Jaguar Cars revealed yesterday its exciting new sports show car, the Advanced Lightweight Coupe at NAIAS motor show in Detroit, USA.
"The Advanced Lightweight Coupe represents the very essence of Jaguar, its heart and soul. If you want to know what lies ahead for us, what direction we will take - this is Jaguar's answer."
Joe Greenwell, Chairman and CEO, Jaguar Cars
Jaguar Cars Managing Director Bibiana Boerio concurs:
"This show car is a rallying call for Jaguar lovers the world over, who appreciate sporting luxury. We want them to know that we are committed to a product-led transformation of this company that will see us making Jaguars with great design and wonderful interiors that are fast, glamorous and evocative. A new Jaguar sports car is always an important event and we absolutely believe that the Advanced Lightweight Coupe demonstrates that the direction we are taking is the right one."
"This car takes our coupe design onto another level. It is muscular without being over the top - a naturally honed athlete. Just like its predecessors, we believe the next generation of Jaguars should be different from anything else in the marketplace. We are not trying to copy our rivals because we have our own path to take. We know what that path is and we are showing the way."
The car rides on unique 21-inch alloy wheels with custom-made Pirelli tyres, which sit below wide, flowing haunches. The rear haunch is of particular note, its prominent shoulder helping to exaggerate the size of the wheels relative to the body. With the visual mass of the cabin also drawn back towards the rear haunch the car appears to be moving forward even when it is standing still.
The grille on the show car is also of prime importance as an indicator for the look of future Jaguars. As a pure geometrical form it draws its inspiration from classic Jaguars of the past like the E-type. Additionally, features such as the polished aluminium gills reinforce the engineering integrity that is present in all Jaguars.
Rising from the radiator grille, a prominent bulge in the hood runs to the base of the windscreen and invokes a notion of real power beneath the skin. From there the cabin flows back in a clean, spontaneous line to the car's rear end which tapers sharply to a focal point of two, centrally-mounted tailpipes.
The headlights are a departure from the simple elliptical lenses on current Jaguars. Instead a more contemporary, angular design gives the Advanced Lightweight Coupe an edgy look and helps to draw your eye around the corner of the car to the new chrome gills that sit behind the front wheels. These would aid engine cooling and also improve aerodynamic flow to the rear.
In keeping with the understated and contemporary feel of Jaguar's previous recent show cars, this car's interior is restrained yet undeniably luxurious and welcoming. The task for the interior design team was to produce a cabin that wasn't over-powering or fussy.
Laid out in a classic 2+2 sports car format, the car's cabin is more spacious and better packaged than previous Jaguar coupes, with impressive headroom and multi-directional sports front seats and individual bucket seats in the rear. The interior is trimmed throughout in a tan leather which has visible stitching on the hides that line the doors and the dashboard. Aluminium inserts are spread throughout the car to act as jewellery that accentuates the contemporary feel of the cabin. Its focal point is the central dashboard console that houses an advanced Alpine telematics screen which provides user-feedback in the form of a 'pulse' when you touch the on-screen buttons.
The instrument binnacle has been designed to relate to the shape of the steering wheel and houses a high-resolution screen between its dials that provides the driver with a secondary source of infotainment and satellite-navigation information. Behind the steering wheel sit the gearshift levers that operate an automatic paddleshift transmission - the first time this technology has appeared on a Jaguar. The paddles are mounted to the wheel itself, rather than the steering column, to ensure that at whatever angle the wheel is held, the driver doesn't have to take his concentration away from the road. Just the kind of touch you'd expect in what is, first and foremost, a driver's car.
What if we let our minds wander for a moment? What if this show car was a road-going reality? Well, the Jaguar Advanced Lightweight Coupe would be the most potent 2+2 the company has ever created. Thanks to a technologically advanced aluminium architecture - which is around 40 percent lighter and 60 percent stiffer than a standard steel body - and renowned V8 powertrain assembly, the car would be capable of compelling performance, reaching 60mph from standstill in less than five seconds and breaking the 180mph mark at maximum velocity.
Yet it is not simply straightline speed that would make the car so notable. It would also demonstrate an agility that reaffirms Jaguar's commitment to producing the best-handling sports coupes and saloons in the world.
The engineering excellence that abounds at Jaguar is reflected in this car's impressive technical specification. An aluminium chassis similar to that used in the new XJ saloon is constructed using many of the same advanced technologies. It is not just lightweight but also incredibly strong and stiff, which is of immense benefit to a car's handling and ride as well as fuel economy and exhaust emissions. The lighter body also means responsiveness is improved whether you are talking in terms of steering feel, traction or power delivery. Jaguar's V8 engines are admired as much for their impressive low-down torque as their peak power outputs and with a lighter aluminium body to propel, that torque is even more noticeable.
Jaguar's array of intuitive technologies - features that make life easier for the driver, not more complicated - also sit easily with the Advanced Lightweight Coupe ethos. Dynamic aids such as Computer Active Technology Suspension work in conjunction with safety systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control and the Active Restraint Technology System - all features that Jaguar already has on its production cars.
And like Jaguar's XJ and S-TYPE saloons, this car has an adjustable pedal box to ensure that drivers are seated in optimum comfort. As with all Jaguar's technologies these systems operate discreetly, without intruding on the unparalleled Jaguar driving experience - they are there when you need them but never impose themselves.