Jaguar C-X16: Concept Car Review

The C-X16 is one of Jaguar’s latest car out! And it’s a sports two-seater coupe` Concept car!
The Jaguar C-X16 was first showcased at the Frankfurt Motor show 2011 which lasted from September 13th to September 25th, 2011.

This Jaguar to quote is “the most compact and responsive Jaguar in a generation” it is also a ‘Hybrid’ and is able to travel at speeds of up to 50 mph on electric power. It is the smallest Jaguar since the XK120 (1948 – 1954) in terms of the length and has a next-generation supercharged 3.0 litre V6 petrol (hybrid) engine. The C-X16 also has the option of eight speed gearbox changes. This car is said to exemplify Jaguar’s new design route.*1
Traditionally the “C “in Jaguar used to stand for competition and was the letter of choice for the race car called the Jaguar XK120-C; the “C” is more relevant in today’s time for Concept and this car is a concept car making it all the more desirable. The ‘X’ stands for Experimental.

 

The Jaguar is a rear-wheel drive, with an aluminium structure, it is also well-balanced with a 50:50 weight distribution and this is what’s really needed when overtaking and compliments the “Push to Pass” button which supplies electrically charged boosts and has an output of 70 kW and 235Nm (the button is red and found on the steering wheel).

These charges are produced by the battery pack which is found behind the seats and is charged progressively as the car brakes, this is called the regenerative braking system.
(“The battery pack is predominantly charged through a rear axle electro-hydraulic brake energy regeneration system.”)*1
There will be a graphic on the dashboard that shows when the boosts can be deployed and all the driver has to do is use the boost button which provides 70kW and 235Nm of torque for up to 10 seconds.
“A hybrid, the C-X16 combines searing performance with beautifully realised styling. The C-X16 measures 4,445 mm in length, 2,048 mm in width and 1,297 mm in height and has a wheelbase measuring 2,622 mm.”*2
CO2 emissions are 165g/km putting it in the middle which is band yellow and in terms of road tax it is grade G which is approximately £165 per year although this car is considered one of the green cars of the Frankfurt Motor show 2011 as it is a hybrid and if this technology is put to its maximum use by the owner then this car is set to be a green icon for sure, especially as it can run on electric power alone.

Any combination of power with this car is possible whether it be petrol or electric or both. The V6 engine is under the bonnet at the front and this C-X16 will rival Porsche’s 911.
The C-X16 is an upgrade to Jaguar’s 2010 model the C-X75 which is a plug-in hybrid and started off as a concept car (as the C-X16 is although will be manufactured for the road too).
The C-X75 is in the stages of being produced and the C-X16 is similar to the C-X75 as they both share the shape of the front grille (more on this later) and the wrap-around rear lights. The top-speed of the Jaguar C-X16 is limited to 186mph and is capable of 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and 50-75mph in 2.1 seconds.
The interior has carbon-fibre racing seats covered in red leather and there is use of suede, aluminium and additional carbon-fibre throughout the interior of the car.

The interior has automatic venting systems which appear from being hidden to provide hot or cold air and retract when the desired temperature has been reached. This provides a sophisticated look to the interior and makes use of innovative technology which is showcased intelligently and is nothing less than smooth, as the entirety of the interior is; the knobs for the air-conditioning also have mini-displays on them which show the temperature! Cool!
The seats can be heated or cooled to desired temperatures a handy function for all conditions. There is also a dual functional switch-gear: “The switchgear is framed in carbon-fibre and features subtle “watch-like” dark chrome highlights while the gearlever and dynamic mode selector switch are surrounded by red anodised aluminium to emphasise their purpose.”*1
“The interior design 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 Jaguars.”*1
With this Jaguar, the emphasis is on its design and technology ensuring that whilst seated in an amazingly looking beast, you will still find a luxurious atmosphere around you. There is a touch-screen on-board computer which can sync with your Blackberry device (or other smart-phones) to enable the driver to access their phone functions; this has been called the ‘Connect and View’ application.

The phone slots into an aluminium tray between the front seats, and then ‘connects’. This connecting of the smart-phone will enable functions such as accessing the driver’s phone music libraries on the touch-screen and the smart-phone’s navigation system as well as enabling the driver to make phone calls or receive them. All these small interior touches are what make the car a luxurious vehicle!
To provide as much of a taut posture as possible, Jaguar have provided a cocooned feel about the interior to give you a racing feel and this is much to do with the exterior which has taut lines throughout its body to provide the aero-dynamicity and a look which gives the impression of a car that is ready to go at any moment!
“The exterior design is startling in its simplicity, defined by three ‘heart lines’; the front wing crease, the rear haunches that wrap into the tail and the sweeping roofline.”*1
In addition to the exterior being beautifully sculptured, there is the new design element, which has of late, become Jaguar’s latest trademark, I am of course referring to the trapezoidal shaped grille at the front of the car, which is also present in the C-X16′s predecessor concept car the C-X75 and more recently the XF and XJ models.
Alongside the grille are two air-vents on either side (view the photos at the bottom of the page) which scoop into an abyss giving the car a fiery racing appearance.

The bonnet is shaped definitively and has fine in-warding curves on either side with a bump in the middle which appears enchantingly to give the C-X16 further finesse about it; besides the soft bump are side air vents in darker grey and there is also a lip in darker grey which ever-so slightly protrudes from just beneath the grille.
This colour theme of darker grey is present throughout the interior and exterior of the car giving the car a classy look. And on the sides of the doors, the aluminium body takes an inward straight down the length of the car, providing the aero-dynamicity needed for this hybrid to be able to produce those quick starts and consistent top-speeds whilst flying down those straights. The doors have standard handles (built into the body and does not jut out in the slightest) – Jaguar could have demonstrated further originality in this department like they do with the rest of this concept car, although these handles are practical and fit in well with the look of the car.
If you view the car from the rear you will notice twin exhausts on either side and this gives the car a sportier appearance! The C-X16 has red-brake callipers which fit in with the red motif of the interior and the alloy-wheels are twin spoked in a chrome and darker chromed colour, which many would look at in awe!
There are air-vents on the side of the wings which are red in colour and are far from an eye-sore. The C-X16 has a similarity with the 1961 E-type as they both have a rear window which opens (to the right side – if viewed from the rear) in extravagant fashion.

The lights at the rear are red in colour and are horizontal and lengthy and the within the middle of these horizontal lights are semi-circled brake lights. The front lights are xenon and big in shape completing the look of the C-X16. What this Jaguar could be said to be missing are indicators on the wing mirrors and a spoiler, which could give the C-X16 a further completeness about it, although many may disagree.

The body of the car is made from aluminium rather than steel, giving the car extra lightness which is what makes this car a dream to race or push to its limits on say the German Autobahn’s (Motorway)! And here’s the scientific bit, as the car heats up there is a liquid cooling system which works on both the electric battery pack and the electric motor.

This deliberate styling and use of the best technology about, ensures that the car is agile, handles well, has the fastest of acceleration times, and has shorter braking distances, which makes the C-X16, a driver’s desired package, in any car let alone this conceptualized reality, which for many a Jaguar fan, will be a wish come true.
And to further add to Jaguar’s forte` there is an intelligent start/stop system: “The system can shut down the engine in just 300 milliseconds after the car has come to rest and utilises a Twin Solenoid Starter (TSS) 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 and is the first time such a system has been used with a supercharged engine.”*1

The production road car will enter the automobile arena as soon as 2013 although Jaguar have been keeping it to themselves whether the C-X16 will be produced (costing an estimated £55,000 -£70,000!) or whether the alternative (the F-Type) which will be a convertible (the F-type looks to be out in 2013) and inspired by the C-X16 will be the one to take the stage in place of a hard-top C-X16 production car!?
I’ll conclude with a quote from the chief designer of the car, Ian Callum:
“Jaguars have always been dramatically different. With the C-X16 we have moved the current award-winning design language on to the next generation, creating a car that is the very essence of future Jaguar performance.”*1
Refernces
*1- (Jaguar.com)
*2- (Greencarsite.co.uk)

Article Author- Raj Mehta.
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