Bertone Jaguar B99 GT concept (2011) at the Geneva motor show

Published: 03 March 2011

Bertone B99 GT – the racing version

Next to the fully-trimmed B99 show car on Bertone's stand is an exterior mock-up of a GT2-class racing B99.  Two additional electric motors up front mean the GT has 972bhp all wheel drive capability.  A carbonfibre splitter, diffuser and flat undertray are matched with a massive bootlid wing.  There's enormous side-exit exhausts for the range-extender generator, a 100mm lowering job and a lurid green paintjob.  It’s an extreme way for Bertone to highlight the dual images of luxury and performance that Jaguar has in its heritage – particularly since there aren’t currently any saloons in the FIA GT2 series.  Perhaps they should have painted it in a '70s Broadspeed XJC touring car livery to get the full effect.

More details on the Bertone B99 exterior design

Bertone claims that it has modernized classic Jaguar three-box saloon design with the B99, with Bertone’s design chief Mike Robinson and his team drawing inspiration not just from past Jaguars, but the stealthy big cat that lends its name and image to the brand.  They coined the slogan "Cunning Glamour with Race-Bred Innovation” to embody the B99’s design… but from the two cars on the stand it looks like reconciling those disparate aims in the one vehicle may have been a bit beyond them.

The roofline has been shortened and lowered in proportion to a conventional three-box body, inspired by a Jaguar cat stalking its prey. The car’s visual mass has been placed over the rear wheel, providing a ‘hip muscle’ that works with the forward-leaning grille and front end to resemble a predator ready to strike.

Speaking of which, the leaper hood ornament is retractable – proximity motion sensors will pull the Jaguar mascot down below the bonnetline in the event of impact.

The B99 on the inside

The B99 lacks a B-pillar.  Convential front and suicide rear doors swing open to reveal a four-seater interior trimmed in dark brown leather. There is extensive use of Ebony Makassar wood trim – flat on the dashboard and console, textured with a ripple effect on the door panels.  The instrument panel and armrests are suspended above the dashboard and console to create a floating effect. The current Jaguar retractable shift dial is retained, and a central infotainment system screen is concealed behind a wooden trip panel when not in use. If only Bertone had styled the rear view LCD displays with similar care – their rectangular leather-trimmed bezels are at odds with the gently-curved forms used extensively in the interior, and their A-pillar mounts look like an afterthought.

The B99 drivetrain

It’s a range-extender hybrid system that powers the B99.  Consisting of two 150kW electric motors mounted on the rear axles, and a 200bhp combustion engine, offering 70mpg range and 30g/km of CO2 emissions.  In EV mode, the B99 is claimed to have a 100 mile range. 

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