You wait for ages for one performance crossover concept car, and then two come along at once. Whether it may be a necessary evil is a matter of personal opinion, but a Jaguar SUV seems likely – if it happens, expect it to look like this.
In a world where Jaguar and Land Rover are held together in one company, you have to question just how requisite a Jag SUV really is. Surely no matter what the price point or specification, somehow it will be treading on the toes of either a Land Rover or Range Rover branded product. I have no doubt it fits into a strategy aimed at important world markets such as the USA and China where such vehicles are of significance – even Bentley wants in on the 4×4 action – but it still represents a radical departure from Jaguars of old.
For now, at least, the C-X17 is very much a technology showcase aimed at displaying the possibilities available from the new iQ[Al] aluminium monocoque technology. The adaptable, lightweight chassis system gives Jaguar a range of possibilities to explore in terms of new products – crucial for a company which has often been seen to lag behind the competition in exploring new niches. Take, for instance, the XF Sportbrake which appeared almost five years after the saloon. WIth the iQ[Al} platform Jaguar should be able to fill those gaps much quicker.
Styled by Ian Callum, the C-X17 is distinctly a Jaguar with its mesh grille and XJ-inspired narrow headlights at the front, with tailiights clearly influenced by the F-Type at the rear. On the whole, the C-X17 is somewhat reminiscent of the Infiniti FX with strongly sculpted sides and a narrow, sporty, rear window with prominent spoiler. The beautiful Caesium Blue paintwork and 23″ Dark Atlas graphite grey alloy wheels make for a dominant display of colour, with the darkened lower sections of the C-X17 attempting to visually lower its height.
Pushing Jaguar’s new modern image further is the C-X17’s interior, which mixes classic textures such as Conolly leather and Houndstooth-pattern trim with modern materials like ruthenium, milled aluminium and black brushed anodised metals. Most significant is the ‘Interactive Surface Console’ that runs the full length of the centre of the cabin, housing a series of touchscreens under one continuous piece of acrylic.
Whilst quite clearly conceptual for now, such a system would allow passengers to share pictures, video and music from their mobile phones, whilst also accessing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Doing so makes use of an integrated secure Wi-Fi network that could, hypothetically, allow your passengers to read EngageSportMode whilst you drive. For reference, the C-X17 does of course come with a Sport mode option, selected by the ruthenium finished rotary gearshift dial. Cool.
Whatever your view point on Jaguar producing a 4×4/SUV/Crossover, it seems fairly inevitable that it will happen in the near future. If it, and the iQ[Al] platform, are what is needed to keep cars like the F-Type being produced, then they are quite probably necessary and justifiable developments.