Jaguar C-XF Concept
The C-XF concept car signals the onset of a new era for Jaguar. A stunning, four-door sports saloon which blends design purity with unmistakable dynamism, the C-XF is a clear indication of the design direction that the next generations of Jaguar saloons will take.
Designed by the same teams that produced the award-winning Jaguar XK sports GT range in 2005 – headed by Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum and Head of Advanced Design Julian Thomson – the C-XF concept is a precursor to cars that will become recognized for their ground-breaking exterior looks and innovative interiors.
As a striking interpretation of the design values that are the bedrock of every great Jaguar, the C-XF is wholly contemporary yet succeeds in paying homage to its renowned predecessors.
“The C-XF – and the future generations of sports saloons it signals – reaffirms the direction Jaguar is taking,” says Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director of Jaguar Cars. “When we launched the new XK sports car series, we talked about a product-led transformation of the company. We promised that new Jaguars would be beautiful, fast, glamorous and evocative. The new XK delivered on that promise and the C-XF proves that these same values and more are coming in Jaguar saloon cars.”
“One thing should be abundantly clear whenever people are discussing Jaguar design,” asserts Director of Design Ian Callum. “Jaguars should be seen as modern cars and in the future people will appreciate them for that.”
The C-XF is a confident statement of design purity and efficiency. It possesses a sense of latent power that conveys dynamism and movement even when the car is stationary. But the design language of C-XF is about more than just performance and power – it also succeeds in blending many of Jaguar’s unique heritage styling cues with bold, contemporary features, signaling how Jaguars will evolve as new generations of sports saloons go into production.
“Throughout its history Jaguar has created some of the most striking, modern and beautiful sports saloons imaginable and our objective with C-XF was to recognize those principle design disciplines,” explains Ian Callum. “The values that I see in Jaguar aesthetics include purity, dynamism, latent power, balance and modernity.”
Those Jaguar values are instantly recognizable in earlier iconic models. Founder Sir William Lyons demanded the same aesthetic correctness and every one of his legendary designs proved his skill in creating some of the most beautiful cars of all time.
The C-XF’s design team took inspiration from some of Lyons’ greatest cars, including the 1950 Mark VII and 1959 Mark 2 saloons. Their beautiful flowing lines were influenced by some of the great sporting Jaguars of the era including the XK120 and both display that extraordinary feeling of latent power that so signifies a Jaguar.
Ensuring that C-XF, while still a saloon, possessed the sporting profile expected of every Jaguar required maximum design efficiency – the whole exterior ‘skin’ had to be as tight as possible to the body architecture. This focussed the Jaguar design team on creating a car that Ian Callum describes as “the absolute definition of athleticism”, a performance-oriented sports saloon that is still inherently practical and capable of carrying four people in total comfort.
C-XF has a taut beauty, but it is also a car that will challenge people’s preconceptions about Jaguar; it has an edginess that exudes a sense of underlying menace.
“Jaguars should be perceived as cool cars,” says Ian Callum, “and cool cars attract interesting, edgy people. The next generations of Jaguars will do just that.”
Set into the front of the C-XF is a bold and aggressive grille finished in black chrome. Recessed deeply into the body rather than sitting flush with the surface, the visual effect is similar to that of an air intake on a jet engine and serves as a reminder that directly behind is a sophisticated and powerful 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine.
“Jaguars need a distinctive grille, a face,” says Ian Callum. “It’s the classic ‘car in the rear-view mirror’ look, with everything powering rearwards from the grille. The C-XF is a perfect example of how to execute this successfully.”
The headlamps which evolve the twin-lamp motif seen on previous Jaguars into a single slim wedge, are narrow and angular. They bring an air of aggression to the C-XF’s profile, while between the lamps a blue streak of light reveals an almost cat-like iris when illuminated. Subtly etched below the lenses is a unique ‘tattoo’ design showing an abstract Jaguar leaper logo – a tattoo that is repeated in the treadplates of the door sills and in the tread of the bespoke Pirelli tires that surround the 21-inch machined, polished aluminium wheels.
Jaguar’s ethos on embracing new technologies that enhance the driver experience has long been that they should surprise, delight and inform, rather than impose themselves or bombard the user with excessive information or choice.
“C-XF is a showcase for innovative technology, some of which will feature in one way or another on the next generation of Jaguar cars,” says Ian Callum. “Every Jaguar interior should have a sense of fun, but we also recognize that technology should only be there when you want to use it. Yes, there is a sense of theatre about the innovations we have chosen to highlight on the C-XF, but there is also an organized simplicity that brings order and structure to every system.”
Perhaps the most theatrical of the features Callum references is the starting sequence. Sink into the C-XF driver’s seat and a jewel-like Power button pulses on the centre console – its rhythm representing the ‘heartbeat’ of the car. Press the button and beneath your hand concentric aluminium rings spiral downwards to allow the new circular JaguarDrive Selector to nestle directly in your palm. Then, as the engine starts, a beam of blue light radiates from the centre of the instrument panel, chases its way around the cabin and finally envelopes the rear seats. Overhead, an electro-luminescent panel spanning the entire roof lining bathes the interior in a muted blue light to give a feeling of ambience and space. Outside, a burst of blue light from the front grille marks the moment the car’s engine fires into life.
“We want Jaguars to feel like they are coming alive when you start them,” says Interior Designer Alister Whelan. “The starting sequence achieves this through the combination of movement and light, creating a sense of theatre and delight. It is a development of the ambient illumination we introduced on the R-D6 concept car and the best example yet of how you can create a mood within a car.”
Visually coming to life when being started is one thing, but sensing the requirements of an occupant without physical touch is a further, significant leap forward again. The introduction of a new prototype technology, called JaguarSense, sees four sensors hidden within the doors react to the sweep of your hand as it passes over them. Once activated, the inner door handles – previously hidden – motor outwards ready to be used.
Beneath the C-XF’s bonnet, further technical excellence is immediately apparent. The car is powered by an enhanced version of Jaguar’s renowned 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine. Tuned to produce in excess of 420bhp and 500Nm of torque – the latter produced from very low revs – this proven powerplant and its six-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift manual gearchange capability, deliver superb sporting performance. If C-XF were a production car, it would reach an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, with the possibility of an unrestricted speed in excess of 180mph.
Source: Jaguar press