Feast your eyes on the gorgeous Jaguar C-X16 concept, the two-seat sports car that’s set to become the spiritual successor to the sexiest Jag ever, the E-type.
Jaguar will pull the silk off the C-X16 at the Frankfurt auto show in Germany next week, describing it as a ‘concept’ but secretly knowing it’ll be in production within a couple of years.
This is Jaguar’s rival to the all-conquering Porsche 911, a hard-edged driving machine that will slot into the Jaguar line-up below the elegant XK and XKR.
Around 14 inches shorter than the XK, the aluminum-bodied C-X16 is powered by a new 375-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that’s coupled to a new 8-speed automatic.
This is Jag’s new production V6 that’ll be seen eventually in the XF sedan and the upcoming BMW 3-series-rivaling small sedan. The engine is essentially the company’s proven 5.0 V8 with two cylinders chopped off.
But to show-off Jaguar’s new ‘green’ credentials, the C-X16 concept features a hybrid powerpack that adds an electric motor and battery pack to the drivetrain.
And here’s the cool part. Punching a button on the rim of the steering wheel unleashes an extra 94-horsepower for those times you need a little extra oomph for passing. This ‘Push to Pass’ function results in 0-to-60mph acceleration in an impressive 4.4 seconds, according to Jag.
While no modern-day Jaguar can ever match the delicate beauty of the original E-type, the C-X16 is a valiant effort with its stunning side profile, powerful front end and gorgeous detailing. The razor-edge line that runs back along the top of the fenders, softens through the doors and hardens-up over the rear fenders, is just magical.
I’m guessing that the production version of the C-X16 – they have to call it the Jaguar XE – will start off at around $70,000 (a base 911 Carrera is $77,800 and the XK starts at $84,500). And yes, there’ll be a convertible version and a high performance R model.
Finally, Jag is about to have a pure two-seater sports car back in its line-up. It’s about time.