Frankfurt, Germany -- It seems like every automaker has one these days, so who can blame Jaguar for testing the midsized crossover waters with the debut of the C-X17 concept at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show?
The C-X17 may be the automaker's first foray into the world of crossovers, but its design is decidedly "Jaaag." The front end borrows heavily from the automaker's XF premium sedan with similarly shaped headlamps and central grill opening. The design, however, has been stretched vertically to accomodate the taller crossover's larger front end.
The profile reminds me of the newest Range Rover models -- particularly, the Evoque -- with the way the roof slants off into an integrated roof spoilers. Blur your eyes and you may also see a bit of Mazda CX-5, but that's mostly because nearly all slab-sided crossovers look the same when viewed in profile.
No mention is made of the C-X17's powertrain; only that it will put power to the road via Jaguar's new Intelligent all-wheel drive system. In all likelihood, that tech will also borrow heavily from the Land Rover sister company.
Underneath the handsome design is the real story: Jaguar's new lightweight aluminum monocoque platform that will for the basis for the automaker's future vehicles. In addition to boosting efficiency by way of weight reduction, this new platform will also be constructed of a high-strength alloy made from 100-percent recycled raw material.
Modular design will allow the automaker to build a variety of vehicles using this new platform, the first of which will be a new premium sedan. The only details about this new sedan announced were that it would be offered with Jaguar's new four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, as well as the V-6 mill that can be found under the hood of the F-Type, and that we can expect to see it sometime around 2015.
The interior is concept car crazy with glossy plastic seats with perforated leather surfaces, a wierd panoramic moonroof covered with sculpted vanes, and more blue lights and screens than you can shake a stick at. However, there are peeks at the future of production Jaguar tech, including in-car Wi-Fi networking, a smartphone-inspired infotainment interface, provisions for a head-up display, and a 28-speaker system specifically developed for the C-X17 by British ultra-premium audio experts Meridian.
Jaguar hasn't made any official announcement of putting the C-X17 into production, but it also hasn't denied it. Odds are good that if this concept is positively received by the public and press that we'll be seeing it on the road sometime soon. Would you drive a Jaguar crossover? Sound off in the comments with your opinions.