Bertone has released details of its Jaguar B99 compact executive concept, which will debut at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
The Bertone B99? In English, please?
Pen and paper ready? The B is for Bertone, and the 99 indicates 99 years since the founding of the firm.
Bertone has previous form in producing Jaguar concepts. Past Bertone-penned Jaguars are the 1957 XK 150, produced in a limited edition of four copies; the 1966 Jaguar FT concept car; the 1967 Jaguar Pirana; and the 1977 Jaguar Ascot.
B99: a new compact Jaguar
The B99 is a compact four-door saloon, which at 4.5m long and 1.95m wide is about the same size as a current E90 BMW 3-series.
Bertone has eschewed the styling cues championed by Jaguar design chief Ian Callum in the XF and XJ. Hints of the old XJ can be seen around the glasshouse and silhouette of the B99's aluminium body; the brand's 'Leaper' mascot returns to the bonnet. The artfully-darkened teaser pics obscure the nose of the B 99 but the slit-like headlights echo the rear lights and share little with the current Jaguar range.
Interior pictures have yet to be released, but Bertone hints at the sophisticated, minimalist theme continuing inside, with Italian leather, brushed aluminium and high-gloss African wood.
Bertone will also present a full-race GT2 variant of the B99 at the 2011 Geneva show. No pictures have been released but Bertone mentions 'high-speed aero appendages and aggressive graphics'.
A Fast & Furious counterpoint to the rather restrained roadgoing B99 pictured here.
Is this concept just skin-deep?
Bertone's re-imagining of Jaguar continues under the bonnet. Under the hand-formed aluminium panels lies a hybrid powertrain, apparently. Further details are expected when the B99 is unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
>> An overdue return to 'proper' Jaguar styling or poor form by Bertone? Share your thoughts on the B 99 by clicking 'Add your comment' below