Monday, September 12, 2011

Frankfurt: Jaguar C-X16 debut

Jaguar C-X16 in 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

• Pre-show unveil of new Jaguar sports car
• Two-seater rear-wheel drive hybrid
• F1 influenced “push to pass” button


The Jaguar C-X16 has been revealed to a select group of journalists, prior to its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Jaguar’s first two-seater sports car since the iconic E-Type is hotly tipped to be one of the main stars of the show. 

Jaguar has finally pulled the covers from its sensational C-X16 concept car - ending almost a decade of speculation on the firm's plans to build a "small sports car".

The two seat coupe, which Auto Express was invited to see at a secret location in the UK for an exclusive preview in August, made its long awaited public debut at a packed event, held on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show.

New detail was also confirmed, including a potential price of between £60,000 and £80,000.
Named C-X16 to honour the fact that this is the 16th Jaguar project to be led by design director Ian Callum, the car gets and aluminium bodywork and carbon fibre detailing.

Speaking at the event, Callum said "With this car, we are creating our future, Jaguar is now in its rightful place."

"This is our first two-seat sportscar since... Well, you know what" He continued, referencing the historic E-Type, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Jaguar Brand Director, Adrian Hallmark continued "Everything you see before you is technically feasible."
"In fact, the only part of this concept that wouldn't currently meet legislation for the road is the seat structures... Everything else you can see, from the wheels to the roof, meets all the requirements to be put into production."

However, when asked why Jaguar would not officially confirm this car would be built, and was sticking to the description of "production concept", Hallmark answered, "This car answers a question that Jaguar fans have been asking since 1975..."

"This is a long term play for the business. We are not launching it today, we are asking for potential customers to give us their feedback."

However, the firm's plans for the car are extremely detailed, Auto Express has learned.
Under the bonnet, there's a petrol electric hybrid engine. Most of the power comes from a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 producing 375bhp and 450Nm of torque.

This engine is all new, and has been developed using the architecture of the 5.0-litre V8 already found in the XFR, XKR and XJ,

To help improve fuel consumption, and cut emissions, it also features direct-injection and a twin-vortex supercharger both of which are also said to improve throttle response.

The hybrid's electric motor produces a useful 95bhp and 235Nm of torque, and is bolted directly onto the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. It draws  power from a lightweight lithium-ion battery mounted behind the seats.

The electric motor's star turn is to provide an extra slug of power when a button is pressed on the steering wheel.

The system, dubbed "push to pass" is inspired by the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) fitted to Formula One racing cars and stores enough energy for a ten second burst of extra power.

But the hybrid's job doesn't end there. The system also improves fuel economy, and around town will even propel the car in an electric-only mode at speeds of up to 30mph.

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.


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