When is a concept car not a concept car? When it’s a ‘production concept’, to use Jaguar’s oft-repeated description at the unveiling of the new Jag C-X16 coupe at the Frankfurt motor show today.
Officially the two-seat, supercharged V6 coupe hasn’t got the green light. Unofficially this is the R version of a production car which is almost certain to be in showrooms in 2013.
Interviewing the bosses behind the Jaguar C-X16 concept car
‘For technical feasibility, we now know where we stand,’ Jaguar’s global brand director Adrian Hallmark told CAR Online. According to Hallmark, every element – from side impact safety to a nose that meets pedestrian protection – conforms with production car regulations. Aside from carbonfibre seats which are too thin to accommodate side airbags. For now.
‘We could have cliniced it quietly, but we’ve chosen to show it loudly at Frankfurt,’ said Hallmark. ‘The whole world has been speculating that Jaguar’s going to build a Boxster competitor. No, we are not going to build a £35,000 sports car.’ Instead the C-X16 is gunning for base 911s.
Jag C-X16: target 911
‘It’s as quick as a 911, it’s priced between Cayman and 911. We will attack the market that we don’t with the XK,’ said Hallmark. Set to cost from £55,000 to £75,000, the C-X16 is a little shorter and wider than the  911 Carrera – and it's fractionally quicker.
The 375bhp supercharged V6 can power the C-X16 from standstill to 62mph in 4.4sec. Hallmark says the car would feel much more darty and agile than the grand touring character of Jaguar’s existing XK.
The hybrid bit
The concept’s drivetrain incorporates a KERS-style electric motor, which delivers a 173lb ft slug of torque for 10-second overtaking bursts. Thanks to Jaguar’s trademark aluminium monocoque construction, the C-X16 weighs 1600kg, with the KERS system adding up to 150kg of that mass. Combined fuel consumption is a claimed 41mpg.