Jaguar has started work on the engineering process of its upcoming SUV which is due in international markets by 2016. The C-X17 SUV has the same basic aluminium architecture as Jaguar’s new XE sedan.
Thanks to the natively rear-drive chassis, the Jaguar C-X17 SUV is destined to challenge the Porsche Macan head on as a crossover with true sports car on-road dynamics, while sister brand Land Rover concentrates on luxury and ‘adventure’ off-roaders with the Range Rover and Discovery families.
The test-mules seen carry a heavily chopped-about body of the Land Rover Freelander replacement SUV, but the final product is expected to be a much larger SUV which will have wider tracks, longer wheelbase and extended rear overhang. The production version of Jaguar’s SUV will be sized close to the 4.7m length of the concept that was first shown last year.
Dubbed internally as a ‘sports crossover’, the C-X17 will be the second model in the biggest new-model offensive in Jaguar’s history. It’s a product programme that has to boost Jaguar’s annual sales well into six figures and - in the medium term - well beyond 200,000 units annually.
Although the concept version of the C-X17 was rather lower than this production model (which was the same height as the extremely compact Evoque), the real car is clearly quite sizeable.
The production version of the Jaguar SUV is expected to be powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s range of home-grown Ingenium four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, a range that promises to be flexible enough to offer lower emissions and a top speed as high as 300kph in petrol form when hooked up to twin turbochargers.
It’s not yet known whether the Jaguar C-X17 will be offered in pure rear-wheel drive form, but that’s a distinct possibility for the lower-powered models for some markets, not least because it would benefit fuel economy.
Compared with the Porsche Macan - which is based on the Audi Q5 architecture but fitted with the longitudinal Porsche PDK transmission - the C-X17 looks set to be more spacious. It’s expected to be longer and has much less of a coupé profile than the Macan.
The C-X17 will benefit from better weight distribution than the Macan, with the engine sitting further back in the nose. The Jaguar should also undercut the Macan’s unladen weight of 1865kg, thanks to its all-aluminium structure.