Jaguar's C-X17 concept introduces its new modular aluminium monocoque platform that will also underpin its BMW 3 Series/Mercedes Class rival, due in 2015.
The CX itself will ultimately morph into a mid-size luxury SUV not long afterwards.
Although supposedly under "strict embargo" until this morning, these official C-X17 factory images have already appeared in several media outlets.
So perhaps we should now treat "strict embargo" as just another tactic, up there with "exclusive spy shots" and "...to a select group of motoring journalists," from the car company PR flack’s textbook "How to Manipulate the Media to ensure the Best Possible Coverage for your New Model."
In other words, we should ignore it.
At 4718mm, C-X17 is slightly shorter than an X5/M Class but considerably longer, especially in its 2905mm wheelbase, than a Q5, so the production version will compete in X5 territory.
CX's unique styling feature, apart from its signature ready to pounce feline profile and finely tensioned metal, is a low roofline; at just 1649mm, it's certainly not your typical two blocks of flats SUV, and a clear indication that the production model will be positioned as a go-fast rather than a go-anywhere machine.
Expect hybrid drivetrains, including the new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel hybrid now available in Range Rover, plus the 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines from F-Type.
While it's a fair bet that the production model's exterior won't differ greatly from the C-X17 concept, apart from smaller, more practical wheels than the show car's 23-inchers, the concept's interior is more vaudeville than production viable, as is the way with these things.
Features such as the panoramic roof, kick-ass Meridian audio, twin dial configurable TFT instruments, head-up display and rotary gear selector will migrate to the production version, along with Jag's lovely Connolly cowhide, however the "Interactive Surface Console," which allows passengers to upload pix, sound and video and share them with each other via individual touchscreens and an in-car Wi-Fi network, does sound a tad too nerfy to ever see daylight.
Still, the official press release, in its description of the "Interactive Surface Console," does introduce another phrase that surely deserves a place too in the aforementioned car company PR manual. Jaguar calls it "a unified multisensory experience."
Jesus wept. Sometimes they just can't help themselves, can they?
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