These days any luxury automaker worth its plush leather has to have a crossover utility vehicle. Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Porsche have embraced the high-riding body-style. As have Lexus, Acura and Infiniti. Even Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati are getting in on the action. Sisters as it is with Land Rover, producers of the quintessential luxury SUV, Jaguar might have gotten away without one, but now even the Leaping Cat marque is preparing to launch a crossover of its own. And to that end, it has showcased the C-X17 concept.
Unveiled just a few weeks ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Jaguar C-X17 previews the direction Jaguar intends to take with its first crossover. More elegant and sporty than its rugged Land Rover counterparts, the C-X17 bears all the hallmarks of Jaguar's contemporary design language, with a strong family resemblance to the F-Type roadster, XF Sportbrake wagon and XJ limousine.
The C-X17 is more than a design exercise, however. Underneath the elegantly aggressive bodywork sits a new lightweight chassis made of a high-strength aluminum alloy that is expected to underpin a new generation of Jaguars, including a crossover, compact sedan, coupe and even a hatchback. The plans are bound to help Jaguar expand into new market segments it has never successfully reached before.
"The C-X17 sports crossover represents an exciting new direction for Jaguar,” said Jaguar director Adrian Hallmark. “Its purpose is to highlight our all-new aluminum architecture. With this technical foundation, we will dramatically expand Jaguar's product offering, market potential and customer appeal. This new philosophy will bring technology from our top-of-the-range products into new growing premium segments, and when combined with our new ultra-efficient engines, we will set a global standard. Add to these rational values, the class-leading dynamics, and the beauty and purity of form that Jaguar is renowned for, and we have the formula for a monumental leap forward."
Expect the first new member of Jaguar's growing family to reach European showrooms in 2015, before arriving in North America in 2016.