Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept
Is the design daring enough for Jaguar's first SUV?
You may not realize it, but Jaguar is the only mainstream automaker that doesn’t offer a crossover or SUV. Well, it was. The C-X17 concept car, which debuts at the Frankfurt auto show looks—aside from the interior—production ready. Although the company is coy about whether that’s actually going to happen, but we have the impression that this crossover is a done deal.
Built on new, flexible all-aluminum architecture that’ll be used to underpin future Jaguars, the C-X17 is about the size of the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. The fascia unmistakably comes from Ian Callum’s pen, with a nose that is meant to evoke the XJ’s, but the rest of the C-X17’s design is unexceptional. That’s not to say it’s an unattractive car, but the side profile could be from Mazda or a number of other automakers, and the gaping air intakes below the headlights only make the front look taller than it needs to. There is, at least, much to like in the F-type–style taillights. Perhaps it’s because we’ve had two years to daydream since Jaguar executives first mentioned a crossover, but overall we had been expecting something more, well, interesting.
Beyond the usual concept-car fluff, Jaguar has very little to say about the C-X17. There’s no discussion of powertrains for this particular vehicle, but Jaguar is describing its future as being one of supercharged V-6 and forced-induction four-cylinder engines, all of which would be appropriate for a vehicle this size. (V-8s should stick around for the next several years, but whether one will slot into the Jag crossover is an unknown.) All-wheel drive is, of course, included, and we’d expect that system to join the rest of the underpinnings in being oriented towards on-road sportiness, not off-roading.
Even without full details, however, we’re more than comfortable saying that Jaguar would do well to launch a production version of the C-X17 as soon as is possible. Not only does it make sense from a “Jaguar has to sell more metal to stay in business” standpoint, but the days it was blasphemy for a car company to build SUVs are long, long past. And then there were none.