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08 September 2011

Jaguar takes on new turf with the C-X16 concept (w/ video)

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Jaguar Cars Limited
The big cat has coughed up a new hairball and looks like it’s ready to pounce at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Codenamed the C-X16, Jaguar's latest super sports car is a 375 horsepower two-seater hybrid that's meant to bang heads with the likes of the Carrera 911, C6 Corvette, and V8 Vantage. Although it's still in the concept phase, the prototype reveals that it should be production ready and is well shaping up to be the XKR's successor
With big shoes to fill, the new supercharged 3.0 liter V6 power plant might sound like a downgrade from the XK's V8, but let me assure you that it hasn't lost any of its grunt and purrs just as sweet. Packing 375 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque, the C-X16 leaps from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds and should reach 300 km/h if you've got the balls to keep the pedal to the floor.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that this supercar's actually a hybrid. Integrated into its eight-speed gearbox is a motor generator that can pump out an extra 94 horses at the touch of a boost button a la Formula One. There is also a sensible side to this technology that allows the C-X16 to cruise at 80 km/h solely on battery power. And with the heft of its 1.6 kWh battery pack sitting behind the driver, it achieves an ideal 50/50 weight distribution.  
Designed by Ian Callum, the man behind the XK and XF, the C-X16 paves the way for Jaguar's future design and technological advancement. And while it takes on the distinctive Jaguar silhouette, they've definitely found new source of inspiration sculpting the front and back ends. The result, however beautiful, is not as bad ass as we had hoped. To our eyes, it’s a mash up of a 599's fascia and 911's roof with a Fisker Karma tossed in the mix. 
The C-X16 will be the smallest feline Jaguar has built since 1954. This could mean that the Brits are going back to basics with the compact two-seater rear-wheel drive formula. And if this is their idea of sustainable energy, then count us in.