Jaguar Concept Eight | Part Two

Jaguar Concept Eight

Jaguar XJ

Concept Eight Design Philosophy

"We now have a car with more space in it than any Jaguar ever built, so we thought we’d have a bit of fun and conceptualise something that was about space and luxury and pampering."

Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar Cars

"The materials we are using, the way we have reshaped the interior, the atmosphere we are trying to create – these are all pointers to how Jaguars should look and feel."

Julian Thomson, Chief of Advanced Design, Jaguar Cars

Ian Callum’s design department went through a long period of discussion and debate before work began on the Concept Eight. A great many ideas were discussed and discarded before the creative team settled on two key themes – comfort and indulgence. The large, cossetting, individual rear seats are perhaps the best example of that indulgence, for they represent a move away from a conventional bench-type seat. Ian Callum explains the significance:

"You could describe the Concept Eight as quite a selfish car. Just look at those rear seats. They’ve been split so that you can only carry two people… but they will be looked after very well."

The Concept Eight’s exterior appearance has also been given considerable thought – and nowhere is that more apparent than its roof. The lightweight aluminium skin that stretches across the car’s upper surface has been replaced with a single, full-length piece of darkened glass to provide an even greater feeling of spaciousness within. Around the edges of the glass panel a strip of LED lighting provides an ambient red glow that equates with the mood lighting that you might find in a fashionable bar.

"That warm red glow will be visible from the roof as well as from the centre console and under the front seats," explains Ian Callum. "This sort of effect is something I would love to use on production cars in the future. The way people have employed these lighting techniques in other modern venues – uplighting, diffused lighting and so on – that is something I would like to have in our cars. And why red? Because it is a bit cheeky…"

Other exterior developments on the Concept Eight include brand new 21-inch five-spoke alloy wheels created especially for the project. Behind the front wheels sit chrome gills which aid engine cooling and also improve aerodynamic flow to the rear of the car. New chrome exhaust pipe finishers give the Concept Eight a purposeful appearance from the rear while a one-off metallic paint colour, Purple Haze – a blend of lush cherry and deep black – will show hints of both colours under changing light conditions.

continues... | Part Three
Published 9 April 2004 Melanie Carter

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