Jaguar C-X17 rides high into FrankfurtTue, 10 Sep 2013 07:59:00 EST
After enviously watching its competitors rake in piles of crossover-shaped dollars for years, Jaguar is poised to get into the game with a production model based on this C-X17 concept. While the British brand hasn't officially confirmed it will sell a utility vehicle – indeed, brand fans and industry watchers have wondered whether the Leaping Cat even need to get into the game considering its corporate cousins at Land Rover – we would be dumbfounded if it didn't happen in short order.
We've always been concerned that Jaguar's styling language wouldn't translate well to a high-riding shape, but here at its Frankfurt Motor Show debut, the C-X17 comes off as quite handsome (if predictable) in the metal. The same couldn't always be said of Jag's styling DNA, but newer models beginning with the XF and the XJ have introduced design elements like a larger, more vertical grille that suit the C-X17's form factor exceedingly well. Even the rear end successfully borrows its taillamp design from the glorious new F-Type Roadster.
Underneath the concept's two-box shape is a new aluminum unibody that Jag says it is poised to employ on its next-generation models, including the long-expected midsize sedan coming to North America in 2016. Jaguar has long been a leader in aluminum chassis development even as it has struggled to take weight out of some of its vehicles (the F-Type, for instance, isn't exactly lightweight). Thus far, Jaguar isn't talking powertrains other than to say it will employ a new generation of gas and diesel engines.
Inside, the C-X17 includes a traditional assortment of showcar-rich materials, but also a new multi-screen infotainment system dubbed Interactive Surface Control – ostensibly a replacement for the company's current unloved Flash-based system.
Have a look at our new gallery of live images, above, and scroll down for the official press release.
JAGUAR ANNOUNCES ALL-NEW TECHNICALLY ADVANCED ALUMINUM ARCHITECTURE AND REVEALS C-X17 SPORTS CROSSOVER CONCEPT
• Jaguar announces next-generation lightweight technologies in the form of an all-new advanced aluminum unibody architecture
• It is lightweight, extremely stiff and incorporates innovative technologies that reflect Jaguar's commitment to sustainability
• This advanced lightweight architecture will form the basis for a new range of future Jaguars; the first product will be a mid-size premium C/D segment sedan launching beginning in 2015, and in North America in 2016
• This will be the first aluminum unibody product in the segment and is positioned to be the most advanced, efficient and refined sports sedan in its class
• Power will be provided by a range of engines including the new family of high-output, fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel engines to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new UK engine manufacturing facility
• These will enable Jaguar to offer a range of vehicles that include models with class-leading performance, including top speeds of over 300km/h (186mph), and emissions lower than 100g of CO2 per km
• Looking to the future, the C-X17 concept is a study to demonstrate the capabilities of the new advanced aluminum unibody architecture
• It blends the sleek design and sporting performance that are hallmarks of Jaguar, with the crossover benefits of an assured driving position and high levels of flexibility
• The C-X17 also showcases advanced interior technologies including Interactive Surface Console – a multi-screen infotainment network that links passengers with each other and the outside world through social media channels
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 aluminum unibody architecture on which an exciting range of future Jaguar vehicles 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, and delivering 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 aluminum 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 top-of-the-range products into new growing premium segments, 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 architecture will be a new premium C/D segment sedan. Its global rollout will begin in 2015, and in North America in 2016, and it will be the first aluminum unibody 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 gasoline and diesel engines to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new engine manufacturing facility in the UK, as well as the powerful V6 gasoline engine in the F-TYPE. 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 kilometer.
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 aluminum-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 car.
The C-X17 could offer refined on-road dynamics and sedan car-like handling, thanks to its low height, optimized center of gravity, and use of cutting-edge dynamic technologies such as Torque Vectoring in which the car intelligently uses its brake system to balance the distribution of engine torque to the wheels during cornering, reducing understeer and maximizing 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 (185.7") long and 1,649mm (64.9") 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 vehicle's purposeful intent. The C-X17 is painted in a lustrous Cesium 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 vehicle's passengers, while retaining the roof's sleek appearance from the exterior. Two additional rear-mounted leisure seats incorporated in the cargo area floor swing out for recreational use. Accessories such as a flashlight and a camera are positioned in storage compartments in the cargo area.
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 cargo area, 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 aluminum and black brushed anodized metal finishes impart a darker tonal effect to the interior of the C-X17. The door finish is gloss black.
A center 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 premium in-car digital audio system in the C-X17 has been specially designed for the vehicle by British specialist audio firm Meridian, and the car's center console is configured for a Heads Up Display projector.
ALL-NEW ALUMINUM ARCHITECTURE: UNDERPINNING THE FUTURE
The all new Aluminum Architecture represents 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 vehicle to be delivered from the new architecture will be a new C/D segment premium sedan, which will be rolled-out globally from 2015 and in North America in 2016. The first aluminum unibody 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 aluminum-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 which reflect 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, while its flexibility and scope will deliver an individual character for 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, and deliver 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 Jaguar vehicles will be powered 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 or feel. The new sedan will be the first vehicle to be equipped with all-new four-cylinder diesel and gasoline 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 gasoline engine seen in the Jaguar F-TYPE sports car, which, combined with the lightweight architecture, will bestow them with high 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 enhanced 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, optimized center of gravity and lightweight all-aluminum 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, 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 maximize grip.
With its 213mm (8.3") 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 Jaguar vehicles 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-honored 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 hood's twin 'power bulges' and prominent grille impart a muscular look. The C-X17 headlamps hint at the 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 aluminum panels within its structure that can close to enhance the vehicle's aerodynamic properties.
The twin 'heartlines' on the C-X17 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 shoulder and haunch of the C-X17. 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 roofline of the C-X17 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 Cesium 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 solid stance of the C-X17, 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 cargo area incorporates two leisure seats that swing up and out of the cargo area floor for use when the car is stopped and the rear hatch opened. Solidly constructed from milled aluminum 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 such as a flashlight and camera are positioned in leather holsters in storage compartments located in the cargo area.
Panoramic sculpted roof
The sense of openness inside the cabin is heightened by the unique panoramic roof on the C-X17. 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 aluminum lampshades and lattice-framed stools to premium leather shoes, jackets and handbags, which favored strong color contrasts.
Accordingly, the seats, instrument panel, floors, doors and cargo area 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 especially 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 center tunnel, from the center 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 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 interior of the C-X17, 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 center 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 instrument panel in the C-X17 has a twin-dial configurable TFT console with provision for a Heads 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 aluminum vents on the console, seats and doors mirror the pattern of the grille mesh.
C-X17 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Ground clearance 213
By Chris Paukert
See also: Jaguar C-X17 crossover concept revealed, hides new lightweight aluminum architecture, Watch Jaguar reveal the C-X17 Concept live, right now!, Are you the soon-to-be-revealed Jaguar CUV concept?.