The 2011 Frankfurt auto show opens to the media on Sept. 12, and one of the most anticipated concept cars making its debut on the show floor will be the Jaguar C-X16 concept, a promise-keeper for the brand's future entry-level sports car.

Chief designer Ian Callum says it's one of the most exciting cars he's worked on in his long history with the brand, and that excitement ends up showing up in the name: C-X16 is, in fact, the sixteenth car Callum has worked on since he landed at Jaguar after his tenures at Ford and TWR/Aston Martin.

The Frankfurt-bound C-X16 has been called a "production concept" by Jaguar officials in the press surrounding the release of a concept-car sketch, seen here. Those officials indicate the concept coming to Frankfurt will not be a running vehicle--and that suggests the C-X16 is a bit more "concept" than "production" car at this point in time, though clearly on a fast track to reality.

Officially, Jaguar says the concept is a "precursor to future Jaguar sports cars that will aim to set new class benchmarks in design, vehicle dynamics and technology."

Callum also confirms the C-X16 is a two-seater, something that looks obvious from sketches but hasn't been stated yet in the lead-up to the car's reveal in Frankfurt on September 7. He also says any production version will be aimed at a "volume" segment, something significantly less expensive than today's Jaguar XK and its base price of about $84,000.

As for his other budding sportscar project, the C-X75, Callum says "the Bugatti Veyron had better watch out," suggesting Jaguar has very lofty performance goals for its concept supercar, approved for production but sporting a plug-in hybrid drivetrain instead of its concept microturbine hybrid system.


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