It’s the longed-for new sports car that Jaguar enthusiasts have been hoping the company would build since the death of the E-type in 1975. The C-X16 concept will be shown to the public for the first time at the IAA in Frankfurt on 13 September, and from the accompanying images, it’s likely to be the overall star of the show. But behind the show pomp, it must be remembered that the C-X16 is a concept (based on a shortened XK, no less), and that any production derivative is still at least three years from general sale.
But that’s the important point to note – a Jaguar sports car will be going on sale in 2014 – its maker is as confident as it ever as been, and under Tata, has the backing and support denied in the past. The show car specification reads rather exotically, but a subsequent production version, tipped to be called the XE (or logically X16) will no doubt be closely related to what Jaguar is describing as a supercharged 3-litre V6 and Formula 1-style hybrid system, with a combined power output of around 470bhp.
C-X16’s proposed V6 is actually a development of the 5-litre V8 currently found in the XF, XJ and XK, and will utilise direct-injection technology and a twin-vortex supercharger to provide a power output of 375bhp with a 165g/km CO2 figure. It needs to be efficient, as Jaguar still lags behin its German rivals in some of those most important figures. The hybrid system is an integral part of the car’s eight-speed transmission, and it draws power from a battery pack located behind the seats (this is a strict two-seater).
Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar, commented: ‘Jaguars have always been dramatically different. With the C-X16 we have moved the current award-winning design language on to the next generation, creating a car that is the very essence of future Jaguar performance.’
But the big question is: Is this the rebirth of the E-type, or with this car will Jaguar finally emerge from the shadow of its 50 year old icon? What do you think?