The R-Coupe's proportions suggest power and movement, reminiscent of classic Jaguars. One of the key design objectives was to match the beautifully balanced proportions of the company's earlier cars.
Equally fundamental to the character of a true Jaguar is the car's stance - the relationship between the road, the wheels and the body. The way the R-Coupe's cabin tucks down between the massive wheels conveys an appropriate impression of latent power.
"The exterior of the Jaguar R-Coupe looks engineered, not merely styled. Its integrity comes from strong, geometric forms such as the tubular fuselage - recalling that of the Jaguar E-type."
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars Ltd
Flowing lines over the structured forms, together with clean and simple surfaces contribute to the car's powerful, muscular presence.
Design detail is restrained and calculated to deliver a sense of movement. The side window trim subtly widens as it runs back, while the flowing waistline carries the eye along the length of the car - another Jaguar hallmark re-interpreted for the R-Coupe.
"The interior celebrates the warmth and richness of natural materials, to create a bold and harmonious cabin that is both cosy and advanced."
Julian Thomson, Chief Designer, Advanced Studio, Jaguar Cars Ltd
Download a video interview (MPEG, 5Mb+) with Julian Thomson on the R Coupe
Modern furniture and interior design inspired both the styling and choice of materials for the R-Coupe's luxurious cabin. Abundant wood and leather are used in novel ways and help create a highly tactile interior.
A broad sweep of ebony macassar wood veneer around the cabin is offset by generous quantities of naturally treated leather. Soft, blonde Connolly hide on the seats contrasts with the deep brown saddle leather used elsewhere, including - unexpectedly - on the floor.
The dashboard re-interprets traditional shapes in a clean and modern way, while the rich detail throughout the cabin is inspired by jewellery, watches and luxury luggage.
- Two-door coupe, reflecting Jaguar's new design philosophy
- 'Pewter' exterior paintwork
- Solid silver badges and silver-plated details, including grille surround, side glass trim and engraved trunk lid trim
- Unique design, 10-spoke alloy wheels (285/30/R21)
- Ultra low profile Continental tyres, with unique 'Jaguar Cat Claw' tread pattern
- Ventilated and cross-drilled brake discs all round, in 'Jaguar Cat Claw' design
- Aluminium monobloc four-piston callipers
- 'Adaptive front lighting system'
- Four pencil-beam xenon headlights
- Outboard main beams with two-axis pivoting to follow steering direction
- Individual, brushed aluminium precision housings
- LED front fog lights integrated into lower front intake blades
- LED front indicators, with neutral appearance when not in operation
- Rear lamp clusters, with "cat's ear" rear wing lens design
- LED and halogen progressive brake light system
- Individual, brushed aluminium precision housings
- Quadruple tail pipes in machined aluminium
- Dual silver-plated fuel filler caps, each with twin hatch doors
- Electronic door release system
- Dimensions (mm):
- Length - 4925
- Width - 1890
- Height - 1347
- Wheel base - 2909
Jaguar R-Coupe concept debuts at Frankfurt and signals new design philosophy.
- Luxury, four-seat interior with full-length centre console
- Jewel-like instruments and switches, soft touch controls and silver-plated trim
- 'Ebony macassar' wood veneer wrapped around the cabin
- 'Blonde' Connolly leather on unique design seats and door trims
- Deep brown ('conker') saddle leather on floor, dashboard and upper surface of centre console
- Aluminium floor insets
- Three-spoke leather and anodised aluminium sports steering wheel
- Column-mounted F1-style gear change, with silver-plated paddles
- Chronograph-inspired instruments in individual, silver-plated binnacles
- Black dials and silver graphics, with amber illumination
- 'Control management centre' with interactive LCD screen for access to ICE controls, climate control, telephone, navigation, TV, e-mail and internet
- Voice activation to complement the LCD screen
- Full-width dashboard air vent
- Twin switch packs in the centre console, with silver-plated detail
- Integrated flask and cigar lighter
- Switch design inspired by contemporary jewellery
- Door and rear quarter stowage units, inspired by luxury luggage and finished in leather and silver-plate
- Three-quarter width dashboard glove box
- Ambient footwell lighting
Jaguar takes a leap into the future with the public debut of a new concept car at the IAA (Frankfurt Motor Show) on September 11, 2001. Conceived to demonstrate how the company's design philosophy may develop in coming years, the Jaguar R-Coupe is a prestigious and sensuous four-seater coupe that reinterprets Jaguar's core design values in a fresh and forward-thinking way.
"We challenged our designers to show how the Jaguar 'look' could advance in the years ahead, to reflect the company's transformation from niche manufacturer to major player in the premium car sector," says Jonathan Browning, Jaguar's managing director. "This represents a long-term vision though, rather than anything that we will see tomorrow. The R-Coupe provides an insight into Jaguar's long term future design philosophy, reaffirming our commitment to create cars that stir people's emotions."
Classic and contemporary inspiration
The proportions and stance of classic Jaguars from the 1950s and 1960s inspired the powerful look of the R-Coupe, where strong, geometric forms underpin the car's flowing lines. Exterior detail is restrained but picks up characteristic Jaguar design cues, such as the front grille.
The car's warm and rich interior puts a contemporary twist on the use of wood and leather, to create a luxurious environment influenced by the latest trends in furniture and interior design. Wood veneer sweeps right round the cabin, leather covers the floor as well as the seats, and many jewel-like details are silver-plated.
"With the R-Coupe we have the ability both to explore and to display our future design philosophy for Jaguar," says Ian Callum, Jaguar's design director. "Concept cars like this provide an incomparable opportunity for us to try out new ideas and to experience them in a full-size, three-dimensional format. We're looking forward to learning a great deal from the reactions of the public too."
The R-Coupe is not intended for production, but it embodies themes and ideas that may find their way into future Jaguars. The concept is not based on any current or proposed Jaguar chassis, though it is constructed around a realistic four-seater package and a V8 powertrain. Further examples of advanced technology incorporated into the car's design include F1-style 'paddle shift' gear-changing, headlight beams that follow steering direction, electronic door releases and a futuristic, voice-controlled telematics system.
First vehicle from Jaguar's Advanced Design team
The R-Coupe is the first complete vehicle developed since Ian Callum was appointed as Jaguar's new Design Director in 1999. One of his earliest moves was to introduce a 15-strong Advanced Design studio, headed by Julian Thomson, which has taken the lead role in bringing the R-Coupe to life, working with Callum to develop Jaguar's new design philosophy and design language.
A prestige, four-seater performance coupe was chosen to embody the new design thinking because such a model does not figure in Jaguar's future vehicle plans. So the R-Coupe can be shown in public without revealing hints of any specific vehicles in the pipeline. Jaguar is currently undergoing a product-led transformation that is seeing its line-up grow from two models in 1998 to four today, and to five with the launch of the F-TYPE in around three years time.
The Advanced Design team originally produced six exterior proposals for the R-Coupe, as scale models. A design from Julian Thomson was selected as the basis for the finished vehicle, though incorporating details from the other proposals. Lead designer on developing the exterior was Matthew Beaven. The interior design was chosen from a series of sketch proposals, with the one selected being by Mark Phillips, who became lead interior designer for the project.
The design of the Jaguar R-Coupe was finalised early in 2001, and the team held regular reviews throughout the development process with Ian Callum.