Jaguar Reveals C-X16 Ahead of Frankfurt Auto Show

High tech, high style and hybrid power are the selling points of the Jaguar C-X19 concept, a two-seat coupe scheduled to be shown next week at Frankfurt. Jaguar had previously revealed a sketch, but no other details of the car.

The coupe, described in a news statement by Jaguar’s design director, Ian Callum, as “the most exciting car we’ve done to date,” is intended hypothetically to take on Porsche’s midengine Cayman and the Mercedes-Benz SLK. While Jaguar has not committed formally to producing the C-X16, a version of the coupe is widely expected to be revealed by the end of 2012.

The C-X16 employs what Jaguar is calling a prototype 3-liter supercharged V-6 engine, which produces 375 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, which is sent through an 8-speed gearbox. The engine is supplemented by a 94-horsepower electric motor that can be engaged by the mere push of a button mounted on the steering wheel, a feature Jaguar calls the Push to Pass system. A lithium-ion battery pack is charged primarily with kinetic energy captured under braking, similar to the KERS systems used on Formula One cars.

Earlier this year, Jaguar announced that it had retained Williams, the Formula One team, as a partner to aid in the development of the powertrain of the C-X75 supercar, but Jaguar did not say if Williams contributed to the C-X16 concept’s development.

Jaguar claims that the C-X16 can operate in purely electric mode at speeds up to 50 miles per hour under low throttle pressure.

Swoopy car-length creases and the fastback roofline — what Mr. Callum calls one of the brand’s “heartlines” — contribute to the taut stance of the gunmetal-color concept. Among the gee-whiz interior components is an air vent inspired by the intakes on the Typhoon fighter jet, which is automatically deployed from the dash to blast air if the interior becomes stuffy, lest a motorist compromise the car’s drag coefficient by opening a window.