At the recent Frankfurt Motor Show Jaguar has presented the C-X17 Concept, previewing an upcoming crossover model set to compete in the premium SUV/Crossover segment.
The vehicle features an all-new advanced aluminum monocoque architecture called iQ[Al], which will form the basis for a new range of future Jaguars – the first production model based on it will be a mid-size premium C/D segment sedan on sale in 2015.
The C-X17 Concept has the typical proportions of this class of vehicle: with a length of 4,718 mm, a wheelbase of 2,905 mm, a height of 1,649 mm and a width of 1,959 mm, the C-X17 is slightly longer than the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5.
Trademark design elements include the large, prominent front grille and headlights already seen on the XJ and the muscular shoulders and sleek tail lamps introduced with the C-X16 Concept and its production counterpart, the F-Type.
In side view, the tall vertical panels are visually balanced by the dark colored lower sill, the crease line running above it, and the sharply defined wheel-arches.
The interior has a very futuristic look, and features four individual bucket seats and the Interactive Surface Console – a “multi-screen infotainment network that links passengers with each other and the outside world through social media channels.”
The performances are focused on on-road use, and offer sedan-like handling and dynamics, thanks to the low height, optimized center of gravity, and dynamic technologies such as Torque Vectoring by Braking.
Below we report the recently published videos along with selected design details from the official press release.
Design insights by Ian Callum
The iQ[Al] all-aluminum platform
From the official Press Release:
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.
“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.” says 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.
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.
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 28-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.