On the floor this week at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show and hopefully on a winding, kinky, piece of tarmac within the next 18 months, the Jaguar C-X16 makes chief designer Ian Callum smile widely, and it’s easy to see why…
The two-seat derivative of the next-generation Jag XK platform is stubby and swift-looking, more dynamic from most angles than the larger, less lithe XK. The side view reads especially well in the C-X16′s silver show paint.
Powered by a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 — good for 280 kW and 450 Nm — provides most of the forward propulsion, but a 70 kW electric motor provides added boost at the push of a button. Jaguar say the C-X16 will hit 100 km/h from a standstill in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 300 km/h, and CO2 emissions are pegged at 165 grams per kilometer. The electric motor is bolted to a ZF eight-speed transmission and draws power from a 1.6 kWh lithium ion battery, charged through regenerative braking.
Everything’s mounted in an aluminum chassis with 50:50 weight distribution. The C-X16 is tiny by Jaguar standards, coming in at 4 419 mm long with a wheelbase of 2 621 mm. It’s the smallest Jaguar since the Jaguar XK120 appeared in 1954 and the company’s first two-seater sports car since the venerable E Type. As for the name, it’s the 16th Jag penned by design director Ian Callum.
A production version could appear before the end of next year, and it may as well wear XE badging – since, as Jaguar promises, this is the real successor to the E-Type celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.