• Jan 8th 2007 at 11:40AM
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click above image to view 66 high-resolution image in our gallery

Jaguar has been pushing its product with the Gorgeous campaign for over a year now, but anyone who thinks that the current S-type can be properly described as such probably needs a new prescription for corrective lenses. To show that it's aware of the problem, the British automaker rolled out the C-XF concept into Cobo Arena last night as a hint towards what corrective action we can expect when the new XF replaces Jag's aging entry-level sedan.

The car's entire shape is drawn around the recessed metal-mesh grille, and perhaps this is the most production-ready aspect of the C-XF's styling. The striking silhouette follows the current design trend towards making four doors blend into a couple-like rooflines, and is augmented with short front and long rear overhangs (the latter of which tapers dramatically); unfortunately, that probably won't make it to the production XF. Inside, carbon fiber mixes with poplar - blackened with torches - and copious amounts of machined aluminum to provide a rather gorgeous interior experience. Especially noteworthy are the trio of B&W drivers in the rear parcel shelf, and a rotary shifter residing in place of a conventional lever.

Check out the gallery for 66 shots from the official introduction and the press release can be found after the jump.

For our comprehensive listing of everything from Detroit, click here.


"Great Jaguars turn heads in the street. They make people stop and pay attention. They evoke instant desire. That's what the C-XF does and that's what the next generation of Jaguars will do." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar Cars

The C-XF concept car signals the onset of a new era for Jaguar. A stunning, four-door sports saloon which blends design purity with unmistakable dynamism, the C-XF is a clear indication of the design direction that the next generations of Jaguar saloons will take.

Designed by the same teams that produced the award-winning Jaguar XK sports GT range in 2005 – headed by Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum and Head of Advanced Design Julian Thomson – the C-XF concept is a precursor to cars that will become recognised for their ground-breaking exterior looks and innovative interiors.

As a striking interpretation of the design values that are the bedrock of every great Jaguar, the C-XF is wholly contemporary yet succeeds in paying homage to its renowned predecessors.

"The C-XF – and the future generations of sports saloons it signals – reaffirms the direction Jaguar is taking," says Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director of Jaguar Cars. "When we launched the new XK sports car series, we talked about a product-led transformation of the company. We promised that new Jaguars would be beautiful, fast, glamorous and evocative. The new XK delivered on that promise and the C-XF proves that these same values and more are coming in Jaguar saloon cars."

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY "One thing should be abundantly clear whenever people are discussing Jaguar design," asserts Director of Design Ian Callum. "Jaguars should be seen as modern cars and in the future people will appreciate them for that."

The C-XF is a confident statement of design purity and efficiency. It possesses a sense of latent power that conveys dynamism and movement even when the car is stationary. But the design language of C-XF is about more than just performance and power – it also succeeds in blending many of Jaguar's unique heritage styling cues with bold, contemporary features, signalling how Jaguars will evolve as new generations of sports saloons go into production.

"Throughout its history Jaguar has created some of the most striking, modern and beautiful sports saloons imaginable and our objective with C-XF was to recognise those principle design disciplines," explains Ian Callum. "The values that I see in Jaguar aesthetics include purity, dynamism, latent power, balance and modernity."

Those Jaguar values are instantly recognisable in earlier iconic models. Founder Sir William Lyons demanded the same aesthetic correctness and every one of his legendary designs proved his skill in creating some of the most beautiful cars of all time.

The C-XF's design team took inspiration from some of Lyons' greatest cars, including the 1950 Mark VII and 1959 Mark 2 saloons. Their beautiful flowing lines were influenced by some of the great sporting Jaguars of the era including the XK120 and both display that extraordinary feeling of latent power that so signifies a Jaguar.

Ensuring that C-XF, while still a saloon, possessed the sporting profile expected of every Jaguar required maximum design efficiency – the whole exterior 'skin' had to be as tight as possible to the body architecture. This focussed the Jaguar design team on creating a car that Ian Callum describes as "the absolute definition of athleticism", a performance-oriented sports saloon that is still inherently practical and capable of carrying four people in total comfort.

C-XF has a taut beauty, but it is also a car that will challenge people's preconceptions about Jaguar; it has an edginess that exudes a sense of underlying menace.

"Jaguars should be perceived as cool cars," says Ian Callum, "and cool cars attract interesting, edgy people. The next generations of Jaguars will do just that."

EXTERIOR STYLING Set into the front of the C-XF is a bold and aggressive grille finished in black chrome. Recessed deeply into the body rather than sitting flush with the surface, the visual effect is similar to that of an air intake on a jet engine and serves as a reminder that directly behind is a sophisticated and powerful 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine.

"Jaguars need a distinctive grille, a face," says Ian Callum. "It's the classic 'car in the rear-view mirror' look, with everything powering rearwards from the grille. The C-XF is a perfect example of how to execute this successfully." The headlamps which evolve the twin-lamp motif seen on previous Jaguars into a single slim wedge, are narrow and angular. They bring an air of aggression to the C-XF's profile, while between the lamps a blue streak of light reveals an almost cat-like iris when illuminated. Subtly etched below the lenses is a unique 'tattoo' design showing an abstract Jaguar leaper logo – a tattoo that is repeated in the treadplates of the door sills and in the tread of the bespoke Pirelli tyres that surround the 21-inch machined, polished aluminium wheels.

Running backwards from the nose of the C-XF is the main feature line of the car – an unbroken shoulder that flows beneath the cabin glassline and into the haunch over the rear wheel. It is this feature, a modern interpretation of renowned Jaguar sports saloons from history, that endows C-XF with its latent power. A similarly simple line can also be seen on the new XK range and is one of the design cues that will carry forward onto the next generation of Jaguars.

Above the shoulder line sits a low and sporting cabin with aluminium brightwork highlighting the coupe feel of the car. Further sporting lines are accentuated by the muscular bonnet and the side power vents that have a functional white ceramic finish.

At the rear of the C-XF a very sculptured shoulder flows from the C-pillar into a tight, aggressively tapered tail that clearly displays traditional Jaguar design cues yet succeeds in striking an incredibly modern feel. When seen from behind, C-XF is noticeably wide and powerful, a look accentuated by the large rear diffuser. The basic principle of diffuser technology sees air being drawn from beneath the car to create a low pressure area that improves cornering grip at higher speeds.

The C-XF's colour palette is deliberately monochromatic, mixing a one-off exterior paint – Metashine silver – with areas of brightwork in either chrome or aluminium finishes. Additionally, white ceramic is used to indicate areas of dynamic air flow or heat exchange – in this case the side power vents and tailpipes.

"The colour choice for the C-XF was very deliberate and is a key part of its overall dynamic," says Head of Advanced Design, Julian Thomson. "We describe the effect as 'tone on tone' – we want people to think about the materials, the textures, and how they interact with the functions of the car."

Thomson continues: "The tonality has a functional aspect but also extreme beauty; mechanical designs that are fit for purpose are often beautifully designed – we've taken our inspiration from machinery as diverse as aircraft to cameras in seeking to make the car look like it was milled from a solid piece of metal."

INTERIOR DESIGN Design Director Ian Callum describes the cabin of the C-XF concept car as "one of the most exciting interiors Jaguar has ever done". One glimpse of the inside of the four-seater is enough to understand why Callum has this view.

The emphasis is on tailored performance rather than pampered luxury and nowhere is that better demonstrated than in the lightweight, sculpted bucket-style front seats. Trimmed in semi-aniline leather (a specially dyed hide which ensures even colouration yet retains its softness) the seats are sports-styled yet also offer impressive comfort thanks to a deeply padded lumbar area with ventilation cavities. Twin individual bucket seats house the rear-seat passengers.

Between the seats runs a tall central transmission tunnel that gives the occupants a sense of sitting deep within a futuristic cockpit. One of the keys to any Jaguar interior is that occupants should feel as if they are enclosed in the car, not sitting on it. The C-XF's interior cossets in just such a way, creating an inviting cabin for passengers to slip into, rather than surrounding them with bland, open space.

The 'tone on tone' theme that has been applied to the exterior of the C-XF has been carried through to its interior, with a sensational blend of materials, graphic elements and innovative technologies.

The focal point of the interior is a sweeping brushed aluminium facia that wraps around the cabin in a dynamic linear graphic that instils a sense of velocity. The counterpoint to the aluminium is a combination of leather and wood that takes detail of finish to a new level.

What at first sight may seem to be a simple black interior is actually a sophisticated and contemporary blend of materials including a unique carbonfibre-pattern leather and luxurious semi-aniline leather. Areas of the doors and transmission tunnel have been carved from Poplar wood and then scorched to obtain a rich satin feel. This finish was perfected by artist Clive Sheridan, who produced these beautiful burnt wood forms.

"These unusual finishes allow us to explore new ideas and themes," says Alister Whelan, one of the designers responsible for the C-XF's interior. "Jaguar is recognised for tailoring cars in wood and leather, but we have turned that on its head by treating these traditional materials in an unusual and contemporary fashion, obtaining beautiful textures and grains."

Whelan continues: "And by using non-grain leather on the seats, it looks like they are moulded from neoprene. It was a deliberate choice not to put any stitching on them – in fact, there is no visible stitching on the interior at all, it just appears to be entirely wrapped in leather."

INNOVATION Jaguar's ethos on embracing new technologies that enhance the driver experience has long been that they should surprise, delight and inform, rather than impose themselves or bombard the user with excessive information or choice.

"C-XF is a showcase for innovative technology, some of which will feature in one way or another on the next generation of Jaguar cars," says Ian Callum. "Every Jaguar interior should have a sense of fun, but we also recognise that technology should only be there when you want to use it. Yes, there is a sense of theatre about the innovations we have chosen to highlight on the C-XF, but there is also an organised simplicity that brings order and structure to every system."

Perhaps the most theatrical of the features Callum references is the starting sequence. Sink into the C-XF driver's seat and a jewel-like Power button pulses on the centre console – its rhythm representing the 'heartbeat' of the car. Press the button and beneath your hand concentric aluminium rings spiral downwards to allow the new circular JaguarDrive Selector to nestle directly in your palm. Then, as the engine starts, a beam of blue light radiates from the centre of the instrument panel, chases its way around the cabin and finally envelopes the rear seats. Overhead, an electro-luminescent panel spanning the entire rooflining bathes the interior in a muted blue light to give a feeling of ambience and space. Outside, a burst of blue light from the front grille marks the moment the car's engine fires into life.

"We want Jaguars to feel like they are coming alive when you start them," says Interior Designer Alister Whelan. "The starting sequence achieves this through the combination of movement and light, creating a sense of theatre and delight. It is a development of the ambient illumination we introduced on the R-D6 concept car and the best example yet of how you can create a mood within a car."

Visually coming to life when being started is one thing, but sensing the requirements of an occupant without physical touch is a further, significant leap forward again. The introduction of a new prototype technology, called JaguarSense, sees four sensors hidden within the doors react to the sweep of your hand as it passes over them. Once activated, the inner door handles – previously hidden – motor outwards ready to be used.

A fifth sensor, located in the facia, responds to the proximity of your hand to reveal an infotainment screen that lies flush within the aluminium front panel. The sequence continues with the centre section of the dashboard rotating 90 degrees to display an advanced Dual View screen which is capable of projecting two different images to the driver and passenger simultaneously. For example, the driver can view satellite-navigation instructions while the passenger watches a DVD-based movie.

The Dual View system works by utilising a parallax barrier to divide light into individual viewing cones for the passenger and driver, allowing each front-seat occupant to view their own personalised display. The Dual View system, which has been developed for Jaguar by mobile media specialists Alpine, uses a 262,144 colour amorphous silicon TFT screen.

Also contained within the rotating panel are air vents that, like the screen, are hidden from view until the driver requires them. This is in complete harmony with the overall sophistication of the driver environment. Behind the single-spoke steering wheel with 'floating' gear-selector paddles sits a dial cluster that has been inspired by the cockpit of an airplane. The main central dial – the rev counter – has graphics reminiscent of an artificial horizon instrument from an aircraft. The dials also respond to the way C-XF is being driven. If the driver puts the transmission into sporting Dynamic mode, the rev counter motors outwards (in the way a long lens on an SLR camera operates), ensuring its increased prominence.

Driving C-XF in a more relaxed manner would allow occupants to enjoy an audio experience of the highest quality. Visually stunning honeycomb speaker panels are set into the rear parcel shelf and front facia top. Designed by Jaguar and created by leading British loudspeaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins, the beautiful cat's eye-shaped designs are aesthetic yet functional works of art.

"Bowers & Wilkins is renowned for its audio engineering expertise," says Julian Thomson, Head of Advanced Design, "Its dedicated pursuit of the perfect loudspeaker has led to many design innovations, including the use of materials such as Kevlar and diamond. It is no surprise that B&W speakers serve as the 'audio reference' speaker at London's famous Abbey Road Studios.

"The speaker panels provide a perfect aesthetic while serving a unique function. The honeycomb Micro-Matrix ensures rigid mounting and at the same time improved speaker performance. They are beautifully crafted pieces of engineering."

All of these features are prime examples of how the introduction of new technologies can be implemented by blending simplicity of design with practical innovation – and more importantly they give an early preview of what lies ahead for Jaguar customers.

POWERTRAIN (COMPONENTRY) Beneath the C-XF's bonnet, further technical excellence is immediately apparent. The car is powered by an enhanced version of Jaguar's renowned 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine. Tuned to produce in excess of 420bhp and 500Nm of torque – the latter produced from very low revs – this proven powerplant and its six-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift manual gearchange capability, deliver superb sporting performance. If C-XF were a production car, it would reach an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, with the possibility of an unrestricted speed in excess of 180mph.

And the technology advances continue here, too, with the electrical architecture for the 4.2-litre engine encased in a unique carbon-fibre wiring 'loom'. Designed and constructed by Beru F1 Systems, the electrical 'spider' harness is not only beautiful but also extremely functional.

"The new wiring loom is a designer's dream," says Julian Thomson. "We thought we would always have to live with the plethora of wires that runs around an engine bay. Now every wire is housed within a visually stunning harness that looks as if it is literally strapping the engine down, holding all that power in place."

The C-XF is the first car ever to use Beru F1 System's unique Wire in Composite (WIC) technology. WIC completely encloses all wiring in a bespoke carbon-fibre sleeve, protecting it from damage and also improving durability, packaging, weight and aesthetics. As the first vehicle to use the technology, the C-XF leaps ahead of upcoming debuts in both Formula 1 motor racing and the aerospace industry – and allows Jaguar to further investigate production car potential for the system.

JAGUAR C-XF SUMMARY The C-XF is not just another concept car – it is much more than that.

The exterior design is pure, athletic and, of course, beautiful.

The striking interior design uses traditional materials, but fashioned in new and contemporary ways.

The four-seat cabin – sufficiently spacious but not a bland, featureless expanse – is a welcoming, rewarding place to be.

The technologies and innovations are typical of the features on a Jaguar – and preview others that are still under development.

The powertrain – a supercharged V8 of proven excellence and a sophisticated six-speed automatic that delivers lightning-quick manual gearchanges thanks to the Jaguar Sequential Shift System – is perfectly suited to a true sports saloon.

The sum of the C-XF parts is impressive enough, but the whole – an exciting, modern, dynamic sports saloon that evokes absolute desire – is an extraordinary preview of the Jaguars of tomorrow.

"The Jaguar C-XF concept is the most dynamic and modern four-door car that Jaguar has ever created, a design showcase heralding the next generations of our sports saloon models. It signals a future for Jaguar that is as exciting as the C-XF itself." Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think some of you people should get off your high horse and be realistic.

      Concept cars are meant to show a taste of the future and always contain a number of features that are just unfeasible from a cost/engineering persective to produce in a mass volume market. I am sure Jaguar would build the cXF as a volume car if people were willing to pay $150k - $200k for it...but they don't

      This car is like nothing Jaguar have done before, yes it is on a Lincoln based platform but does that matter if it performs perfectly well and makes it more affordable instead of spending an extra $1billion developing a platform and letting the customers eventually foot the bill....realistic

      I have worked in the auto industry some time now and when I see these vehicles early on..you always compare to other vehicles out there....does the rear looking like an Aston Martin Rapide sound really all that bad for a 1/4 of the price.
      More often than not Aston have borrowed designs and platforms from Jaguar... and not the other way around.

      This car must and will define a new generation, it may not appeal to Americans but that may not be a bad thing the way the U.S has de valued its currency has led Jag to stop pandering to the boring/conservative U.S. dealer fraternity.

      I guarantee this will be a sales sucess, Jaguar now has the design to go with its quality(second only to Lexus)...Poor Jag Quality - another misconception constantly reaped up from the 80's.

      maybe 65% of college graduates in the US aren't that bright after all. boring Jap designs...uhm give me some of that...on second thought - maybe not

      I think the world needs Jaguar and Jaguar needs this to be a success before we all suffocate in Bland German/Japenese designs.
      Come on everyone - support an icon in its rebirth!

      • 8 Years Ago

      This is an Aston Martin Rapide concept rebadged as a jaguar car.

      Not surprising, given that Ford owns both brands. However, a bit surprising that they would trot two identical cars out as "concepts" for two different brands.

      The Rapide looks a lot more refined, whereas all of the gunk on this car makes it look awfully gaudy.

      Either way, if they are brought to market, they will be built on an existing Ford/Lincoln platform. The difference between a 200k Rapide and a 40k Lincoln will simply be different body panels and interior pieces. Oh and maybe they'll tune the engines differently.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, fantastic what cutting edge style - This car could do it for Jaguar - save their butts that is!!
      It is so unbeleivable they skimp out on the engine though, I am bitterly dissappointed that Jaguar engines are nothing but weezy gut less match box engines - come on, a super charged V8 only producing 420 h/p and a measly 500Nm of torque... Audi are getting this power out of a normally aspirated 4.3 ltr V8, obviously the U.S. input has done nothing for Jaguar and its empty pants!
      • 8 Years Ago
      wonderfull. perfect cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks good. Almost got a sense of what Accord Sedan Fuel Cell or what the next Accord would look like.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jaguar is first on this design not Honda because I did not see the honda accord fuel concept in this event,so Honda will be the copy cat not Jaguar.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looking at the pictures again, its Lexus back end meeting a Buick front end, they clash somewhere about the front door.
      • 8 Years Ago
      When will the launch the production version car out ? Which also to release in the coming Frankfurt Motor in September. I read somewhere it might be 007 next Bondmobile in Bond 22. I think James Bond should try a Jag. Remond Benson Put 007 in Jag in one of his novels.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a Jaguar. The heritage is the XJ6 series 1. I remember reading a comment by him in Jaguar magazine that the original XJ6 had his favorite grill. If you also look at the rear end of the series 1 it had a similar light set up.

      I read a lot of criticism about Jaguar if they are too conservative or it not conservative enough which must drive them crazy. However for all the comparisons to other cars you really have to see and drive the Jaguar and you will realize it is not a Ford Taurus or whatever.

      It is also not domestic being 100% built in the UK which is actually not necessarily good because it makes them more expensive in North America.

      The design is on target and strategically this is a good start to revamp the XJ line, maybe an RD concept like X type (how about the XT) which really follows the idea of a Mark 2, and I really think they need a line above the XJ such as a Daimler to compete with lower end Bentleys (like a DS 420 limo idea).

      • 8 Years Ago
      Beautiful car! I just hope Ford didn't give it the plastic "Chrome Clad" wheel treatment it's giving the rest of it's cars and trucks now days.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is that an electrical fire?

      Jaguar's been blowing smoke up our butts about design for a long time so this picture seems quite apropos to me.

      I know Ian Callum said that this design is about 80% true to the S-Type replacement but I'll believe it when I see it. Jaguar needs to do something bold and strong if it wants to emerge from the distant shadows of its German competition.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Absolutely fantastic car, can;t wait to see the production car which is certain to be a real drivers car,
      This is exactly what Jaguaar are all about.
      I am excited to see that they have gone back to what they are good at, they are not about reliving their heritage but DEFINING a NEW GENERATION and LEADING THE WAY - which in turn creates Heritage and Icons
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