Jaguar C-X16 interior - inside 2013 Jag F-type coupe's cabin

Published: 13 March 2012

Our spies in the Midlands have had a first nose inside the new small Jaguar coupe - the production sports car based around the glorious C-X16 concept. We'll see the production car later this year, now confirmed as the F-type.

These first spy photos inside the C-X16 (or XE, or whatever the car will actually be called when sales start in 2013) reveal a snug two-seater cabin.

The prototypes pounding the roads around Coventry are still the early-phase test cars - essentially lash-ups of cut-n-shut XK coupes and convertibles. We've added an archive spyshot of one of the truncated XKs as the third photo to show you what the C-X16 prototypes look like.

So what can we see inside the new Jaguar C-X16?

An interior that looks like a mix of XK (dashboard architecture, the large central display and those air vents) and perhaps Land Rover climate controls lower down the central fascia.

We wouldn't read too much into the cabin of this early prototype; interiors are often bitsa parts bin specials at this stage.

Let's hope the inside of the C-X16 production car keeps some of the magic of the 2011 concept; it too had three rotary controllers beneath the central screen and, tellingly, many of the minor controls for things like heated screens were in the same place.

And what's that gearlever doing?

Good spot! This spyshot inside the new Jaguar C-X16 appears to confirm that Jaguar will be offering a good old-fashioned stick shift for its sports cars in future. However, CAR understands that no manual transmission is planned for the production car; this will remain an auto only.

All current Jaguars offer the rotary gearchange dial, but the C-X16 had a stubby stick, swathed in Alcantara, and this spyshot shows a similar lever to operate the gears in its automatic transmission.

Jaguar's certainly been round the houses with its J-gate Randle handle, its conventional levers and then its rotary dials. Now it appears it's come first circle. You sometimes can't reinvent the wheel. Or stick.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet