Luxury car manufacturers need SUVs in their lineup if they want to make money, and Jaguar seems to have an understanding of that. Although the British company doesn’t say it specifically, with the C-X17 Concept shown in Frankfurt, it is testing the waters for a production SUV that may launch within the next few years.
Jaguar says the C-X17 announces “next-generation lightweight technologies in the form of an all-new advanced aluminium monocoque architecture,” incorporated by the study. The Tata Motors-owned carmaker says the iQ[Al] architecture will form the basis for a new range of future Jaguars, the first of which will be a mid-size premium C/D segment sedan in 2015.
Whether they will build it or not, the C-X17 does look like a modern day Jaguar, incorporating most of the styling cues seen on current production models. It does manage to look slim and athletic, despite its dimensions – 4,718mm (185.7in) long, 1,649mm (64.9in) tall and 1,959mm (77.1in) wide. At 2,905mm (114.4in), the long wheelbase suggests plenty of interior space too, although the study’s cabin only features four seats.
If it will be produced, the interior will suffer the most significant changes, as it is obviously too futuristic for a production vehicle. Among its many advanced technologies the Interactive Surface Console is a multi-screen infotainment network that links passengers with each other and the outside world through social media channels.
With its low height, “optimized center of gravity” and use of dynamic technologies such as Torque Vectoring by Braking, Jaguar says the C-X17 could offer “sedan car-like handling” and refined on-road dynamics, suggesting a clear differentiation from Land Rover vehicles that are more off-road oriented. Still, the 213mm (8.4in) ground clearance and Jaguar’s intelligent All-Wheel Drive system would make occasional off-road escapades possible.
One thing is certain: if Porsche survived the Cayenne, a Jaguar SUV won’t be a tragedy at all for the brand.
By Dan Mihalascu