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Monday, 2 September 2013

Prepare Yourselves For JLR's Road Rover (UPDATE - LEAKED PICS)

Jaguar C-X17 teaser
As I've recently mentioned, we live in a world now where car companies all have to build fake off-roaders for Chinese people and morons. Even the likes of Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati are preparing Sports-Sports Utility Vehicles, in their case to take on the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and so on. But surely, when your car company is twinned with one that exclusively makes off-road cars, you don't need to bother with such a thing, do you? Do you???

Erm, yes, apparently you do. You see, sports crossovers are biased towards the road in their suspension setup and choice of tyres and such, and while Jaguar's sister company Land Rover can make their cars ride very well on tarmac now, they have to make sure that all their cars are legitimate off-road vehicles. They have no choice because a Land Rover that can't go off-road will be damaging to their image and disgust all their fans. Even the Range Rovér Evoque n°5 Posh Spice is big and chunky (apart from the stupidly-thin windows...) and equipped with Terrain Response, a system that adapts the all-wheel-drive and suspension for a variety of different surfaces to make it an Earth-scaling adventuremobile. Totally useful for speed bumps in Chelsea...

This means that they can't make something that merely looks like an off-roader but works best on tarmac, and so, the leaping cat must get its paws dirty, hence the teaser image above. They've been warming LHD markets up for this with all-wheel-drive versions of the XF and XJ, but on 9th September, they will unveil the C-X17, which as you can see is like a Jaguar but Cayenne-shaped. Considering that the earlier C-X16 spawned the nigh-on identical F-Type (a coupé version of which is coming next year, possibly with a manual gearbox option), the 17 will probably spawn an almost-identical production car as well. It'll have all-wheel-drive, a selection of Jaguar engines - also available in Land Rovers - and it won't be much cop off-road compared to a Discovery or Range Rover Sport. Which letters they'll give it once it's no longer a concept is unknown, so let's say "XX". Of course, what it actually is is a car that normally would never exist: a Road Rover.

A necessary evil is still evil...


UPDATE (5/9/13):

It looks like this at the front. It's like an XF but fat like an SUV:

Jaguar C-X17
This image comes into to your eyes via Carscoops, and has been confirmed as legit. The concept also previews Jaguar's new modular architecture, something that seems to be appearing at every car company as a way to cut the costs and potentially lead times for new models by using the same basic platform for everything, and then scaling it up/down accordingly to build whatever new car on top they may need. So what underpins this Road Rover will likely underpin their upcoming XS, a small saloon to tackle the 3-Series and replace the underwhelming old X-Type. More will be revealed over the next week.

UPDATE (7/9/13):

Here is another shot, this time showing the side as well. It's not quite as sleek as I was hoping for, although it does at least fit the teaser...

Jaguar C-X17
It's also difficult to work out what size it is based on the proportions. It it tackling the X5 or the X3? Porsche Cayenne or its "Macan" junior that's appearing soon? We'll see...

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