2005 - The shape of things to come?
the current XK now in its 9th year and with a replacemented expect
in 2006, the presentation of a new Jaguar concept coupe raises speculation
about what will the new XK look like. Previous Jaguar concepts,
the XK180, F-type, R-Coupe, RD6 have been really just teasers and
PR tools. but the Advanced Lightweigth Coupe, unveiled at the North
American Autoshow in Detroit, maybe more than just a teaser and
could indeed be a hint of what to expect next year.
At first glance the link to the XK is clear with
an oval bonnet opening, bulge in the center, well pronounced haunches,
and nice flowing lines. Details mark a definite departure with oversized
pointy headlights and tailights and an overall more agressive stance.
The front end is much higher, maybe in complicance to upcoming european
pedestrian protection regulation, loosing some of its elegance.
The rear end is also more agressive with the four exhaust tip brought
together in the center and, something new for Jaguar, a hatchback.
The interior is all high tech with no wood but
instead plenty of aluminum trim and leather, a large screen on the
center console and what seems to look like a big control knob. Let's
hope Jaguar doesn't try to follow BMW I-disaster technology replacing
traditional buttons by some techno geek pride toy. Little was anounced
about the drivetrain, except sub 5 second 0-60 time and 180mph top
Very little is known about the new generation
XK8 / XKR since the project is kept under wrap at this stage so
we can only speculate about any styling element of the ALC finding
their way in the new XK. Jaguar has made it clear that the new XK
will be using the same alloy technology introduced with the new
XJ so this is one known common element. The new concept is a 2+2
Coupe whereas the XK has always been either a coupe or a convertible
unless Jaguar top brass really decides to pull all stops to regain
the ground lost to Mercedes and opts for a retractable hard top.
Overall this new concept is much closer to the current XK than the
2001 R Coupe Concept with its hate it or love it vertical grille.
Performance wise, Jaguar needs to back up the
"art of Performance" claim by offering significant performance
gains. The concept is presented with "just under 5sec 0-60"
performance claim which will not cut it with so many cars reaching
this level of performance, often for much less money... think Corvette.
Jaguar's main competitors, BMW and Mercedes, have raised the performance
bar and the new XK will have to offer a significant step up...
In addition to the concept, Jaguar unveiled an
XK Victory limited edition model at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Available
in Coupe or Convertible, this Xk8 or XKR is a celebration of Jaguar's
fourth Trans Am championships with special finishing touches including
carbon fiber trim on XKRs, checkered flag badging and special wheels.
click here for
the complete Jaguar Cars Press Release
or view an all new video
clip of the ALC in action! (new 4/15/05)
- Other images -
- front - rear
- side - interior
(click on links)
- Pictures Jaguar Cars -
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