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
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.”
“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
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
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
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
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
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
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.
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
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars
Click Here for all the photos of the c-xf.