the flared fenders up front, which rises into the rear haunches, giving the car a purposeful, raked stance. The side vents in the front bumper are continued behind the wheel well, and flow into vertical slats set at an angle against the shoulder line. The seven-spoke wheels are massive, filling the large wheel wells with ease, and come wrapped in low-profile rubber.

Small indents below the B-pillars replace the traditional door handles. The side-view mirrors are mounted in a vertical fashion off the jutting sill line thanks to two bold stalks, while the drama of ingress and egress is upped with scissor-style doors. Mounted to the roof is an odd little antenna-like protrusion, possibly added to mimic the winglet on a Formula 1 car’s central intake (although the F1 winglet is mounted width-wise, not length-wise like the XF-10).

As we approach the stern, we find a short rear overhang and flattened tail. The taillights have strips of LEDs and rounded backup lights on the central edges. A vertical brake light divides the low-mounted quad exhaust tips, which are set in a rear fascia that mimics the design of the front with three distinct sections.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 179.1 Inches
Width 78 Inches
Height 47.6 Inches


2003 Jaguar XF-10 High Resolution Interior
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Lift up the doors and step inside this two-seater, and you’re immediately met by a cabin space that’s every bit as wild as the exterior. Just about every surface is covered in pinkish red upholstery, including the doors, dash, seats, and central tunnel. Everything else appears in a brushed aluminum finish.

Slide into the left-hand bolstered sports seat and you’ll have a tri-spoke, squared-off steering wheel at arm’s length. The silver dash is retro and spacey in its shape, with white-faced, red-needled gauges dispersed across the top. Front and center is a display for the rear-facing backup camera. A few toggle, buttons, and knobs lead into the central tunnel, with a simple, minimalistic approach. The foot wells are set with a fine mesh material, similar to what was used in the front grilles. The pedals are dilled aluminum.

While far removed from anything you might consider “functional,” the XF-10’s interior is aesthetically quite pleasing. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a top-notch concept car – heavy on the pretty with little consideration for actually driving the thing.

Works for me.


2003 Jaguar XF-10 High Resolution Exterior
- image 6652

Being a one-off concept car, the XF-10 doesn’t get bogged down too much when it comes to technical details about the drivetrain and suspension. Rather, the approach taken here is to throw out a few numbers that sound good, then fill in the gaps as you go.

For starters, the “10” part of the XF-10 name is a reference to the cylinder count. There are dual overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, and seven liters of displacement. The engine is mounted in the middle and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed transmission.

Total output is rated at 640 horsepower, which doesn’t necessarily sound like a lot in the modern age of four-digit hypercars. Nevertheless, with only 2,976 pounds to push around, the XF-10 is projected to complete the 0-to-60 mph run in 3.8 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 210 mph.


2003 Jaguar XF-10 High Resolution Exterior
- image 6650

It’s still up for debate whether or not the XF-10 accurately brings together Jag two-seaters from the ‘50s and modern Formula 1 racers. What is clear is that Fuore succeeded in bringing together disparate design ideas into one unified concept package. To my eyes, the XF-10 looks like a big, bold, futuristic Alfa Romeo 4C – which is a compliment, in case it wasn’t obvious. Throw in a wild-looking interior and top-shelf exotic performance numbers, and it’s a wonder Jag didn’t at least attempt to put this thing into production.

  • Leave it
    • Concept one-off
    • Nothing is production-friendly
    • Performance numbers are vaporware
Jonathan Lopez
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