Autocar, 30th August, 2010
Jaguar will reveal a dramatic new sports car concept at the Paris Motor Show next month. The concept will preview a fresh styling direction and makes a fitting celebration of the company’s 75th Anniversary.
Details of the still-secret car have emerged from Tata sources and been reported this week in Autocar India. The concept will be about the size of an XK and aims to embody Jaguar beauty and to celebrate the firm’s hard-won reputation as a sports car maker.
Some of the inspiration for the show car is the success of the Porsche 918 revealed at Geneva. However, unlike that car, Autocar understands that the Jaguar is not slated for production but will pave the way for the next phase of Jaguar’s new models, kicking off in 2012 with the new XK.
This new concept car also neatly marks the end of one phase of Jaguar design and the start of another. Today’s XK began the Ian Callum-inspired reinvention of Jaguar’s model range, moving through the XF and culminating in today’s XJ.
One of the key design features likely to change in the future is the oval, E-Type-inspired grille that has identified Jaguar’s sports cars. Callum has previously told Autocar that the current oval grille cannot be stretched to fit the face of bigger cars without compromising its elegant proportions.
Instead, Jaguar plans to move to a single grille design for its saloons and sports cars, based on the oblong XF/XJ design. The Paris Motor Show concept is highly likely to give a first glimpse of the oblong grille on a sports car, a design theme that Autocar has explored in several artist’s impressions.
Another breakthrough for the concept is understood to be a hybrid powertrain. Details are few, but it could be based on a V6 petrol, possibly turbocharged, and linked into ZF’s new eight-speed auto, which Jaguar is planning to fit to future models.
This transmission can incorporate a ‘ring’ electric motor positioned ahead of the torque converter, which neatly packages the EV drive unit in a conventionally sized vehicle powertrain.
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