In a concept car set to debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show (see our coverage beginning on January 7), Jaguar shows off its new concept, the C-XF. This car represents Jaguar's continuing process of reinventing itself, which started with the launch of its beautiful XK last year. The C-XF concept is a substantial departure from Jaguar's current lineup, although the car's designers claim to have been influenced by models from the 1950s. Given the concept's name, it might provide a clue to the look of Jaguar's all new XF, which launches next fall and replaces the S-type.
As any good concept should, the interior uses innovative interface elements that will not find their way into a production car any time soon. When someone sits in the driver's seat, a light starts pulsing on the start button. And when the car is started, blue light travels along the dashboard to the doors. Initially, the cockpit presents a completely uncluttered and smooth interior. If you want to open the doors, you pass your hand over a hidden sensor and a door latch reveals itself. Same thing with the center LCD, which uses a dual-view display, allowing the passenger and the driver to see totally different screens at the same time. Jaguar calls this sensor technology Jaguarsense. The dual-view display was developed by Alpine.
Gone is Jaguar's traditional J-gate transmission shift pattern, replaced by a subtle knob that fits in the driver's palm. The press release doesn't specify how the car is shifted, but it looks as if you move from neutral to drive by twisting the knob. In a modern automatic, this type of shift interface makes perfect sense since there are no longer big mechanical components to move around. The exterior of the car is designed to look athletic, keeping Jaguar's cat motif, although that bulging hood makes it look more husky than feline. And will I get to see this car in the flesh? Actually in the metal at next week's Detroit Auto Show, and I'll report back with original pictures.