Frankfurt motor show 2011 - Jaguar C-X16

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Jaguar's stunning C-X16 concept car is more than just a crowd-puller here at Frankfurt; it's very close to a new model that will hit showrooms within 18 months.

The show car is called C-X16, and is said to have been designed to gauge public reaction. However, it's being called a 'production concept', and is likely to appear in showroom-ready form, as a convertible, by the Geneva motor show next March.

The concept is 445cm long, around 35cm shorter than Jaguar's XK 2+2. It's also 10cm narrower with a wheelbase that's 13cm shorter. Much of the difference in overall body length is down to a very short rear overhang on the new model. There's so little bodywork behind the rear wheels, in fact, that an Audi TT-style pop-up wing is likely to be necessary on the production model, to aid stability.

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The concept is powered by a hybrid set-up, with a supercharged, direct-injection, 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine (producing 376bhp and 332lb ft) doing the bulk of the work. However, a 'push to pass' button on the steering wheel frees up energy stored via an F1-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System, and kicks in an electric motor that boosts power by 94bhp and 173lb ft for up to 10 seconds.

Jaguar claims the car can do 186mph, crack 0-62mph in 4.4sec and accelerate from 50-75mph in just 2.1sec. It also emits a modest 165g/km of CO2, returns 41mpg and can drive in electric-only mode at up to 50mph.

The C-X16's dramatic all-red interior finish will be toned down for production, although much of the basic layout, including the aircraft-style toggle switches, is likely to be retained. One element that's purely for show is the rear glass, which is side-hinged, in a direct nod to the classic E-Type. It will be replaced by a regular hatchback.

Jaguar has yet to announce prices for the production model, which is also likely to carry a different name. However, we'd expect basic, non-supercharged V6 versions of the car to start from around £50,000, allowing more extreme variants to cross over into XK pricing, at up to £80,000.

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