It was back in November 2011 when we last spotted Jaguar’s C-X16 Concept, the brand’s future rival to the Porsche 911, as it soaked up the California sunshine wearing a new white paint job during the Los Angeles Auto Show. The C-X16 Concept had originally debuted a few months earlier, during the Frankfurt Auto Show, and Jaguar reps could barely contain their enthusiasm for the car by the time it made its first North American appearance. Despite having the “concept” tag in its name, you just knew the C-X16 was going to be built—Jaguar even quoted a “possible” price range of between $80K and $110K.
It’s heartening to finally see a test mile getting some miles under its belt. This black prototype wears a ton of fake fender flares and phony fasciae at either end. Even the door handles are strangely large, and ringed by visible screws. The rear spoiler also looks tacked onto the body. Unless Jaguar has decided to emulate the exposed-rivet look of the classic Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, expect the finished car to look almost identical to the slinky C-X16 Concept.
The 2-passenger sports car will likely be badged the XE, and ride on a shorter and wider version of the XK platform. A supercharged and direct-injected V-6 engine, coupled to a small electric motor with a ‘push to pass’ button on the steering wheel, powered the C-X16 Concept. A high-output V-6 seems a likely bet for the XE, though a hybrid variant or V-8-powered high-performance model could also make its way to production.
Jaguar has been pushing hybrid technology, even the use of micro-turbines, on a number of recent concept vehicles. It would come as no surprise if some of that engineering makes its way to the XE.