Jaguar C-X16: Q&A with top Jag designer

* Sports car concept * Production version due by 2013 * We talk to Jaguar designer...

Jaguar C-X16: Q&A with top Jag designer

Jaguar has unveiled it's C-X16 concept car - a hybrid sports car that could make it into production in as little as 18 months. We talke to Jaguar design director Ian Callum to get the inside story on the new car.

What is this car trying to achieve?
IC 'Well, it's a true sports car, not a GT. I guess it's trying to do the same as the E-Type was in its category 50 years ago, although the expectations of a performance car are different now than they were then.

It's certainly the most sporting Jaguar since the E-Type, and I think it's the bullseye of the brand; the focal point of what the brand stands for, in many ways.'

There have been rumours of this baby sports car for years. How many times have you tried to design it?
IC 'In my head? At least a thousand times! This car has been in the product plan since Tata took over [in 2008], so this particular incarnation we design everything from the ground up has been quite a quick process.'

So if it's a pure sports car, could you foresee a hardcore variant?
IC 'My own view? Yes, absolutely. We could take this car to limits that you wouldn't take the XJ to, look at it that way.'

The concept is a hybrid. Is that something you could easily incorporate in a production version?
IC 'The basis of the car is able to cope with a wide range of powerplants; we've designed it to cope with any that are currently available, and thought ahead as much as possible.'