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Paris auto show: Jaguar concept to reveal future sports-car styling

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Paris auto show: Jaguar concept to reveal future sports-car styling


Jaguar's concept car for the Paris motor show is said to be about the same size as the XK coupe, shown here.

Jaguar will preview a new styling direction at the Paris motor show later this month with a sports-car concept that also celebrates the company's 75th anniversary.

About the size of the XK coupe, the concept is a two-seater with sculpted, classically beautiful bodywork of the style that historically has been Jaguar's hallmark. This look will celebrate Jaguar's reputation as a sports-car maker.

Part of the inspiration for the show car is the success of the Porsche 918 revealed at Geneva in March. But unlike the 918, Jaguar has no plans to take its concept to production. Instead, the concept will pave the way for the next phase of Jag's line of new models, which kicks off in 2012 with the new XK.

Jaguar's concept at the Paris motor show is likely to signal the start of a new grille design. Designer Ian Callum says the current grille, shown, can't be stretched to fit bigger cars without losing its elegant proportions.

It also neatly marks the end of the most recent phase of Jag design and the start of another. Five years ago, the current XK was the start of the Ian Callum-inspired reinvention of Jag's model range, moving through the XF and culminating in today's XJ.

One of the key design features likely to change in the future is the oval, E-type-inspired grille that has identified Jag's sports cars.

Callum previously confided to AutoWeek that the oval grille can't be stretched to fit the face of bigger cars without losing its elegant proportions.

Instead, Jag plans to move to a single grille design for its sedans and sports cars, based on the oblong XF/XJ design. Jag is working on developments of that shape for future models, with the Paris concept providing a first glimpse of the next-generation oblong grille on a sports car.

Another breakthrough for the concept is a hybrid powertrain. Details are sketchy, but it could be based around a V6 gasoline engine, possibly turbocharged, linked to an eight-speed automatic, which Jag is planning to fit to future models.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100902/PARIS/100909979#ixzz0yO5Cra3V

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