Jaguar C-X16 revealed

7 Sep, 2011 1:01am Jack Rix

We get exclusive access as the E-Type legend is revived in stunning new C-X16

Fifty years after the E-Type redefined desirability, a successor has arrived. Jaguar has revealed its most important new model for a generation – a stunning two-seat Porsche Cayman rival that blends the brand’s foundations of beauty and performance with cutting-edge hybrid technology.

It’s called the C-X16, as it’s the 16th project design director Ian Callum and his team have worked on. And the newcomer is already being labelled by Jaguar staff as a production concept.


Our sources have revealed that it will go on sale, in roadster and coupe bodystyles, in a little over a year from now. The C-X16 will make its world debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but Auto Express got up close with it in a studio weeks before the public unveil.

While the beautiful proportions speak for themselves, what lies beneath requires a little more explanation. Mounted up front is a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 producing 375bhp and 450Nm of torque. This new 
engine is a cut-down version of the 5.0-litre V8 already found in the XFR, XKR and XJ Supersports, and it features the latest direct-injection technology as well as a twin-vortex supercharger for more precise boost control and lower fuel consumption.

Supplementing the V6 is an electric motor, producing 95bhp and 235Nm of torque. This is bolted to the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, and draws its power from a lithium-ion battery pack behind the seats.

The motor has three jobs: to assist the petrol engine and improve fuel economy; to provide an electric-only mode for short distances but with a top speed of 50mph; and primarily to let drivers live out their Formula One fantasies by delivering an extra burst of power when it’s required. The latter is similar to the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) fitted to grand prix racers. A graphic lights up on the dash 
display when the batteries have sufficient charge and the power boost is available. All the driver has to do is hit the ‘push to pass’ button, and the C-X16 provides an additional slug of torque for up to 10 seconds.

Jaguar’s official figures are 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed limited to 186mph. Yet fuel consumption is quoted at an amazing 41mpg combined, while the car claims 165g/km CO2 emissions – numbers helped by the inclusion of the stop-start system seen on the XF 2.2D.

To give you an idea of where the C-X16 will sit in the sports car hierarchy, it’s 98mm shorter than the Porsche Cayman, at 4,445mm, and a full 349mm shorter than its XK big brother.

Yet remarkably, it’s at least 150mm wider than the XK, 911, Cayman and Aston Martin V8 Vantage, as well as lower than all but the Aston. Callum told us: “Of all the Jaguars I’ve ever designed, this is the one I want to own most.”

And it’s easy to see why. The C-X16 makes use of the firm’s current design language, so it sits neatly next to the XJ, XF and XK. But the rounded-off grille is taken from the C-X75 concept, as are the tail-lights, which extend around the corners of the car.

Distinguishing the front end are twin air intakes either side of the grille, while at the rear, a wide, flat deck is another element seen on the C-X75. Beautifully crafted 21-inch alloys, with carbon fibre fins, fill the arches, and red LED lighting on the front flanks adds a splash of colour to the gunmetal paintwork. Callum couldn’t resist a nod towards the E-Type, either, in the shape of the side-hinged 
rear screen, which exposes the hybrid module and a load deck.

In an attempt to improve the aerodynamics, the machined aluminium door handles sit flush with the bodywork, but pop out when they sense the motion of your hand. No wings or spoilers clutter the bodywork – downforce is provided by a subtle front splitter, a rear diffuser and side sills.

All these parts are made of carbon fibre – but most of the credit for keeping the car’s kerbweight down to 1,600kg (60kg lighter than the XK) goes to the aluminium chassis and bodywork.

Carbon is also found inside the car. It’s used on the dash, and as a spine to reinforce the ultra-light composite seats. Plus, a carbon bracing bar flows from the centre console before splitting in two and bolting to the rear suspension to boost rigidity. Bright red leather and Alcantara cover the seats, dash and headlining, while a joystick-like gearlever and toggle switches reflect classic racing Jaguars.

To give the top of the dash a clean look, a unique double vent system is hidden until the climate control decides it’s needed – at which point it pops up and gives what Jag calls “an intense blast of hot or cold air to rapidly alter the cabin temperature”, before sinking down. Other novelties include multifunction dials (see opposite). It all adds up to an exciting package. Expect the C-X16 to go on sale next year, priced at around £50,000.

Disqus - noscript

it's very nicely styled, pretty in fact, but it doesn't move the game on much does it? It could very easily have been designed 10 years ago, or even 15. With the exception of details like the LEDs, it's dated. Callum needs to stop designing the same car over and over again.

I like it I can do with the V8 engine the V6 supercharged is fine

Ian Callum does not design the same car over and over again. He originally worked for Ford where he produced some pretty wacky concepts. From there he transferred to Aston Martin and later moved to Jaguar where he took over as the replacement for the late Geoff Lawson. The original Aston Martin DB7 was rumoured to have been originally intended as a design for the Jaguar F-Type - or at least that's how AutoExpress portrayed it at the time (1992-ish). The F-Type never happened and Aston Martin produced the surprisingly E-Type like DB7 instead. Because many of the design cues (Day Light Openings (DLO)and the Down Road Graphics (DRG) ) looked so reminiscent of the E-Type, many people referred to the DB7 as the 'Jag-in-drag'. The XK8 that was launched later in the decade was actually penned by Geoff Lawson and his team rather than Callum - it shared a similar DLO to the Aston which was carried over once again to the XK that came later. Since the DB7, Aston Martin have continued to design and produce cars that evolved the DB7 style rather than entirely reinventing it, so all of their subsequent models retain a similar style. Cars like the Vanquish, DBS, the new Virage and One-77 all show how Aston may go down a more muscular, racing inspired route than it did with the prettier post DB7 cars like the DB9 and Vantage. Jaguar meanwhile have had to move on from Lawson's XK8 and the Callum designed XK was a very good first step. With tailight and rear window graphics that recalled the E-Type light clusters and typically traditional DLO and DRG (that E-Type grille) in use for that model, Callum was sticking with what he said early in the last decade about retaining Jaguar's identity through those unmistakable details - while moving the overall language and materials used (interiors) on to a more contemporary and even progressive place. Callum has done what he said he would do back in 2001 and before. So, apart from the side DLO, this C-X16 really looks nothing like any of Callum's earlier cars. It has a different stance (more squat), different proportions (overhangs and wheel base), a new DRG thanks to that new XF/XJ inspired grille and more upright, vertically stacked headlights and only shares the odd detail with its sister car and Aston Martin cousins. 10 or 15 years ago a Jaguar that looked like this would have been unthinkable. This is just another step on the road to recovery and greatness for Jaguar. Personally, I think it is different enough to be distinguishable from an XK while still being unmistakably a Jaguar. I also happen to think that it looks awesome.

I wasn't too keen on the E-Type, but this one looks incredible. In fact, it almost looks like a production reality in my eyes!

Hell will freeze over and satan will turn into a tap dancing mongoose before this car A. makes it into production and B. only costs 50K

Set up a new forum / site for all things C-X16 at http://www.cx16.net please come join us and let's discuss this car until units start rolling off the assembly line and then let's enjoy them!

Not entirely sure what the e-type'ness of this car is? I dont mind the design though I'm not sure the e-type was ever a rival for the Porsche Caymen equivilent in the 60's so not sure how this is the successor? Surely the e-type was a GT car like the XK8?

I thought the DB7 was a jag in drag because it was an XJS underneath....

Lucid, Informative comment 'pdmccmdp ' Thanks

This is the type of comment that should be the rule in auto blogs, but unfortunately, it is usually just uninformed blather.

3Deuce27

Such a tired design. If that is the best they can do perhaps it would be better to sell to the Chinese and forget the whole idea of designing their own cars. Not even the rear view is right. It is just a vague 944 ish mess.

This Jaguar looks more competitive, we need Callum to redesign the MX5 and save it from itself, this dreadful MX5 smiley grill needs a more aggressive look similar to this Jaguar, if it is to be considered seriously. Nice work Callum, maybe the Porsche 911 design team can learn something about change.

I can only assume the negative comments come from people who this car isn't aimed at. My work colleagues who like their 2 seater German sports cars were all in a froth yesterday after seeing this concept, some so much they've been on the phone to the local dealer already.
As for the e-type link - a 2 seater plus the rear hatch opening are as far as I can make out really, maybe the snout if you push it. Personally I like the way the brand is looking forwards, not backwards, and my only concern is how much this gets inevitably watered down when it goes into production.
All of a sudden Jag is an aspirational brand again. 10/10

Would it have killed them to make that windscreen wiper park flat?

This is no Jaguar, its just a copy cat Maserati. The nose looks powerful but lacks the smoothness of the E type; this is no re launch of a classic but simply a copy of anothers brand. No originality at all; I'd rather spend money on the updated E-types available with modern gearing and brakes.

I like the looks and if reliability and economy are good should sell well IMO.
Best looking Jaguar since my E-Type.

Yet another Jaguar sports car design and yet another that is brutal and quite ugly.

One gets the feeling - as each one rolls out across the pages of AutoExpress that they are vanity projects designed by designers for designers telling everyone what clever 'design-heritage-cued-designers' they are.

Whatever was wrong with the stunningly beautiful 2000 F Type concept by Pininfarina.

http://www.worldcarfans.com/11...

With PininFarina here is a company which truly has automotive design deep in its dna and is also opening up in India so we may at last truly have a Jaguar sports car to make the heart ache with desire. Fifty years is far too long between such events.

Trevor Chenery

What's not to like?

Gorgeous to say the least! [Photo #4]

PininFarina hasn't been involved with a Jaguar concept since 1978 - the '98 F-Type was the work of Keith Helfet. Sadly I believe Keith and Ian didn't see eye-to-eye, so a collaboration of their work never came.

PininFarina did indeed set the post-E-type template with their independent late-70s Spider concept, which inspired Jagar to develop the XJ41/42 coupe/convertible, which although aborted around '89, gave Mr. Callum more than a little 'inspiration' for the gorgeous DB7.

I often think Mr. Callum basks in rather too much glory for what are collaborative or borrowed designs. But the results are rarely not stunning!

I still have body-parts waiting for an R-Coupe...

PininFarina hasn't been involved with a Jaguar concept since 1978 - the '98 F-Type was the work of Keith Helfet. Sadly I believe Keith and Ian didn't see eye-to-eye, so a collaboration of their work never came.

PininFarina did indeed set the post-E-type template with their independent late-70s Spider concept, which inspired Jagar to develop the XJ41/42 coupe/convertible, which although aborted around '89, gave Mr. Callum more than a little 'inspiration' for the gorgeous DB7.

I often think Mr. Callum basks in rather too much glory for what are collaborative or borrowed designs. But the results are rarely not stunning!

I still have body-parts waiting for an R-Coupe...

i don't think this is a out of date design by miles. they have stuck with the original curves and design of the e-type but given it a modern overhaul and it's 100% beautiful. it just shows that designing a car doesn't have to be about showing off engineering like the Germans but it has to be a show piece to be admired. the Bertone B99 was a car stuck in the past but most thought it was a stunning car but should jag have given the nod then it would have been slated for not being forward thinking, old fashioned looks but it was a great hit. i think this is a brilliant car and step forward and it shows the Germans, they may have the upper hand on mechanics but you can't beat Jag's beautiful curves!

PininFarina hasn't been involved with a Jaguar concept since 1978 - the '98 F-Type was the work of Keith Helfet. Sadly I believe Keith and Ian didn't see eye-to-eye, so a collaboration of their work never came.

PininFarina did indeed set the post-E-type template with their independent late-70s Spider concept, which inspired Jagar to develop the XJ41/42 coupe/convertible, which although aborted around '89, gave Mr. Callum more than a little 'inspiration' for the gorgeous DB7.

I often think Mr. Callum basks in rather too much glory for what are collaborative or borrowed designs. But the results are rarely not stunning!

I still have body-parts waiting for an R-Coupe...

It is OK - but is that enough? The original E Type was gobsmacking - relative to other designs of the day. I remember, I am THAT old! This is not remotely gobsmacking.
I also hate Callum's Aston-alike XF, and loathe the awkward looking XJ. It looks like the bloke who designed the front never met the bloke who designed the back, and it has an overlong rear overhang, really messy detailing around the rear window - I could go on and on. Sack Callum for crimes against Jaguar!
sadly I seem to be in a minority as they seem to be selling! Who'd have thought?

Its interesting that Callum admits (obliquely) that its taken him 16 designs to finally begin to get it right. Unfortunately, this was the design that should have replaced the Geoff Lawson designed XK. Callum started mucking that one up with his plastic past-on "body kits" that started in 2004. Then the horribly ugly "new" XK in 2006 that persists to this day. I think that model only sells for its technology, not for its looks.
I have not replaced my "03 XKR coupe with the newer model, though I greatly looked forward to doing so until I saw it in the flesh and almost vomited, simply because I felt I'd be trading gorgeous for bland, mundane and butt ugly.
AGREED!!! Callum should have been sacked a long time ago and his first "new" '06 XK design destroyed.
He was responsible for killing the "F Type" that was already scheduled for production. (But not HIS design.) The F Type SHOULD have been built and the "new" XK canceled instead, until a more suitable replacement could be designed. Probably by PininFarina, because it was obvious that long ago that ego-maniac Callum was a lot more expert at talking-up his designs than actually designing anything of substance.
Yes, cut and paste elements from any other car on the planet, but never, not even one, cohesive, flowing, integral design of beauty worthy of the Jaguar heritage.
Mr. Tata, I'm still waiting to buy my next Jags (to replace my XKR and S-Type), please get someone who knows how to design gorgeous, elegant Jaguars AGAIN, to replace Callum!

BUT the KERS type PASS button is a winner .. the car itself is a beauty ...No doubts Jag will tweak it a bit before it goes into production... Maybe change PASS to POWER? and for me remove them unneeded leads

twin-vortex supercharger........ PRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

i don't think Callum needs to be sacked. At least he is trying to make a difference looking forward without going too much into the past. i admit the new XJ is a bit awkward to look at and i would have preferred it to be more lower to the ground but then again i think the idea behind it was to make it a practical car. the low boot height of the old XJ meant its uses as a proper family car were limited but overall new XJ is a brilliant piece of design. It may not compete with the likes of the germans with its comfort but as a complete package interior/exterior its a winning success for me and provides a good alternative to the cold germans eqv. I see one on the road and its light years ahead in looks. the 06 XK being ugly...?... i seriously think its ever so beautiful looking car ever made, subtle, well proportioned and i personally believe in 20 years time it will be a timeless beautiful classic and quite a few "loyal german car drivers converted to jag" fully agree with this statement. who would have thought a cash strapped company could make a technological success with bonded and riveted aluminium that left the steel germans gob smacked, even the audi A8 at the time of the new XJ used steel B-pillars for strength in its aluminium body but XJ is entirely aluminium.

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