Frankfurt Motor Show: Jaguar unveils new SUV concept

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Gallery: Pictures of new C-X17 released

Jaguar has today unveiled the C-X17 concept car at Frankfurt motor show. The futuristic design is expected to be the basis for a new sporty crossover that will showcase the firm’s new modular aluminium architecture and go on sale in 2015.

Designed by Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, the C-X17 signals the firm’s jump on the crossover bandwagon with a car that aims to combine sporting performance and sleek design with the elevated driving position and practicality of a crossover. Callum is the designer responsible for the Indian-owned company’s new F-Type roadster and the hope is that the new model will help more sales magic rub off on Jaguar, in the same way that the baby Range Rover Evoque has done for Land Rover, the firm’s sister company.

The new concept car ends years of speculation that the firm is working on a new “baby Jag”. According to industry sources the new modular aluminium architecture is also likely to form the basis for a new compact saloon that will rival the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4.

Adrian Hallmark, global brand director for Jaguar said: “The C-X17 sports crossover represents an exciting new direction for Jaguar. Its purpose is to highlight our new architecture, which we call iQ[Al] – intelligent aluminium architecture."

It is expected the new vehicle will make use of a new range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines to be built at Jaguar’s new UK engine plant, which has seen £150 million of investment and 700 new jobs this year. Hallmark said: “With this technical foundation, we will dramatically expand Jaguar's product offering, market potential and customer appeal. iQ[Al] will bring technology from our luxury products into an accessible price segment, and when combined with our new ultra-efficient engines, we will set a global standard.” The engines are expected to offer top speeds of over 186mph with emissions lower than 100g of CO2 per km.

The new vehicle does beg the question though: can an SUV every really be a Jaguar? Chas Halett, editor-in-chief of What Car? has no doubts though. He told The Independent: “This is exactly the type of car that Jaguar needs to make if it's going to attract new customers from around the globe. I've been lucky enough to see the car and it looks exactly as a Jaguar should - beautiful and sporty. What's more it's going to be built on what should be impressive new technology.”

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