Design Director Ian Callum describes the cabin of the C-XF concept car as "one of the most exciting interiors Jaguar has ever done". One glimpse of the inside of the four-seater is enough to understand why Callum has this view.
The emphasis is on tailored performance rather than pampered luxury and nowhere is that better demonstrated than in the lightweight, sculpted bucket-style front seats. Trimmed in semi-aniline leather (a specially dyed hide which ensures even colouration yet retains its softness) the seats are sports-styled yet also offer impressive comfort thanks to a deeply padded lumbar area with ventilation cavities. Twin individual bucket seats house the rear-seat passengers.
Between the seats runs a tall central transmission tunnel that gives the occupants a sense of sitting deep within a futuristic cockpit. One of the keys to any Jaguar interior is that occupants should feel as if they are enclosed in the car, not sitting on it. The C-XF's interior cossets in just such a way, creating an inviting cabin for passengers to slip into, rather than surrounding them with bland, open space.
The 'tone on tone' theme that has been applied to the exterior of the C-XF has been carried through to its interior, with a sensational blend of materials, graphic elements and innovative technologies.
The focal point of the interior is a sweeping brushed aluminium facia that wraps around the cabin in a dynamic linear graphic that instils a sense of velocity. The counterpoint to the aluminium is a combination of leather and wood that takes detail of finish to a new level.
What at first sight may seem to be a simple black interior is actually a sophisticated and contemporary blend of materials including a unique carbonfibre-pattern leather and luxurious semi-aniline leather. Areas of the doors and transmission tunnel have been carved from Poplar wood and then scorched to obtain a rich satin feel. This finish was perfected by artist Clive Sheridan, who produced these beautiful burnt wood forms.
"These unusual finishes allow us to explore new ideas and themes," says Alister Whelan, one of the designers responsible for the C-XF's interior. "Jaguar is recognised for tailoring cars in wood and leather, but we have turned that on its head by treating these traditional materials in an unusual and contemporary fashion, obtaining beautiful textures and grains."
Whelan continues: "And by using non-grain leather on the seats, it looks like they are moulded from neoprene. It was a deliberate choice not to put any stitching on them - in fact, there is no visible stitching on the interior at all, it just appears to be entirely wrapped in leather."