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2012 Jaguar C-X16 Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

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  • Looks like: Jaguar can make sexy sports cars
  • Defining characteristics: Hybrid component that provides instant speed boost
  • Ridiculous features: Reconfigurable displays on the control knobs sound gimmicky
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Looks production-ready to us

Ahead of its Sept. 13 debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Jaguar has released images and details on its latest concept, the 2012 Jaguar C-X16. Unlike the hyper-exotic C-X75, which Jaguar apparently will build, the C-X16 two-door coupe looks like a more practical offering that could help bolster the British company’s image as a sports — rather than luxury touring — carmaker.

For just being a concept, the C-X16 looks surprisingly ready for dealerships. Up front, the coupe implements a vertical headlight design, rather than the horizontal lamps on the XF, XJ and XK. Dual front air inlets, a wide grille and a pronounced front spoiler give the car a sportier look compared with Jaguar’s current lineup. While the front is more angular and aggressive, the C-X16’s rear is curvaceous, featuring large rear fenders and a rounded rearview window that follows the form of the swept rear-roofline. Overall, there’s a lot of attention to detail here.

While the exterior is dramatic, Jaguar has stuck to a conventional setup within the cabin; it reminds us of the Audi R8’s layout. The three large knobs on the center console feature small high-definition displays that can be reconfigured depending on what you’re controlling. For example, the knobs could be used to both control the heated/cooled seats and the cabin climate. 

Powering the coupe is a 375-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-scroll V-6 producing 332 pounds-feet of torque. On top of the gasoline engine, there’s an experimental hybrid component — co-developed with the British government — that provides short bursts of extra power for passing. When the “Push-to-Pass” button is pressed on the steering wheel, the electric motor can kick in, providing extra power to go from 50 mph to 75 mph in 2.1 seconds. Overall, the 94-hp electric motor and the V-6 can accelerate the C-X16 from zero to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph. That powertrain is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

At 175 inches in length and 3,527 pounds, the C-X16 is noticeably shorter and lighter than the 2012 Jaguar XK. The XK can technically fit four people, though backseat legroom is nearly nonexistent. There’s also no V-8 mentioned for the C-X16, which leads us to believe that the C-X16 will augment, rather than replace, the XK, if the concept were produced. It would likely compete with the likes of the Porsche Cayman, Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class and BMW Z4, though the C-X16 would still be significantly larger and heavier than those models.

Jaguar is set to expand its lineup. Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata (owner of Jaguar and Land Rover since 2008) says he’s considering widening Jaguar’s lineup by adding an all-new entry-level sedan, a new roadster and a station wagon. 

Judging by how ready the C-X16 looks for production, we’re keeping our hopes high that something like this is headed our way. 

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