Over the past couple of years, Jaguar’s design overhaul has yielded some pretty impressive models and it’s worth noting that the company’s promise to reinvent itself as a sharper and edgier brand has turned into a resounding success.
Continuing on the "C-X" nomenclature, Jag is gearing up for its latest concept offering, which will be shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. It’s been dubbed the C-X17 Concept, and it previews the company’s first-ever five-door crossover. The concept will also preview a highly-advanced modular aluminum architecture set to be put into production in 2015 with the company’s new sedan.
Updated 09/09/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images, specs and video.
Updated 11/14/13: Jaguar has just unveiled a series of new images showing the C-X17 concept’s stunning exterior in a sexy white hue. You can see the images in the gallery and after the jump.
Updated 01/16/2914: Jaguar unveiled a new version of its C-X17 sports crossover concept at the 2014 Brussels Motor Show. This time the concept features a very cool Italian Racing Red exterior paint that makes it look even cooler. Check out the new images in the picture gallery. Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar C-X17 Concept.
The new C-X17 concept continues to improve the design language started with the F-Type Roadster, and is defined by purity of form, beauty of line and balance of proportion. Up front, the concept features a long hood with twin "power bulges," a prominent grille and stand-out headlights. The concept’s grille and headlights drew their inspiration from the XJ sedan, as the grille features a hexagonal pattern with small aluminum panels.
When viewed from the side, it’s pretty easy to notice the concept’s twin heart lines, with their clean and simple design. On the rear, it gets taillights and detailing inspired by the F-Type Roadster, and a distinctive cantilevered spoiler over a steeply raked rear window.
The concept in Frankfurt wears a Caesium Blue hue with gloss-black on the window liners. It sits on 23-inch wheels finished in a Dark Atlas graphite grey with gloss-black finishers on the spokes.
While elements of the exterior will most likely be kept on the production version, the interior is a little bit too futuristic to be in a road-going car. The concept’s interior is a blend of premium, traditionally crafted materials and the highest technologies.
All the four passengers enjoy individual bucket seats, with two additional leisure seats in the rear cargo area made from milled aluminum and finished in Connolly saddle leather. The concept also comes equipped with a unique panoramic roof, with the interior featuring a series of sculpted vanes shaped to create a ring of space that enables a whole-roof view of the sky above.
When designing the interior of the C-X17, Jaguar took its inspiration from a variety of objects from the real world, ranging from extruded aluminum lampshades and lattice-framed stools to premium leather shoes, jackets and handbags.
The concept’s seats, instrument panel, floors, doors and boot are finished in an overlapping combination of Jet saddle leather and Orchid leather panels developed by British leather specialist Connolly. This shade of leather combines with a gloss black color and ruthenium to make the interior pop.
One of the most interesting technological components that the concept offers is an Interactive Surface Console that runs the length of the SUV’s center tunnel and features a series of interconnecting touchscreens encased in transparent acrylic glass. This system uses a secure, in-car WiFi network, and allows passengers to interact with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels.
Jaguar offered no details on the engine to be powering the new C-X17 Concept, but announced that for the future models it prepared a new range of engines, featuring the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies. The company’s new sedan will be the first to be offered with a range of all-new, four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, allowing Jaguar to break the 100g CO2/km barrier for the first time. There will also be a choice of V-6 engines, like the ones used in the F-Type sports roadster.
All-new aluminum architecture
One of the most interesting features previewed by the C-X17 concept is the new all-aluminum platform set to be put into production in 2015. Jaguar will first use this architecture in its upcoming sedan, making it the first aluminum monoculture product in its segment.
The new platform is modular and scalable, and will offer Jaguar the chance to develop a wider bandwidth of models and derivatives than ever before. It was built using innovative technologies, like the new high-strength alloy made from almost 100-percent recycled raw material. Also, thanks to this new platform, Jaguar will have the possibility to manufacture different products on the same production line at the same time.
When can I drive one?
Most likely you will never have the chance to test the C-X17 concept, but its technologies will be featured in the company’sfirst ever crossover set to arrive in 2016.
The second SUV in Audi’s lineup — the Q5 — became a hit on the market shortly after its official release in 2008. In May 2013, it manage to dethrone the best sold model from Audi’s lineup — the A4 — so we think it’s safe to say that people were more than impressed by it.
The Q5 is offered with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that packs 220 horsepower and an upgraded supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Minus its aging looks, the X3 is positioned to be a key competitor for the Jag crossover. It comes with a choice of four engines, with power ranging from 184 horsepower in the xDrive20i version and up to 300 horsepower in the xDrive35i version.
It’s true, the C-X17 is just a concept car, but even so, it shows us just how serious Jaguar is about its future models. It will be cool to see some of the concept’s interior features in the production version, but as there is pretty much no chance for this to happen. Even without the interior tech, that stunning exterior and Jaguar drivetrain makes us drool.
Jaguar’s first ever sports crossover concept vehicle – the C-X17 – makes its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The C-X17 has been created as a design study to introduce Jaguar’s all-new advanced aluminium monocoque architecture, codenamed iQ[Al], on which an exciting range of future Jaguars will be built. This new philosophy underpins the entire innovative future of the Jaguar brand. A modular and scalable vehicle architecture, engineered and developed for Jaguar, the architecture is high-strength, lightweight, extremely stiff and incorporates innovative efficiency technologies. It enables flexible high-volume production while allowing creative design freedom and competitive interior packaging, without compromising the unique character, dynamics, performance and luxury that Jaguar is famous for. This will enable Jaguar to grow its product portfolio, targeting high-growth areas of the premium market.
As a sports crossover, the Jaguar C-X17 stretches the design possibilities of the segment by combining the character and driving experience of a sports car with increased presence, style and flexibility. The sports crossover concept represents the potential expansion of Jaguar’s portfolio of body styles, with the associated enhancement of the brand’s relevance and appeal to a wider global audience.
“The C-X17 sports crossover represents an exciting new direction for Jaguar. Its purpose is to highlight our all-new aluminium architecture. With this technical foundation, we will dramatically expand Jaguar’s product offering, market potential and customer appeal. This new philosophy will bring technology from our luxury products into an accessible price segment, and when combined with our new ultra-efficient engines, we will set a global standard. Add to these rational values, the class-leading dynamics, and the beauty and purity of form that Jaguar is renowned for, and we have the formula for a monumental leap forward.”
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar
Jaguar’s first product from the new iQ[Al] architecture will be a new premium C/D segment sedan. Its global rollout will begin in 2015, and it will be the first aluminium monocoque product in the segment.
Power will be provided by engines with a wide range of capacities and output, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies without sacrificing drivability. These will include the high-output petrol and diesel engines to be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine manufacturing facility in the UK, as well as the powerful V6 petrol engine in the F-TYPE, which will provide best-in-class specific power output thanks to the lightweight architecture. These attributes will enable Jaguar to offer a wider variety of vehicles, with exhilarating performance, top speeds of over 300km/h (186mph), as well as emissions below 100g of CO2 per kilometre.
The C-X17 concept illustrates the diversity of vehicles that could be produced using the architecture. A four-seater sports crossover concept built on the aluminium-intensive architecture, it blends sleek lines, sporting design and luxurious sophistication with enhanced flexibility and an assured driving position. In its exciting proportions, purity of form and its beautiful lines – overseen by Director of Design Ian Callum – the C-X17 is every inch a Jaguar.
The C-X17 could offer refined on-road dynamics and sedan car-like handling, thanks to its low height, optimised centre of gravity, and use of cutting-edge dynamic technologies such as Torque Vectoring by Braking, in which the car intelligently uses its brake system to balance the distribution of engine torque to the wheels during cornering, reducing understeer and maximising grip.
“We designed the C-X17 from the ground up from a distinct set of principles, a deep sense of what makes a Jaguar: exciting proportions, clean lines, balance of form. Assertive and powerful, yet with a beautiful sensuality about it, the C-X17 is boldly, distinctively Jaguar.”
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar
At 4,718mm long and 1,649mm tall, its dimensions are clearly that of a crossover, yet in its design it shares strong family traits with Jaguar’s current range. For instance, the grille is an evolution of the distinctive nose of the Jaguar XJ luxury sedan, while the sculptured haunch lines hint strongly of the award-winning design of the Jaguar F-TYPE sports car. A low-sitting stance and overall profile combine with 23-inch alloy wheels to give the C-X17 a sporting, aggressive presence, while the LED headlamps, J-shaped running lights and frosted-glass foglights set into the large front intakes add to the C-X17’s purposeful intent. The C-X17 is painted in a lustrous Caesium Blue finish, with gloss black brightwork surrounding the windows, while the split five-spoke alloys are Dark Atlas graphite with gloss black finishers.
The interior of the C-X17 features four individual bucket seats, which are luxuriously appointed, yet designed for a sculpted, lightweight appearance. The car’s unique roof features contoured vanes that provide a distinctive ‘elliptical’ panoramic view to the C-X17’s passengers, while retaining the roof’s sleek appearance from the exterior. Two additional rear-mounted leisure seats incorporated in the boot floor swing out for recreational use. Accessories that support an active lifestyle, such as a torch and a camera, are positioned in storage compartments in the boot.
The interior of the C-X17 marries premium, authentic materials and traditional craftsmanship with modern finishing techniques. It features a combination of Jet saddle Connolly leather and Orchid Connolly leather on the instrument panel, seats, armrests, doors, floor and in the boot, with stitching on the saddle leather creating a tactile feel. A subtle layered effect is created through the use of die-cut Houndstooth-pattern leather patches on the main leather panels. Ruthenium, milled aluminium and black brushed anodised metal finishes impart a darker tonal effect to the C-X17’s interior. The door finish is gloss black.
A centre tunnel running the length of the car, from the instrument panel through to the rear passenger seats, incorporates the Interactive Surface Console – an interactive multi-passenger infotainment hub with a series of touchscreens under a continuous panel of transparent acrylic glass, which in conjunction with the secure in-car wi-fi network, enables the vehicle’s passengers to connect and share experiences with each other and the outside world via social media. The C-X17’s premium in-car digital audio system has been specially designed for the vehicle by British specialist audio firm Meridian, and the car’s centre console is configured for a Head Up Display projector.
ALL-NEW ALUMINIUM ARCHITECTURE: UNDERPINNING THE FUTURE
iQ[Al] is not just a vehicle architecture, it is a completely new philosophy that underpins the innovative future of the Jaguar brand, enabling Jaguar to significantly grow its product portfolio, targeting high-growth areas of the premium market in global markets.
The first Jaguar to be delivered from the new architecture will be a new C/D segment premium sedan, which will be rolled-out globally from 2015. The first aluminium monocoque product in its segment, the new sedan will be produced at an all-new, ultra high-tech production facility in Solihull, creating new jobs and substantial opportunities for the supplier base.
The aluminium-intensive architecture will be modular and scalable, providing a high degree of flexibility and making it possible to produce a wider bandwidth of models and derivatives than ever before. It is lightweight, extremely stiff and incorporates innovative technologies that emphasises Jaguar’s commitment to sustainability, such as a new high-strength alloy made from almost 100% recycled raw material.
The architecture is being carefully developed to fully incorporate all the vehicle attributes established by Jaguar engineers. All products will perform like true Jaguars, the flexibility and scope of the architecture guaranteeing the individual character of each one. Jaguar design and engineering teams collaborated closely on its development from the outset to ensure versatility of design combined with fully competitive interior packaging.
The flexibility that this architecture will provide, means Jaguar designers and engineers can apply the philosophy “anything we can imagine, we can create,” to deliver a new portfolio of products less restricted by technical or manufacturing constraints. The new architecture will allow Jaguar to move into higher volume production, without compromising the unique character, breath-taking design, outstanding vehicle dynamics, performance and luxury that Jaguar is famous for. The flexibility of the new architecture will enable the manufacture of different products on the same production line at the same time. The highly efficient, state-of-the-art production process will allow rapid response to variations in market demand for individual models by balancing production volume accordingly.
Future Jaguars will be powered by engines with a wide range of capacities and outputs, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies, without sacrificing drivability or feel. The new sedan will be the first vehicle to be equipped with all-new four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, allowing Jaguar to break the 100g CO2/km barrier for the first time. These advanced, high-output engines will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine production facility, currently under construction in Wolverhampton in the UK as part of a £500 million investment, which will be operational from 2015.
These vehicles are also designed to be powered by the powerful V6 petrol engine seen in the Jaguar F-TYPE sports car, which, combined with the lightweight architecture, will bestow them with best-in-class specific power output as in the F-TYPE. Together, the family of engines will offer the best of both worlds and deliver all-encompassing capabilities: sporting performance and class-leading fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
C-X17 DYNAMICS: FLEET-FOOTED AND SURE-FOOTED
As a sports crossover, the C-X17 concept is positioned as a driver’s car. It has an on-road bias, and its low height, optimised centre of gravity and lightweight all-aluminium body endow it with superior, car-like driving dynamics and a level of agility that would make it quite at home on the fastest roads. The C-X17 also features cutting-edge dynamic technologies such as Torque Vectoring by Braking, a system which constantly monitors the vehicle’s cornering dynamics and, when required, intelligently uses the brake system to rebalance the distribution of engine torque to the wheels, in order to reduce understeer and maximise grip.
With its 213mm ground clearance and intelligent All-Wheel Drive, the C-X17 could also offer reassuring capability and enhanced grip on poor roads and in varying weather conditions. Jaguar’s intelligent All-Wheel Drive system continuously monitors grip levels and driver inputs and uses feed-forward torque distribution to both pre-empt and react to wheel-slip, providing greater driver confidence and vehicle stability in low-grip conditions. In normal grip conditions, the system predominantly delivers drive to the rear wheels, providing the dynamic driving experience all Jaguars are renowned for.
EXTERIOR DESIGN: BEAUTY OF PROPORTION
With a crossover being a new journey for Jaguar, Director of Design Ian Callum and his team were clear that the C-X17 would not compromise on the time-honoured values of Jaguar car design: purity of form, beauty of line and balance of proportion. Even as it subscribed to the practicalities expected of the crossover category, the C-X17 had to be stylish, sporty and exciting. It had to instantly stand out from the crowd, yet retain the sense of timeless sophistication that is typically Jaguar.
The C-X17 has dynamic yet perfectly balanced proportions, with the low profile and large wheels giving it a powerful, planted stance. In terms of form, it is sleek and fast, relying on pure lines rather than exaggeration or showmanship. The long bonnet’s twin ‘power bulges’ and prominent grille impart a muscular look. The headlamps hint at the C-X17’s sedan siblings while the grille is inspired by the XJ, resulting in a distinctive family look that is reassuringly familiar yet uniquely appealing. The grille features a hexagonal pattern, with small aluminium panels within its structure that can close to enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic properties.
The C-X17’s twin ‘heartlines’ are clearly visible when viewed in profile. Two clean and simple design lines, with a subtle crease in the metal to catch the light, visually tie together the C-X17’s shoulder and haunch. The accentuated length of the windows adds to the vehicle’s overall sense of sleekness.
The rear of the vehicle has a distinctive touch of sports car about it, with the haunch, taillights and detailing all bringing to mind the seductive Jaguar F-TYPE. The C-X17’s roofline swoops quickly rearwards, culminating in a distinctive cantilevered spoiler over a steeply raked rear window that enhances the crossover’s sporting, ‘fast-even-at-standstill’ appearance.
The exterior paint finish is a lustrous Caesium Blue, and the window liners are gloss black, with the only brightwork on the vehicle being the badging at each end, lending the car a darker, sportier look. The large 23-inch wheels, which enhance the C-X17’s solid stance, are a one-off design with five split spokes. They have a Dark Atlas graphite grey finish with gloss black finishers on the spokes.
INTERIOR DESIGN: CRAFTSMANSHIP AND TECHNOLOGY
“The C-X17’s design is timeless, yet absolutely up-to-the-minute. Artisan treatment meets modern techniques in an innovative cabin full of luxurious touches and cutting-edge technical ideas.”
Julian Thomson, Director of Advanced Design, Jaguar
The interior of the C-X17 blends high-end interactive technology with premium, traditionally crafted materials, resulting in a spacious, airy, luxurious and sophisticated cabin.
The C-X17 seats four passengers in individual bucket seats. The seating position is relatively low for a crossover, giving the occupants a feeling of sitting deep within the cabin. The seats are lightweight units with a sculpted free-standing appearance, visually enhancing the airiness of the cabin.
The spacious boot incorporates two leisure seats that swing up and out of the boot floor for use when the car is stopped and the rear hatch opened. Solidly constructed from milled aluminium and finished in Connolly saddle leather, these seats swing outwards on a beautifully engineered hinge to provide a practical seating area when the car is stationary. Accessories that support an active lifestyle, such as a torch and a camera, are positioned in leather holsters, in storage compartments located in the boot.
Panoramic sculpted roof
The sense of openness inside the cabin is heightened by the C-X17’s unique panoramic roof. The designers of the C-X17 have constructed the interior of the roof from a series of sculpted vanes running from front to rear, closely arranged in parallel and integrated into the header and cant rails. They are contoured on the lower side to generate extra headroom, and shaped to create a ring of space that enables a whole-roof view of the sky above, giving the occupants a sense of openness. The topside of the vanes follows the smooth profile of the glass roof, maintaining the sleek exterior lines of the C-X17.
Premium two-tone leather trim
The interior of the C-X17 is a juxtaposition of premium traditional materials and modern finishing techniques. Designers drew inspiration from a variety of sources, from extruded aluminium lampshades and lattice-framed stools to premium leather shoes, jackets and handbags, which favoured strong colour contrasts.
Accordingly, the seats, instrument panel, floors, doors and boot are finished in an overlapping combination of Jet saddle leather and Orchid leather panels. Renowned British leather specialist Connolly, the benchmark name in premium automotive cabin craftsmanship, created the bespoke leather panels specially for the C-X17. The 3mm-thick saddle leather, which features bands of stitching to increase the passenger’s tactile experience of these surfaces, is die-cut in a Houndstooth pattern inspired by traditional tailoring materials, lending the interior of the car a classy yet contemporary feel.
The interior door finish is gloss black, while for the interior metal finishes, ruthenium (a member of the platinum family) is used instead of brightwork, creating a darker, more tonal effect that suits the subtle, premium feel of the cabin.
The C-X17 takes interactivity to a new level with the unique Interactive Surface Console that runs the length of the car’s centre tunnel, from the centre console of the dashboard through to the rear seats. Made up of a series of interconnecting touch screens encased in transparent acrylic glass, the Interactive Surface Console connects those in the rear cabin with the driver and front seat passengers via a secure in-car Wi-Fi network.
The Interactive Surface Console allows the vehicle occupants to upload pictures, video and sound files from their mobile devices and share them with their fellow passengers, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels. Using the touchscreens and an intuitive user interface, information can be ‘flicked’ forwards and rearwards between the front and the rear passengers. By enabling sharing, both in terms of technology and information, between the occupants of the C-X17, the Interactive Surface Console puts as much focus on the rear compartment as on the front and immerses all four passengers in a unified multisensory experience.
The C-X17 features a 12-loudspeaker system specifically developed for the vehicle by British ultra-premium audio experts Meridian. Designed closely in conjunction with the development of the C-X17’s interior, the system draws on Meridian’s award-winning digital sound processing technology. Trifield technology creates an all-enveloping sound field that makes each listener feel that the music is exclusively focused on him or her. With sub-woofer drive units in the rear centre tunnel, dashboard-mounted tweeters, speakers in the A and B pillars, twin door speakers, rear speakers, and head-height speakers situated in the tops of the front seat head rests, this unique system enables every occupant of the C-X17 to enjoy optimum, authentic sound for an exceptional in-car audio experience.
The C-X17’s instrument panel has a twin-dial configurable TFT console with provision for a Head Up Display – a system which projects vital information onto the windscreen for the driver to process quickly, akin to the systems used in modern fighter aircraft.
The gearshift has a rotary dial, finished in ruthenium, which rises on activation and serves as the interface to toggle between driving modes such as Road, Sport or All-Road. Milled aluminium vents on the console, seats and doors mirror the pattern of the grille mesh.