By David Thomas on September 9, 2013
Looks like: If Jaguar made a Land Rover
Defining characteristics: All-aluminum chassis, glass roof, 23-inch wheels
Ridiculous features: Shift knob straight out of "2001"
Chance of being mass-produced: 99.9%
Jaguar has been promising — threatening — to produce an SUV for quite some time. When it was purchased with Land Rover by India's Tata Motors that idea moved even closer to becoming a reality.
Today, that reality is taking shape in the C-X17 concept.
Jaguar is careful in its press release about the C-X17 not to say it is anything more than a "design study," but design studies rarely look this complete, this real, this ready to roll up to the valet at a five-star restaurant.
What Jaguar does reveal is this concept is based on the company's next-generation aluminum chassis, which is much like Land Rover's new Range Rover. It also says this chassis will be the basis for the next Jaguar sedan to slot where the XF is now, and that car will be on the streets as a production vehicle in 2015 and in North America by 2016.
That seems a long way away, but it's enough time for the company to have the SUV - or sports crossover, as Jaguar calls it — ready in the wings shortly after the sedan's debut.
Powering the concept as well as the upcoming sedan is a range of engines, including the 340-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the new F-Type convertible.
At 185.7 inches long, the C-X17 is a few inches shorter than the new BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and Land Rover's Range Rover Sport, but it's considerably larger than Land Rover's Evoque that's also touted as a sporty crossover. Compare the four here.
There are some fantastic "concept" features in the C-X17 that we really must applaud. Many concept cars focus too much on what production vehicles will be, but this Jaguar goes all out with "never gonna happen" items such as leather on everything, including the floor and cargo area. There are swing-out seats built into that cargo area for tailgating; they're probably aimed at the polo set, but NFL season tickets are a pretty penny these days, too.
Then there are the touch-screens that seem to be everywhere in the front row. Everything is connected to Wi-Fi to be shared socially, too. "Hey, high school chums, I just set the climate to automatic in my C-X17!"
A two-seat rear configuration with a built-in console in the middle is also likely a concept-only design. The Mini Countryman proved that buyers really want a rear bench seat and its flexibility — no matter how quirky or sporty the SUV is that they're driving. Those flights of fancy aside, the C-X17 looks almost conventional.
Check out the photos below, and let us know in the comment section if you think this is a good move for Jaguar or if it's another X-Type wagon in the making.
Click any photo to enlarge.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David