Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars
"This car has been designed from first principles. It is an evolution of the design ethos of past Jaguar cars and defines the agenda for a future of dramatic, innovative sports cars. Purity of line and intent is what Jaguar does best."
If anything can be said to define Jaguar designs it is one word: drama. The C-X16 is no exception, taking the traditional two-seater sports car template and redefining it in the Jaguar idiom.
In its simplest form, sports car design is defined by the relationship between the mechanics and the bodywork. The aim at Jaguar has always been to wrap the form as tightly as possible around the function to create a taut, sculpted appearance that could only be that of a Jaguar. Finished in Gunmetal, there is no wasted space, movement or surface on the C-X16, every line serves its purpose in creating a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.
PURITY OF LINE
The C-X16 moves the award-winning Jaguar design language on to the next level and is startling in its simplicity, defined as it is by three ‘heart lines’ the front fender crease, the rear haunches that wrap into the tail and the sweeping roofline.
"The stance of this car is everything. It is fundamentally a driving machine and that has driven every aspect of the design. We have pulled the three signature heart lines back as far as we can to create a dynamic tension. The car possesses a sense of latent power; the potential to leap instantly into action." - Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars
The C-X16 also makes use of newly established Jaguar styling signatures such as the subtly rounded trapezoidal grille. Inspired by the C-X75 concept car and recognizably related to the current XF and XJ, this is the focal point for the front end of the car.
The muscular clamshell hood is defined at the outer edges by two sharp creases rising along the upper edges of the front fenders. These begin in the gill-like strakes dividing the air intakes flanking the grille before blending away into the shoulder line running along the doors. The importance of this front fender line is emphasized by the angular form of the headlights, which deliberately follow the rising fender to lead the eye up and along the contours of the car rather than cut across them. The horizontal front fender vents, like those on the hood, are finished in carbon-fiber.
The defining role of the front fender line is taken up by a further finely chiseled crease that forms a double curve, swelling outwards and upwards from the waist of the car to encompass the muscular haunches that are a Jaguar hallmark. This feature line then swoops, unbroken, round the rear of the car to create the tail, which mimics the appearance of the trailing edge of a swept aircraft wing.
The rear lights continue the theme set with the C-X75 by extending around the flanks of the car immediately below the tail crease to literally highlight the powerful width of the rear track and, like the grille, provide instant recognition that this is a Jaguar sports car.
In order to retain the unblemished muscularity and uninterrupted airflow along the flanks of the car, the door handles are entirely flush with the bodywork. Touch sensors built into the handles trigger silent electric motors, which present the machined aluminum handles to driver and passenger.
The same desire for stunning simplicity has driven the aerodynamic element of the C-X16 sports car’s design with no unnecessary wings or spoilers. Down force is provided by a discreet front splitter, Venturi-effect tail design and side sills to channel air smoothly along the car’s flanks, all of which are finished in carbon fiber. The sharp crease created where the curve of the roof meets the tail also aids the aerodynamics by ensuring the air separates cleanly from the bodywork at high speed.
Even standing still, the sense of purpose and power inherent in the C-X16 is unmistakable thanks to a stance that optimizes the relationship between the bodywork and the 21-inch alloy wheels which have been pushed to the extremes edges of the car and finished with a carbon-fiber inlay.