What may very well be the largest news coming from the International Motor Show at Frankfurt, Germany this year is Jaguar’s entry into the crossover SUV field. The company long known for its sensual sports cars and sedans is stepping up with their ground breaking C-X17 Concept.
While many might recoil at the idea of Jaguar applying their design DNA to an SUV, what I see is actually quite elegant and fitting to the brand’s image and legacy. The Jaguar facial forms and details seem to wear well on the crossover silhouette. Better I might suggest than Porsche’s first try.
And as you look across its lines, know this is not just a clay model or a quick sketch to explore what Jaguar crossover SUV might look like. What you see is a production intent vehicle that’s backed up with an all new aluminum platform that will be the backbone of Jaguar’s future.
The new all aluminum architecture called iQ[A1] is a scalable and modular platform that will enable Jaguar to build multiple new products in the coming years with lighter weight, better chassis dynamics, and higher efficiency.
The C-X17 showcases technologies like brake actuated torque vectoring which monitors cornering dynamics and can use the brake system to manage power to individual wheels. The system can enhance both on and off-road chassis stability at the limits of adhesion.
While no specific engine resides under the hood of the C-X17 concept, Jaguar shared that a range of new power-trains will be offered in this new architecture. These include V6 engines which we will likely see in North America and diesel engines we likely will not.
At 185” long and 65” tall, its size is slightly larger than a BMW X3 and a bit smaller than the Mercedes Benz ML series SUV’s. The concept rolls on large and elegant 23” alloy wheels. The front and rear gets the latest in LED lighting for a modern flair.
Inside, the design is extreme concept with a raft of futuristic materials, electronic aids and design elements that you’d likely never see in a production vehicle. If you read between the lines however you will see a design direction that will likely lead to the production version of the C-X17.
What you can expect are traditional Connolly leather hides, premium wood or aluminum trims, and the latest infotainment and connectivity technology that will exist when a production model lands in showrooms.
While specific production intentions have not been stated for the C-X17, Jaguar says the first production vehicle to use the all-new platform architecture is a new sedan which will arrive in showrooms in 2015.
If the Jaguar C-X17 crossover is approved for production, it would likely go on sale in 2016 at the earliest. Our bet is we will definitely see one as the design development and engineering we see here is too far along for this concept to be a one hit wonder.