The latest Jaguar coupe, the 2012 C-X16 concept, will debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show next week. This concept illustrates what could be expected of Jaguar in the future, showing a dramatic style and a strong hybrid powertrain. This design study features a variety of technologies. Jaguar's design director Ian Callum considers this car to be the “most exciting” that the automaker has done lately.
The C-X16 features a long hood and its wheels have been pressed out to the corners. The silhouette is marked by three "heartlines" and its aluminum body is built to have the highest torsional rigidity.
The vehicle has a 50-50 weight distribution. It rides on a set of 22-inch alloy wheels that are positioned under fenders to provide the look of haunches. Jaguar emphasizes that this is not the next E-type but some similarity can be seen in the curves. Callum said that the rise of the lines over the wheels is an aspect of its heritage.
But although the aesthetics are stunning, it’s the performance of this hybrid that’s the most remarkable. The concept is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that delivers 375 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.
It comes with an electric motor that has an output of 94 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque and can be accessed via a button on its steering wheel. Its eight-speed transmission comes with stop/start and kinetic-energy-recovery systems.
This enables the car to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds and to reach a top speed of 186 mph. While Jaguar describes this concept as a 1+1 coupe, it's really just a two-seat configuration. In the cabin, we see extensive red materials, a twin-dial instrument panel, leather and Alcantara fabric. Its accents include carbon fiber and dark chrome.
In terms of design, Jaguar has long been known to include drama in the way it presents itself. The same is true for the Jaguar C-X16 Concept which uses the standard two-seater sports car as a base and combines it with the redefined Jaguar design language. According to Jaguar Cars Director of Design Ian Callum, the C-X16 Concept was designed by utilizing the first principles. This concept car, he added, uses an evolved version of the design principles of past models and is able to set the tone for the company’s advanced sports cars of the future.
When it comes to intent and purity of line, Jaguar is indeed the best, he continued. At its core, the design of the C-X16 Concept is defined by how the bodywork and the mechanicals relate with each other. For the company, the goal from the start was to cover the form around the function as tight as possible.
This resulted in a sculptured and tight appearance the Jaguar is well-known for. The C-X16 Concept was finished in Gunmetal and everything served a purpose in that no space, surface, or even movement, is wasted. Each line placed on it has the goal of making sure that the whole is larger than the sum of its parts. When it comes to new features, it would be good to begin at the eight-speed transmission that comes with the Intelligent Stop/Start.
This particular feature was first unveiled as part of the XF sports saloon. This feature shuts the engine down with 300 milliseconds after the vehicle comes to a rest. It then utilizes what is called the Twin Solenoid Starter, which can restart the car just as the driver stops pressing the brake and starts to press on the accelerator. This system allow for seamless performance and faster recovery, abilities that are far beyond what any of the company’s rivals can offer.
With the C-X16 Concept, it will be the first time that this system will be paired with a supercharged engine. That is not all as the C-X16 Concept is able to increase the impact of this functionality by having it connected to a transmission-integrated motor generator that has been mounted as a single unit with its gearbox.
As a result, it gets its power from the lithium-ion battery pack, with output at 1.6 kWh, which itself has been mounted at the back of the seats to allow for the perfect distribution of the weight. To meet the challenges of even the most demanding of situations, like a motorsport environment, it makes use of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System.
This allows the battery pack to be charged mainly using the electro-hydraulic brake energy regeneration system of the rear axle. In most engines, spirited use often leads to the engine heating up and thus lowering performance. To prevent this from happening, the C-X16 Concept makes sure that the electric motor and the battery pack are liquid cooled. For the battery in particular, the system utilizes advanced electronics to obtain chilled coolant from its climate-control system.
In addition, the compressor is not engine driven but is instead electrical and thus lowers performance losses. Meanwhile the hybrid system is housed in the middle of its wheelbase and therefore helps in the distribution of the weight. This position also helps in lowering the polar moment of inertia and thus maximizes its agility. Since the electric motor can provide the needed extra boost, this is shown on the dashboard display graphic.
This additional boost is triggered by the 'Push to Pass' button placed on the steering wheel. With this, the C-X16 Concept gets an extra 70 kW (95 PS) of output with additional torque of 235 Nm (173 lb.-ft.), for a maximum of 10 seconds. Since an electric motor by nature is generally lag-free, this extra power is immediately available. Managed by the Hybrid Vehicle Supervisory Controller, the battery is automatically and continuously recharged.