The Jaguar C-XF | Part Three

Jaguar C-XF

Jaguar C-XF

Exterior Styling

Set into the front of the C-XF is a bold and aggressive grille finished in black chrome. Recessed deeply into the body rather than sitting flush with the surface, the visual effect is similar to that of an air intake on a jet engine and serves as a reminder that directly behind is a sophisticated and powerful 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine.

"Jaguars need a distinctive grille, a face," says Ian Callum. "It's the classic 'car in the rear-view mirror' look, with everything powering rearwards from the grille. The C-XF is a perfect example of how to execute this successfully."

The headlamps which evolve the twin-lamp motif seen on previous Jaguars into a single slim wedge, are narrow and angular. They bring an air of aggression to the C-XF's profile, while between the lamps a blue streak of light reveals an almost cat-like iris when illuminated. Subtly etched below the lenses is a unique 'tattoo' design showing an abstract Jaguar leaper logo - a tattoo that is repeated in the treadplates of the door sills and in the tread of the bespoke Pirelli tyres that surround the 21-inch machined, polished aluminium wheels.

Running backwards from the nose of the C-XF is the main feature line of the car - an unbroken shoulder that flows beneath the cabin glassline and into the haunch over the rear wheel. It is this feature, a modern interpretation of renowned Jaguar sports saloons from history, that endows C-XF with its latent power. A similarly simple line can also be seen on the new XK range and is one of the design cues that will carry forward onto the next generation of Jaguars.

Above the shoulder line sits a low and sporting cabin with aluminium brightwork highlighting the coupe feel of the car. Further sporting lines are accentuated by the muscular bonnet and the side power vents that have a functional white ceramic finish.

At the rear of the C-XF a very sculptured shoulder flows from the C-pillar into a tight, aggressively tapered tail that clearly displays traditional Jaguar design cues yet succeeds in striking an incredibly modern feel. When seen from behind, C-XF is noticeably wide and powerful, a look accentuated by the large rear diffuser. The basic principle of diffuser technology sees air being drawn from beneath the car to create a low pressure area that improves cornering grip at higher speeds.

The C-XF's colour palette is deliberately monochromatic, mixing a one-off exterior paint - Metashine silver - with areas of brightwork in either chrome or aluminium finishes. Additionally, white ceramic is used to indicate areas of dynamic air flow or heat exchange - in this case the side power vents and tailpipes.

"The colour choice for the C-XF was very deliberate and is a key part of its overall dynamic," says Head of Advanced Design, Julian Thomson. "We describe the effect as 'tone on tone' - we want people to think about the materials, the textures, and how they interact with the functions of the car."

Thomson continues: "The tonality has a functional aspect but also extreme beauty; mechanical designs that are fit for purpose are often beautifully designed - we've taken our inspiration from machinery as diverse as aircraft to cameras in seeking to make the car look like it was milled from a solid piece of metal."

continues... | Part Four
Published 3 January 2007 Melanie Carter

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