The latest concept, due for a complete unveiling at the Frankfurt Auto Show, is the C-X16 Production Concept, shown here in the first official images, and it looks much more like something that will see high-volume production.
That, of course, is because it will. Dropping the ubiquitous eight-cylinder engines in the current range of sports/GT cars, the C-X16 instead employs a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 plus an "experimental" performance hybrid system like that found on the Limo-Green research car. That doesn't mean it's short on power though: it packs 375 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. According to Jaguar, that's good for 4.4 seconds to 62 mph and 186 mph top speed. Fifty to 75 mph takes just 2.1 seconds--meaning strong passing.
A ZF eight-speed automatic transmission shifts the gears, start-stop enhances fuel economy, OLED displays on the switchgear give the car a high-tech feel, and the interior is clearly aimed at balancing sport with luxury, with features like an "intelligent" automatic climate control system, composite seats with a carbon fiber spine, and red leather upholstery.
The coolest feature, however, may be the somewhat F1-like "push to pass" button the steering wheel that controls the "hybrid boost function," delivering more power when the driver wants it.
Check out page two for the full press release once you're done ogling the images in the gallery below and this latest video.
2012 JAGUAR C-X16
• A concept ‘One plus One’ sports car that explores future performance hybrid options
• Seductive looks indicate the next evolution of Jaguar’s bold design direction
• Sensual shape is defined by three distinctive ‘heartlines’; front fender crease, rear haunches and sweeping roofline
• Driver-focused two-seater cabin trimmed in dramatic red leather
• Powered by an innovative supercharged 3.0-liter V6 producing 375HP (280kW) and 332 lb-ft of torque
• Specific power per liter is an impressive 125HP (93.3 kW)
• Experimental high-performance hybrid system boosts output by 94HP (70kW) and 173 lb-ft (235 Nm)
• Top speed of 186 mph, 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds and roll-on 50-75 mph acceleration in 2.1 seconds
• Steering wheel-mounted ‘Push to Pass’ button controls the hybrid boost function
• Performance hybrid is inspired by the Limo-Green research project and C-X75 supercar concept
• Aluminum construction maximizes torsional rigidity for sharper responses
• Eight-speed ZF® automatic transmission
• Intelligent Start/Stop for improved fuel economy
• Switchgear incorporates OLED displays into dual-function rotary controls
• New generation Jaguar touch screen with short-cut keys
• Advanced Climate Control employs an Intelligent Venting System
• Composite seats stiffened with a carbon-fiber central spine
“The C-X16 is our compelling vision for a 21st century Jaguar sports car. It embodies the established Jaguar strengths of sensual design, animal-like agility and inspirational performance and combines these with attributes that set us on a course to create sustainable sports cars of the future.”
- Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar Cars
The Jaguar C-X16 concept is a bold statement of Jaguar’s future design and technological intent.
The C-X16 takes the traditional front-engined, rear-wheel drive formula that Jaguar defined over the decades and reinvents it for the 21st Century in a performance-oriented hybrid drivetrain with 50:50 weight distribution.
The latest iteration of Jaguar’s ‘Redefining Performance’ ethos, the system is based around a prototype supercharged all-alloy V6 which produces 375HP (280kW) and 332lb-ft of torque from 3.0-liter V6. Supplementing this is an electric motor producing up to 94HP and 173lb–ft of torque, available to the driver at the push of a steering-wheel boost button.
Allied to an eight-speed gearbox and mounted in a lightweight aluminum chassis this allows the C-X16 to sprint to 62 mph (100 kmh) in 4.4 seconds.
The aluminum bodywork is wrapped as closely to these mechanicals as possible to distil the essence of Jaguar sports cars into the next evolution of an already award-winning design language. By stretching the main feature lines back from the focal point formed by the grille and pushing the wheels as far into the corners as possible, the car has a taut, poised-for-action stance that is unmistakably Jaguar.
The interior showcases important future technologies such as multimodal rotary controls that incorporate miniature OLED screens, which reconfigure to reflect the different functions that can be performed via the controls, all of which are designed for maximum compatibility between sports car needs and everyday usability.
An example of this is the full smartphone integration via the ‘Connect and View’ system by which the central TouchScreen reconfigures to mimic the screen of a connected device. The central screen also features a second-generation interface with fingertip touch supplemented by buttons that provide short cuts to top-level menu functions.
As expected from Jaguar, premium materials are used throughout, with the main touch surfaces composed of a combination of anodized aluminum, rich piano blacks, dark chrome, and carbon fiber that underline the car’s performance potential. The manually-adjustable bucket seats are made of lightweight composite materials with a central carbon-fiber spine for rigidity and support.
“C-X16 draws inspiration from both our sporting qualities and our current leading-edge research into future powertrain technologies and consequently delivers an irresistible proposition on both emotional and rational levels.”
- Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar Cars
The 2010 Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept introduced a game-changing approach to performance cars with its range-extending hybrid powertrain. Now, the C-X16 represents a further avenue of research in Jaguar’s mission to develop sustainable powertrain technologies and bring them to production.
The Jaguar performance ethos has its roots in the company’s Advanced Aluminum Architecture program, which focuses on agility, power-to-weight and sustainability benefits. The Limo Green project, conducted in association with the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, combined this lightweight construction with a highly experimental hybrid powertrain that was further developed in the C-X75 supercar concept.
The next stage is represented here in C-X16 by real-world hybrid technologies that enhance the driving experience as well as the car’s environmental credentials.
The C-X16 signposts how the next generation of Jaguar sports cars will produce their power in an environmentally conscious manner. The concept is powered by an experimental hybrid powertrain that combines an all-alloy V6 engine with a performance-boosting electric motor with a "Push-to-Pass" feature inspired by the Formula 1 Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) system.
The purpose of this prototype hybrid-performance system is threefold: to supplement the V6 engine’s already prodigious power through an on-demand ‘Push to Pass’ system; to reduce fuel consumption; and to allow the C-X16 to perform as a zero-emissions electric vehicle at speeds of up to 50mph on low throttle openings.
The starting point is Jaguar’s eight-speed transmission with Intelligent Start/Stop, which recently launched to great acclaim in the XF sports sedan. The system can shut down the engine in just 300 milliseconds after the car has come to rest and utilizes a Twin Solenoid Starter that is capable of restarting it in the time it takes the driver’s foot to travel from the brake to the accelerator. This provides for faster recovery and seamless performance.
The C-X16 extends the Start/Stop system’s functionality by linking it to a transmission integrated motor generator mounted as one unit with the gearbox. This draws power from a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the seats for perfect weight distribution.
Originally developed for one of the most demanding motorsports environments, the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used by Jaguar has its inspiration in racing. The battery pack is predominantly charged through a rear axle electro-hydraulic brake energy regeneration system.
Performance on demand
A dashboard display graphic indicates when the additional boost provided by the electric motor can be deployed. When charged, a ‘Push to Pass’ boost button mounted on the steering wheel allows access to an additional 94HP and 173lb ft of torque for up to 10 seconds. Because of the lag-free nature of an electric motor, this power is instantaneously available. The battery is constantly and automatically recharged, the entire system overseen by a Hybrid Vehicle Supervisory Controller.
Both the battery pack and electric motor mounted in the C-X16 are liquid cooled; preventing performance loss from heat build-up during spirited use. Additionally, the advanced electronics draw chilled air from the climate-control system. The AC compressor is electric powered, rather than engine-driven, to reduce losses. The hybrid system is placed within the wheelbase of the car to optimize weight distribution and maximize agility by reducing the polar moment of inertia.
The front-mounted supercharged V6 engine develops 375HP (280kW) and 332lb-ft of torque from a capacity of 3.0-liters. A modular development of Jaguar AJ-V8, the all-new powerplant points the way to the next generation of highly efficient, powerful, gasoline fueled internal combustion engines.
The new V6 uses the same lightweight aluminum architecture as the eight-cylinder engine with a high-pressure, die-cast block with cross-bolted main bearing caps for increased strength and refinement. The dual-cam, four-valve cylinder heads are constructed with recycled aluminum to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing.
Optimized for bore and stroke, the V6 also features a second-generation Direct Injection fueling system with a compression ratio of 10.5:1. An electronic bypass for the sixth-generation twin vortex Roots-type supercharger allows much more precise boost control to reduce fuel consumption.
Performance and Refinement
These advances in efficiency allow the V6 to produce a specific power output of 125HP per liter. Allied to the performance-boosting electric motor the result is astonishing – 0-62 mph (0-100kmh) in 4.4 seconds, a governed top speed of 186 mph and roll-on acceleration of just 2.1 seconds between 50 and 75 mph.
To ensure the powerplant delivers not only the power but also the refinement that Jaguar cars are famous for, the V6 features a patented system of independently rotating balancer weights at the front and rear of the engine. Anyone familiar with the smooth, powerful V8 will find that the V6 shares all its power delivery and refinement characteristics, with of course its own stirring soundtrack, while delivering improved economy and emissions meeting SULEV 30 and EU VI standards.
“This car has been designed from first principles. It is an evolution of the design ethos of past Jaguar cars and defines the agenda for a future of dramatic, innovative sports cars. Purity of line and intent is what Jaguar does best.”
- Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars
If anything can be said to define Jaguar designs it is one word: drama. The C-X16 is no exception, taking the traditional two-seater sports car template and redefining it in the Jaguar idiom.
In its simplest form, sports car design is defined by the relationship between the mechanics and the bodywork. The aim at Jaguar has always been to wrap the form as tightly as possible around the function to create a taut, sculpted appearance that could only be that of a Jaguar. Finished in Gunmetal, there is no wasted space, movement or surface on the C-X16, every line serves its purpose in creating a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.
Purity of Line
The C-X16 moves the award-winning Jaguar design language on to the next level and is startling in its simplicity, defined as it is by three ‘heartlines’ the front fender crease, the rear haunches that wrap into the tail and the sweeping roofline.
“The stance of this car is everything. It is fundamentally a driving machine and that has driven every aspect of the design. We have pulled the three signature heartlines back as far as we can to create a dynamic tension. The car possesses a sense of latent power; the potential to leap instantly into action.”
- Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars
The C-X16 also makes use of newly established Jaguar styling signatures such as the subtly rounded trapezoidal grille. Inspired by the C-X75 concept car and recognizably related to the current XF and XJ, this is the focal point for the front end of the car.
The muscular clamshell hood is defined at the outer edges by two sharp creases rising along the upper edges of the front fenders. These begin in the gill-like strakes dividing the air intakes flanking the grille before blending away into the shoulder line running along the doors. The importance of this front fender line is emphasized by the angular form of the headlights, which deliberately follow the rising fender to lead the eye up and along the contours of the car rather than cut across them. The horizontal front fender vents, like those on the hood, are finished in carbon-fiber.
The defining role of the front fender line is taken up by a further finely chiseled crease that forms a double curve, swelling outwards and upwards from the waist of the car to encompass the muscular haunches that are a Jaguar hallmark. This feature line then swoops, unbroken, round the rear of the car to create the tail, which mimics the appearance of the trailing edge of a swept aircraft wing.
The rear lights continue the theme set with the C-X75 by extending around the flanks of the car immediately below the tail crease to literally highlight the powerful width of the rear track and, like the grille, provide instant recognition that this is a Jaguar sports car.
In order to retain the unblemished muscularity and uninterrupted airflow along the flanks of the car, the door handles are entirely flush with the bodywork. Touch sensors built into the handles trigger silent electric motors, which present the machined aluminum handles to driver and passenger.
The same desire for stunning simplicity has driven the aerodynamic element of the C-X16 sports car’s design with no unnecessary wings or spoilers. Down force is provided by a discreet front splitter, Venturi-effect tail design and side sills to channel air smoothly along the car’s flanks, all of which are finished in carbon fiber. The sharp crease created where the curve of the roof meets the tail also aids the aerodynamics by ensuring the air separates cleanly from the bodywork at high speed.
Even standing still, the sense of purpose and power inherent in the C-X16 is unmistakable thanks to a stance that optimizes the relationship between the bodywork and the 21-inch alloy wheels which have been pushed to the extremes edges of the car and finished with a carbon-fiber inlay.
The singularity of purpose exhibited by the exterior styling of the C-X16 is reinforced the moment the door is opened, whereupon driver and passenger are greeted by a dramatic red interior trimmed in the finest materials; leather, Suedecloth, anodized machined aluminum, carbon-fiber and dark chrome.
Vermillion Red Interior
The car is clearly centered around the driver and underlines its ‘One plus One’ layout by deliberately creating as cocooned and cosseting a space as possible. The heart-stirring potential of the C-X16 is underlined by the choice of visceral Vermillion Red as the primary color and trim theme throughout.
The C-X16 takes inspiration for elements of its layout from aeronautical ergonomics, such as the joystick-style gearlever and banks of toggle switches that also reference classic racing Jaguar cars. As a result of this thinking the dashboard has been shrink-wrapped around the driver to provide the best view forward, allowing the car to be placed with absolute precision in corners, aided by the sharp creases on top of the front fenders.
The desire to keep the top of the dashboard as unadorned as possible led to the creation of an Intelligent Venting System. Governed by complex algorithms built in to the advanced climate control, this double vent – inspired by the intakes on the Typhoon fighter jet – deploys out of the dash to provide an intense blast of hot or cold air as needed to rapidly alter the cabin temperature and then discreetly retracts when the desired level is reached.
In the same way that the exterior door handles are concealed until activated, a desire for ergonomic clarity means aspects of the interior remain ‘secret until required’. Pushing the starter button initiates an aircraft-inspired starting sequence that powers up the hidden-until-lit displays in a cascade down the center console. What looks at first sight like a TFT screen in front of the driver is revealed to be an elegant twin-dial instrument panel, a hallmark of Jaguar sports cars, hidden behind a smoked glass panel.
With Jaguar already a leader in touchscreen technology, the C-X16 features the next generation of the system, augmenting the central screen with two rows of ‘Home’ keys on either side that provide shortcuts to top-level menu functions. Further controls take their inspiration from devices such as smartphones and tablets and provide multimodal functionality.
The rotary heating controls are made from machined aluminum and anodized in dark gunmetal; traditional materials, but in the center of each is a miniature OLED display which reconfigures according to how the controls are used. Rotating the controls alters the temperature on respective sides of the car but pushing them changes their functionality; they now control the heating and cooling functions of the seats.
The switchgear is framed in carbon-fiber and features subtle ‘watch-like’ dark chrome highlights while the gearlever and dynamic mode selector switch are surrounded by red anodized aluminum to emphasize their purpose.
The center console armrest houses the Jaguar ‘Connect and View’ system. This system allows smartphones from a range of manufacturers to be plugged into the machined aluminum tray between the front seats, whereupon the central touch-screen reconfigures to reflect that device's display. The system will communicate with the majority of the smartphone’s functions, alerting the driver to appointments, providing navigation instructions, reading out emails and texts and, of course, making and receiving phone calls.
Made from lightweight composite materials the close-fitting and supportive racing seats feature manual adjustments to further reduce weight. A central carbon-fiber spine runs up the center of each seatback to reinforce it.
The structural properties of carbon-fiber are further utilized in a bracing bar that flows back from the center console dividing the seats and then splits in two, before being bolted to the rear suspension turrets to provide additional rigidity. Further carbon-fiber is found in the center console, framed by the tailored passenger grab handle that flows organically from the dashboard to the transmission tunnel. The floor is finished in aluminum and black Poltrona Frau® leather that has been subtly hand quilted with a Hex pattern influenced by the historic Jaguar logo – this same motif is found stitched into the Suedecloth headlining.
Nestled discreetly behind the front seats are the lithium-ion battery pack and inverter that provide power to the hybrid drive system. Positioned here for optimum weight distribution, they are hidden under a cover machined from solid aluminum and designed with integral heat sinks.