This is Jaguar’s new C-X16 concept car – and something very like what you see here will go on sale in late 2012 as a £55,000 sports car.
So the Jaguar C-X16 is the long-awaited E-type reborn?
Sort of. It’s never as easy as that in real life, is it? But, yes, the C-X16 or XE or whatever we end up calling it will indeed prove an accessible, beautiful sports car, slotting beneath the XK in Jag’s burgeioning range.
The C-X16 is a front-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe positioned slap bang between Cayman and 911. The good news is that what goes on sale in late 2012 will look remarkably like what you see here.
Jag C-X16: in detail
There is undeniably a touch of E-type about the C-X16. The side-opening tailgate, for instance, or the square grille. That side-hinged boot is impractical for production (although it was recycled from the RD-6 show car) and you can expect a conventional tailgate in production.
This is a compact car, at 4445mm long, and we’ll see a convertible roadster version in due course.
Powering the new compact Jag sports car
There’s a new supercharged V6 application of the familiar 3.0-litre lump, turning out a stout 375bhp and 332lb ft. But this is 2011 – wake up! – so obviously the C-X16 is hybrid.
There’s a 94bhp electric motor in the drivetrain and Jaguar claims this concept car can travel at up to 50mph on EV mode. It’s quick, too: 0-62mph takes 4.4sec, combined economy is quoted at 41mpg.
You’d better believe the hybrid hype: Jaguar Land Rover is developing its own tech (the concept’s borrows help from Lotus) and we’ll see part-electric sports cars inside 30 months.
What will change from the C-X16 to the XE road car?
Happily not much, we hear. Tone down those 21in rims for more manageable 19s (20s will be an option). The concept’s eight-speed auto will happen, but you’ll be able to order a six-speed stick shift too.
Even more happily, the 1600kg kerbweight of the C-X16 will tumble to a svelter 1500kg for production. All that remains now is to decide on the name. We’ve heard XE is possible, and now the C-X16 is out in the open, we suspect the clues will start flowing thick and fast.