Jaguar has highlighted the versatility of its acclaimed C-X17 sports crossover concept vehicle with the debut of a luxurious five-seater version at the 2013 Guangzhou Motor Show in China.
The unique model, developed for China, features a bespoke ultra-luxury interior incorporating a range of new high-quality design elements in combination with innovative premium infotainment technology.
Introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2013, the C-X17 design study showcased Jaguar’s all-new advanced aluminium monocoque architecture,on which an exciting range of future Jaguars will be built. The modular and scalable vehicle architecture, engineered and developed for Jaguar, is high-strength, lightweight, extremely stiff and incorporates innovative efficiency technologies. It enables flexible high-volume production while allowing creative design freedom and competitive interior packaging, without compromising the unique character, dynamics, performance and luxury that Jaguar is famous for. The new architecture will enable Jaguar to grow its product portfolio, targeting high-growth areas of the premium market.
As a luxurious sports crossover, the latest C-X17 stretches the design possibilities of the segment by combining the character and driving experience of a luxury sports car with increased presence, style and flexibility. The concept represents the potential expansion of Jaguar’s portfolio of body styles, with the associated enhancement of the brand’s appeal to a global audience.
“This latest version of the C-X17 has been specially developed for the Chinese market. The luxury sports crossover represents an exciting new direction for Jaguar and highlights the promise and potential of our all-new, advanced aluminium architecture – a technical foundation which will enable a dramatic expansion of Jaguar’s product range as well as its customer appeal. Bringing premium technology to an accessible price segment, combined with new ultra-efficient engines, class-leading dynamics and Jaguar’s renowned beauty and purity of form, we are poised for a monumental leap forward.”
Phil Popham, Group Marketing Director, Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar’s first product from the advanced aluminium architecture will be a new premium mid-size (C/D) segment sedan. Its global rollout will begin in 2015, and it will be the first aluminium monocoque product in the segment. Jaguars based on the new architecture will be powered by engines with a wide range of capacities and outputs, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies without sacrificing drivability. These will include the high-output four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines to be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new UK engine manufacturing facility, as well as the potent V6 petrol engine in the F-TYPE, which will provide best-in-class specific power output thanks to the lightweight architecture. These attributes will enable Jaguar to offer a wider variety of vehicles, with exhilarating performance, top speeds of over 300km/h, as well as class-leading emissions.
The latest C-X17 concept illustrates the diversity of vehicles that could be produced using the architecture. A five-seater luxury sports crossover concept built on the aluminium-intensive architecture, it blends sleek lines, sporting design and innovative sophistication with enhanced flexibility and an assured driving position. In its harmonious yet exciting proportions, purity of form and its beautiful lines – overseen by Director of Design Ian Callum – the C-X17 is every inch a Jaguar.
The C-X17 offers refined driving dynamics and sedan car-like handling across urban and country roads, thanks to its low height, optimised centre of gravity and use of cutting-edge dynamic technologies. The C-X17 places a high emphasis on intelligent safety with Torque Vectoring by Braking, in which the car intelligently uses its brake system to finely balance the distribution of engine torque to individual wheels during cornering, thereby enhancing vehicle stability and control by reducing understeer and maximising grip. C-X17 also debuts additional innovative safety features including Rear Exit Detection, developed with the China market in mind, which uses sensors to warn exiting passengers of quickly-approaching hazards, such as cyclists and mopeds, in the path of the vehicle’s opening doors.
“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. Assertive and powerful, yet with a beautiful sensuality about it, the C-X17 is boldly, distinctively Jaguar.”
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar
At 4,718mm long and 1,649mm tall, the C-X17’s dimensions are clearly that of a crossover, yet in its design it shares strong family traits with Jaguar’s current range. For instance, the grille is an evolution of the distinctive nose of the Jaguar XJ luxury sedan, while the sculptured haunch lines hint strongly at the award-winning design of the Jaguar F-TYPE sports car. A low-sitting stance and overall profile combine with 23-inch alloy wheels to give the C-X17 a sporting, aggressive presence, while the LED headlamps, J-shaped running lights and frosted-glass foglights set into the large front intakes add to the C-X17’s purposeful intent. The latest C-X17’s exterior is painted in a lustrous Liquid Gold liquid metal finish, with gloss black elements surrounding the windows, while the split-five-spoke alloys have a dark ruthenium finish.
The spacious interior of the five-seater C-X17 is luxuriously appointed, yet designed for a sculpted, lightweight appearance. The unique roof features contoured vanes that provide a distinctive ‘elliptical’ panoramic view for the C-X17’s five passengers, while retaining the roof’s sleek appearance from the exterior. Two additional rear-mounted leisure seats incorporated into the wood-lined boot floor swing out for recreational use. Accessories that support an active lifestyle, such as a torch and a camera, are positioned in storage compartments in the boot. The C-X17’s bespoke interior marries premium, authentic materials and traditional British craftsmanship with modern finishing techniques. It features a luxurious combination of Jet and Tan leather – made by British premium leather specialists Connolly and Bridge of Weir – on the dash, seats, armrests, floor and in the boot. A classy, subtle layered effect is created through the use of traditionally-inspired Brogue-perforated saddle leather patches on the main leather panels. Ruthenium, milled aluminium and black brushed anodised metal finishes impart a darker tonal effect to the C-X17’s interior. The interior door finish is waxed Clay Walnut wood.
A centre tunnel running part way down the length of the cabin, from the instrument panel into the rear passenger area just behind the front seats, incorporates the innovative Interactive Surface Console, an interactive multi-passenger infotainment hub with a series of touchscreens under a continuous panel of transparent acrylic glass which, in conjunction with the secure in-car Wi-Fi network, enables the vehicle’s passengers to connect and share experiences with each other and the outside world via social media such as Weibo. The C-X17’s ultra-premium, 28-loudspeaker in-car digital audio system has been specially designed for the vehicle by British specialist audio firm Meridian, and the car’s centre console is configured for a Head Up Display projector.
ALL-NEW ALUMINIUM ARCHITECTURE: UNDERPINNING THE FUTURE
Jaguar’s advanced aluminium architecture is a completely new philosophy that underpins the innovative future of the brand. It will enable Jaguar to significantly grow its product portfolio, targeting high-growth areas of the premium market in global markets. The first Jaguar to be delivered from the new architecture will be a new mid-size (C/D) segment premium sedan, which will be rolled-out globally from 2015. The first aluminium monocoque product in its segment, the new sedan will be produced at an all-new, ultra high-tech production facility in Solihull, creating new jobs and substantial opportunities for the supplier base.
The aluminium-intensive architecture will be modular and scalable, providing a high degree of flexibility and making it possible to produce a wider bandwidth of models and derivatives than ever before. It is lightweight, extremely stiff and incorporates innovative technologies that emphasise Jaguar’s commitment to sustainability, such as a new high-strength alloy made from almost 100% recycled raw material. The architecture is being carefully developed to fully incorporate all the vehicle attributes established by Jaguar engineers. All products will perform like true Jaguars, the flexibility and scope of the architecture guaranteeing the individual character of each one. Jaguar design and engineering teams collaborated closely on the architecture’s development from the outset to ensure versatility of design combined with fully competitive interior packaging. The flexibility that this architecture will provide means that Jaguar designers and engineers can apply the philosophy “anything we can imagine, we can create,” to deliver a new portfolio of products less restricted by technical or manufacturing constraints. The new architecture will allow Jaguar to move into higher volume production without compromising the unique character, breath-taking design, outstanding vehicle dynamics, performance and luxury that Jaguar is famous for. The flexibility of the new architecture will enable the manufacture of different products on the same production line at the same time. The highly efficient, state-of-the-art production process will allow rapid response to variations in market demand for individual models by balancing production volume accordingly.
Future Jaguars will be powered by engines with a wide range of capacities and output, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies, without sacrificing drivability or feel. The new sedan will be the first vehicle to be equipped with all-new four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, allowing Jaguar to break the 100g CO2/km barrier for the first time. These advanced, high-output engines will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new UK engine production facility, currently under construction as part of a £500 million investment, which will be operational from 2015. These vehicles are also designed to be powered by the potent V6 petrol engine seen in the Jaguar F-TYPE sports car, which, combined with the lightweight architecture, will bestow them with best-in-class specific power output as in the F-TYPE. Together, the family of engines will offer the best of both worlds and deliver all-encompassing capabilities: sporting performance and class-leading fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
C-X17 DYNAMICS: AGILE AND SURE-FOOTED
As a sports crossover, the C-X17 concept has an on-road bias, and its low height, optimised centre of gravity and lightweight all-aluminium body endow it with superior, car-like driving dynamics, both in urban environments and out on the open road. The C-X17 features cutting-edge dynamic technologies such as Torque Vectoring by Braking, a system which constantly monitors the vehicle’s cornering dynamics and, when required, rapidly and intelligently uses the brake system to finely rebalance the distribution of engine torque to individual wheels, in order to reduce understeer, maximise grip and enhance vehicle stability.
With its 213mm of ground clearance and intelligent All-Wheel Drive, the C-X17 would also offer reassuring capability and enhanced grip on poor roads and in varying weather conditions. Jaguar’s intelligent All-Wheel Drive system continuously monitors grip levels and driver inputs and uses feed-forward torque distribution to both pre-empt and react to wheel-slip, providing greater driver confidence and vehicle stability in low-grip conditions. In normal grip conditions, the system predominantly delivers drive to the rear wheels, providing the dynamic driving experience all Jaguars are renowned for.
EXTERIOR DESIGN: BEAUTY OF PROPORTION
With a crossover being a new journey for Jaguar, Director of Design Ian Callum and his team were clear that the C-X17 would not compromise on the time-honoured values of Jaguar car design: purity of form, beauty of line and balance of proportion. Even as it subscribed to the practicalities expected of the crossover category, the C-X17 had to be stylish, sporty and exciting. It had to instantly stand out from the crowd, yet retain the sense of timeless sophistication that is typically Jaguar.
The C-X17 has dynamic yet perfectly balanced proportions, with the low profile and large wheels giving it a powerful, planted stance. In terms of form, it is sleek and fast, relying on pure lines rather than exaggeration or showmanship. The long bonnet’s twin ‘power bulges’ and prominent grille impart a muscular look. The headlamps hint at the C-X17’s sedan siblings while the grille is inspired by the XJ, resulting in a distinctive family look that is reassuringly familiar yet uniquely appealing. The grille features a hexagonal pattern, with small aluminium panels within its structure that can close to enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic properties. The C-X17’s twin ‘heartlines’ are clearly visible when viewed in profile. Two clean and simple design lines, with a subtle crease in the metal to catch the light, visually tie together the C-X17’s shoulder and haunch. The accentuated length of the windows adds to the vehicle’s overall sense of sleekness. The rear of the vehicle has a distinctive touch of sports car about it, with the haunch, taillights and detailing all bringing to mind the seductive Jaguar F-TYPE. The C-X17’s roofline swoops quickly rearwards, culminating in a distinctive cantilevered spoiler over a steeply raked rear window that enhances the crossover’s sporting, ‘fast-even-at-standstill’ appearance.
The exterior of the C-X17 is painted with a lustrous Liquid Gold liquid-metal finish. The window surround is finished in gloss black, with the only brightwork on the vehicle being the badging at each end, lending the car a darker, sportier look. The large 23-inch wheels, which enhance the C-X17’s solid stance, are a one-off, five-split-spoke design, finished in dark ruthenium (a member of the platinum family).
INTERIOR DESIGN: CRAFTSMANSHIP AND TECHNOLOGY
“The C-X17’s design is timeless, yet absolutely up-to-the-minute. Artisan treatment meets modern techniques in an innovative cabin full of luxurious touches and cutting-edge technical ideas.”
Julian Thomson, Director of Advanced Design, Jaguar
The interior of the latest C-X17 blends high-end interactive technology with a modern take on traditionally crafted materials of the highest quality, resulting in an especially luxurious and sophisticated cabin. Jaguar Land Rover designers developed the revised interior especially for China. The C-X17 seats five passengers in plush, spacious comfort, with the second row of seats that accommodates three people. The seats are lightweight units with a sculpted free-standing appearance, visually enhancing the airiness of the cabin, with headrests that are adorned with perforated C-X17 lettering.
The spacious boot, which is lined with waxed Clay Walnut wood, incorporates two leisure seats that swing up and out of the boot floor for use when the car is stopped and the rear hatch opened. Solidly constructed from milled aluminium and finished in Tan leather, these seats swing outwards on beautifully engineered hinges to provide a practical seating area when the car is stationary. Accessories that support an active lifestyle, such as a torch and a camera, are positioned in leather holsters in storage compartments located in the boot.
Panoramic sculpted roof
The sense of openness inside the cabin is heightened by the C-X17’s unique panoramic roof. The designers of the C-X17 have constructed the interior of the roof from a series of sculpted vanes running from front to rear, closely arranged in parallel and integrated into the header and cant rails. They are contoured on the lower side to generate extra headroom, and shaped to create a ring of space that enables a whole-roof view of the sky above, giving the occupants a sense of openness. The topside of the vanes follows the smooth profile of the glass roof, maintaining the sleek exterior lines of the C-X17.
Premium two-tone leather trim
The interior of the C-X17 is a juxtaposition of premium traditional materials and modern finishing techniques. Designers drew inspiration from a variety of sources, from extruded aluminium lampshades and lattice-framed stools to premium leather shoes, jackets and handbags. Accordingly, the seats, instrument panel and floor are finished in an overlapping combination of Jet and Tan leather panels.
Renowned British leather specialists Bridge of Weir and Connolly, the benchmark names in premium automotive cabin craftsmanship, created the bespoke leather panels specially for the C-X17. The 3mm-thick Connolly saddle leather has a unique perforation design inspired by traditional Brogue patterns and a hand-painted edge, giving the interior of the car a classy yet contemporary feel, and features bands of stitching to increase the passenger’s tactile experience of these surfaces. The C-X17’s interior door finish is a waxed Clay Walnut wood veneer. For the interior metal finishes, ruthenium is used instead of brightwork, creating a darker, more tonal effect that suits the subtle, premium feel of the cabin, and the top surface panels of the Interactive Surface Console are laser-etched with a Brogue-inspired pattern.
The C-X17 takes interactivity and in-car infotainment to a new level with the unique Interactive Surface Console that runs the length of the car’s centre tunnel, from the dashboard through to the rear cabin area, just behind the front seats. Made up of a series of interconnecting touch screens encased in transparent acrylic glass, the Interactive Surface Console connects those in the rear cabin with the driver and front seat passengers via a secure in-car Wi-Fi network. The Interactive Surface Console allows the vehicle occupants to upload pictures, video and sound files from their mobile devices and share them with their fellow passengers, as well as on Weibo and other social media channels. Using the touchscreens and an intuitive user interface, information can be ‘flicked’ forwards and rearwards between the front and the rear passengers. By enabling sharing – both in terms of technology and information -between the occupants of the C-X17, the Interactive Surface Console immerses all five passengers in a unified multisensory experience.
Rear Exit Detection sensors
For China, the latest C-X17 has been designed with an even greater emphasis on intelligent safety. The new model features Rear Exit Detection, an innovative system which uses sensors to warn exiting passengers of quickly-approaching hazards, such as cyclists and mopeds, which are in the path of the vehicle’s opening doors. The system is activated when the passenger places their hand on the interior door handle, illuminating a hidden-until-lit icon in the pillar trim that identifies if there is a potential hazard as the result of an approaching hazard.
Ultra-premium Meridian audio system
The C-X17’s 3D surround sound system, from British audio experts Meridian, features an all-new architectural speaker location based on the company’s integral sound/design principles of uncompromised performance delivered through a refined, authentic and consistent sound. The 28-loudspeaker system presents innovative speaker locations such as the integration of speakers into the A and B pillars to deliver a truly authentic sound image. The Meridian subwoofer ‘back to back’ technology is gem-set between the ends of the front of the rear seats to provide consistent and accurate low frequency reproduction for every passenger. Height speakers have been set in the top of the head restraints to deliver the correct perception of image height, enabling each passenger to enjoy a personal and even more authentic musical experience. The all-new sonic architecture allows Meridian’s proprietary Trifield 3D technology to disclose its full capabilities of delivering evocative and believable sound for everyone.
The C-X17’s instrument panel has a twin-dial configurable TFT console with provision for a Head Up Display – a system which projects vital information onto the windscreen for the driver to process quickly, akin to the systems used in modern fighter aircraft. The gearshift has a rotary dial, finished in ruthenium, which rises on activation and serves as the interface to toggle between driving modes such as Road, Sport or All-Road. Milled aluminium vents on the console, seats and doors mirror the pattern of the grille mesh.