Jaguar C-X17 - Concept Crossover or Reality
I was recently with Jaguar in George at the unveiling of the concept Jaguar C-X17 crossover vehicle. The question is: What would Jaguar want with such a crossover in the light of the Range Rover Evoque already being in the stable of Jaguar Land Rover?
Firstly, this is a beautiful concept that oozes Jaguar appeal and charm that can only come from an experienced designer like Ian Callum. Secondly, it is built by Jaguar for an ever- and fast-expanding crossover market. If Jaguar sticks to the concept design, being partly the Jaguar XJ from the front, and, from the back, the looks of the Jaguar F Series sports car, it will be an instant hit. The interior is truly conceptual and ‘modern’ is not the word. But I do not foresee such a futuristic concept becoming part and parcel of this great-looking vehicle.
It is the first crossover that not only looks like a crossover, but also like a sports car – only a bit higher off the ground. It is also the first to be built on the company’s new aluminium monocoque structure for smaller vehicles. The official names are still to be unveiled, but Jaguar has registered ‘XQ’ for the new small sedan and ‘Q-Type’ for the crossover as possibilities. Both models will be of the iQ[Al] scalable vehicle platform and designed not only to be light, but also extremely stiff. Also incorporated are innovative efficiency technologies such as diesel, plug-in hybrid, and even battery-powered electric power trains.
It was mentioned that Jaguar is developing new four-cylinder gas and diesel engines for its iQ[Al] platform, while performance models will be powered by the supercharged V-6 engine from the F-Type sports car. Vehicles will probably come in rear-wheel drive as well as Jaguar’s all-wheel drive system that continuously monitors driver input and road-grip levels and thus regulates torque distribution to aid handling. As mentioned, the interior is ultra-modern with a mix of high-tech innovations and a little bit of traditionally crafted elements. A really smart innovation is the two fold-out seats to be used when the vehicle is parked – golfers will love this, as they can sit down while changing in and out their golfing shoes.
The vehicle is also fitted with a large panoramic roof that generates extra headroom. As a futuristic concept, some of the high-tech equipment includes an interactive surface console that runs the length of the car’s centre tunnel and has a series of interconnecting touch screens in transparent acrylic glass that control a common interface wirelessly. It is also fitted with a Meridian sound system, a rotary-dial gear selector, a digital-gauge cluster and a heads-up display. I for one cannot wait to see if Jaguar’s ‘Q’ will come into production by 2015 or 2016, as it will surely give all other manufacturers of premium crossover vehicles a run for their money.
OUT OF OFFICE | CAR REVIEW
by Carl Wepener
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