Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept Signals the Future for Luxury Automaker
By: Jeff Youngs, 9/10/2013
In describing the C-X17 Concept's underlying aluminum unibody architecture, Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director for Jaguar, said, "With this technical foundation, we will dramatically expand Jaguar's product offering, market potential and customer appeal. This new philosophy will bring technology from our top-of-the-range products into new growing premium segments, and when combined with our new ultra-efficient engines, we will set a global standard."
Jaguar offers few details about those powertrains, other than to confirm that they will maximize fuel efficiency "without sacrificing drivability." The upcoming range of gasoline and diesel 4-cylinder engines will be built at a new Jaguar Land Rover plant in the United Kingdom, alongside the V-6 engine currently installed in the F-Type sports car.
The automaker has chosen to introduce its new platform in luxury crossover SUV format to show how versatile the new aluminum structure is. While the first production model will be a sedan, the message is that the underlying architecture can also be used to create a wide range of vehicles, including an SUV.
"We designed the C-X17 from the ground up from a distinct set of principles, a deep sense of what makes a Jaguar: exciting proportions, clean lines, balance of form," said Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar. "Assertive and powerful, yet with a beautiful sensuality about it, the C-X17 is boldly, distinctively Jaguar."
Painted Cesium Blue, the C-X17 Concept is a 6-passenger crossover that Jaguar says would deliver "car-like" handling and driving dynamics if it were produced. Intelligent all-wheel drive and torque vectoring would provide most of the powertrain's output to the rear wheels in order to preserve "the dynamic driving experience all Jaguar vehicles are renowned for," as the company said in a statement. However, with 8.3 inches of ground clearance, the C-X17 could also tackle light off-roading adventures. The driver selects between Road, Sport, and All-Road powertrain modes.
Jaguar designers characterize the concept SUV's interior as "timeless" yet "absolutely up-to-the-minute," blending modern technology with traditional materials such as Connolly saddle leather and milled aluminum. A panoramic glass roof illuminates the 2-tone cabin, which is equipped with bucket seats for four occupants and a couple of occasional-use seats that are normally stored under the cargo floor.
In addition to a bespoke Meridian premium audio system and dual configurable Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display screens with a head-up display, the Jaguar X-C17 Concept is equipped with a multi-screen Interactive Surface Console (ISC). The ISC runs from the center of the dashboard's control surface, along the center console and through to the rear seats, containing touch-screen controls encased in acrylic glass. The system includes a secure, in-car Wi-Fi network, and allows occupants to not only share pictures and information with each other but also via social media channels.