Tuesday 11th January 2005


JAGUAR UNVEILS NEW COUPE CONCEPT

Includes aluminium body and chassis plus V8 power

Jaguar Cars has revealed a new concept car, the Advanced Lightweight Coupe at the NAIAS motor show in Detroit, USA.

Featuring aluminium accents and leather inside, the 2+2 sports 21-inch wheels, telematics, a paddle-operated gearshift, and aluminium bodywork and chassis. Few details have yet emerged as to performance and other oily bits, nor whether this is destined to be the XK8 replacement.

In terms of of design though, the company reckons that the concept "represents the very essence of Jaguar, its heart and soul. If you want to know what lies ahead for us, what direction we will take – this is Jaguar's answer", according to chairman and CEO Joe Greenwell.

Design

The coupe rides on 21-inch alloy wheels with custom Pirelli tyres while new chrome gills behind the front wheels aid engine cooling and also improve aerodynamic flow to the rear.

The car’s cabin is said to be more spacious and better packaged than previous Jaguar coupes, with impressive headroom and multi-directional sports front seats and individual bucket seats in the rear. The interior is trimmed throughout in a tan leather which has visible stitching on the hides that line the doors and the dashboard.

Aluminium inserts are spread throughout the car to act as jewellery that accentuates the contemporary feel of the cabin. Its focal point is the central dashboard console that houses an advanced Alpine telematics screen which provides user feedback in the form of a ‘pulse’ when you touch the on-screen buttons.

The instrument binnacle has been designed to relate to the shape of the steering wheel and houses a high-resolution screen between its dials that provides the driver with a secondary source of infotainment and satellite-navigation information.

Behind the steering wheel sit the gearshift levers that operate an automatic paddleshift transmission – the first time this technology has appeared on a Jaguar. The paddles are mounted to the wheel itself, rather than the steering column, to ensure that at whatever angle the wheel is held, the driver doesn’t have to take his concentration away from the road. Just the kind of touch you’d expect in what is, first and foremost, a driver’s car.

Engineering

Were it to become a product, the new Jaguar would be the most potent 2+2 the company has ever created. Thanks to a technologically advanced aluminium architecture – which is around 40 percent lighter and 60 percent stiffer than a standard steel body – and V8 powertrain assembly, the car would be capable of reaching 60mph in less than five seconds and a top speed north of 180mph.

Its aluminium chassis similar to that used in the new XJ saloon is constructed using many of the same advanced technologies, and is said to be "lightweight, strong and stiff".

It includes dynamic aids such as computer-controlled active suspension, as well as adaptive cruise control and active restraint technology system – all features that Jaguar already has on its production cars. Like Jaguar’s XJ and S-Type saloons, it also features an adjustable pedal box.

Conclusion

"I firmly believe that Jaguars should appear powerful as well as elegant," said design director Ian Callum. "Look back at the great cars from our past and you will see that they were as muscular and taut as they were subtle and curvaceous. That’s what confident Jaguar design is all about."

Jaguar MD Bibiana Boerio said, "This car takes our coupe design onto another level. It is muscular without being over the top – a naturally honed athlete. Just like its predecessors, we believe the next generation of Jaguars should be different from anything else in the marketplace. We are not trying to copy our rivals because we have our own path to take. We know what that path is and we are showing the way."

"This car is as clear a statement on the strength and confidence of the company as we could possibly make," said Greenwell. "Its design is assertive and pure – a perfect symbol for our 21st century cars – and beneath that beautiful body lies the heart and soul of a true Jaguar sports car."

"The Advanced Lightweight Coupe marks a return to the core values of Jaguar," said Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director, Jaguar Cars. "There is a determination in every department of this company to produce a new range of cars that provides the total Jaguar experience and this car is the first evidence of that determination.

"Aspirational and exclusive, with contemporary design and stunning performance, the Advanced Lightweight Coupe is conceived as a special car for special people. It represents the unique position that Jaguar holds in the market place – and even more it tells the world that we are set to make another bold leap forward. For Jaguar, the future begins now."