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Jaguar C-X17 Crossover Arrives in Frankfurt

By raccars Published

At one time, the idea of Britain's most prestigious manufacturer producing an SUV would have been unthinkable. However, Jaguar Land Rover is a company that is as realistic as it is ambitious and these days market segment expansion is an inevitable by-product of increased sales volumes.

The result is the C-X17 crossover concept, a 4x4 that, along with a forthcoming compact saloon expected in 2015, will become an essential part of Jaguar's future sales strategy. Officially at concept stage so far, the C-X17 is rumoured to be on the fast track to a green light for production and could be on the road by 2016.

Jaguar has developed an all new scalable architecture for both of its new ventures, in aluminium and designated the iQ[AI]. The SUV is of course the larger of the two, aiming roughly for BMW X3 and Audi Q5 territory. It's a rich seam to mine, as premium SUVs are one of the fastest growing sectors in the auto industry.

Concerns about cross-pollination are also unfounded, as the C-X17 is more soft roader than serious mud plugger, so it's unlikely to queer its stablemate Land Rover's pitch.

The SUV follows Jaguar's current design language closely, with the XJ's large, simple surround front grille and long, narrow headlights topping a pair of large, purposeful air intakes with LED frames. The tail lights mimic the headlamp silhouette, Jaguar F Type style and a roof spoiler, twin exhausts and a set of 23 inch alloy wheels make the C-X17's sporting intent clear.

The cabin has been equally carefully detailed, furnished with a four bucket seat arrangement, upholstered in laser cut dogtooth. A pair of auxiliary seats is concealed in the boot floor, useful for picnics and viewing.

The fascia is minimal, with the main control mechanisms available via a central touchscreen interface. Another touchscreen covers the centre console all the way to the rear, with the rather cheesy moniker 'Interactive Surface Console,' providing infotainment and internet navigation facilities for rear passengers.

The stereo system is supplied by Meridian, with a predictably modern surround sound effect speaker placement, utilising space in the A and B pillars, giving clear clues to Jag's target market here. Youth is where it's at for the C-X17, introducing Jaguar to a whole new age group, that's not yet ready for its luxury saloons or wallet stretching sports coupes. Jaguar is happy to mop all of its remaining untouched demographics – first car buyers and school run mums are as welcome here as serious drivers.

What's more, the C-X17 is only the start. Keep your eye on Jaguar...

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