Jaguar - F-Type
The F-TYPE Concept Roadster
Also in January 2000, Jaguar's F-TYPE concept roadster was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Inspired by the XK180, Jaguar designers set out to create the ideal, compact Jaguar roadster, evoking the spirit of the legendary E-type. The F-TYPE concept is the most compact Jaguar sports car in more than forty years. Design work commenced under the direction of the late Geoff Lawson, Jaguar's Director of Styling, who sadly died in June 1999. The project was completed under the aegis of the new Director of Design, Ian Callum, who sees the F-TYPE concept as a tribute to Geoff Lawson.
Jaguar's F-Type Concept roadster was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Inspired by the XK180 concept car released in at the Paris Salon in 1998, Jaguar designers set out to create the ideal, compact roadster, evoking the spirit of the legendary E-Type.
The F-Type concept, the most compact Jaguar car in more than forty years, presents the company's ideas for a roadster that would take Jaguar into a new segment of the global market.
The design team, with the responsibility for creating the F-Type, was led by Keith Helfet, whose track record includes the XK180 Concept Car and the XJ220. He was therefore ideally qualified to execute the brief to create an uncompromised Jaguar roadster. Work commenced under the direction of the late Geoff Lawson, Jaguar's director of styling, who died suddenly in 1999.
The project was completed under the aegis of the new director of styling, Ian Callum, who says the F-Type concept is a tribute to Lawson. 'Sadly' he said, 'This is the last car to bear Geoff's inimitable stamp. It is a fine example of the standards we will strive to maintain.'
While the XK180 was designed around existing mechanical components, which exercised constraints on the car's size and layout, the were no such limitations on the F-Type Concept. Heflet and his team were able to create a car which is more compact than the XK180 and 25 inches (645mm) shorter than the XKR, on which the XK180 is based. It is also four inches narrower than both cars.
The design team set out to produce a shape which is contemporary, functional and distinctively Jaguar. To fulfill Jaguar's core engineering value of equal weight distribution for excellent dynamic performance, the concept dictated both a long cockpit which sits in an ideal position relative to the wheelbase. The resulting design achieves the balanced proportions of a traditional Jaguar sports car, evocative of the E-Type.
The interior of the F-Type Concept, similar to that of the XK180, also draws inspiration from the functional simplicity of the aluminum lightweight E-Type, specifically built for racing. In keeping with the roadster theme, the minimalist interior conveys simplicity and practicality. True to Jaguar tradition, the switches and controls are designed to have utilitarian elegance. Working under Heflet were two young designers, Adam Hatton and Pasi Pennanen, who were responsible for much of the interior detail. Drawing on engineering craft skills within Jaguar, switches and cockpit controls fittings are fashioned from solid aluminum.
The new Jaguar is designed to accept a range of power train options, starting with the 240 horsepower AJ V6 engine successfully introduced in the S-Type saloon, while a supercharged version with around 300 horsepower is also a possibility. Automatic or manual transmissions would drive the rear wheels, while all-wheel drive is a production-feasible option.
'The F-Type Concept is a clear signal of Jaguar's intent to return to the true sports car market in which we were so successful in the 1950s and 60s,' commented Jaguars managing director, Johnathan Browning.
Jaguar takes a leap into the future with the North American public debut of the R-Coupe Concept at the 2002 NYIAS (New York International Auto Show). Conceived to demonstrate how the company's design philosophy may develop in coming years, the Jaguar R-Coupe is a prestigious and sensuous four-seater coupe that reinterprets Jaguar's core design values in a fresh and forward-thinking way.
'We challenged our designers to show how the Jaguar ‘look' could advance in the years ahead, to reflect the company's transformation from niche manufacturer to major player in the premium car sector' said Mike Beasley, Jaguar's managing director. 'This represents a long-term vision though, rather than anything that we will see tomorrow. The R-Coupe provides an insight into Jaguar's long term future design philosophy, reaffirming our commitment to create cars that stir people's emotions.'
Classic and contemporary inspiration
The proportions and stance of classic Jaguars from the 1950s and 1960s inspired the powerful look of the R-Coupe, where strong, geometric forms underpin the car's flowing lines. Exterior detail is restrained but picks up characteristic Jaguar design cues, such as the front grille.
The car's warm and rich interior puts a contemporary twist on the use of wood and leather, to create a luxurious environment influenced by the latest trends in furniture and interior design. Wood veneer sweeps right round the cabin, leather covers the floor as well as the seats, and many jewel-like details are silver-plated.
'With the R-Coupe we have the ability both to explore and to display our future design philosophy for Jaguar,' says Ian Callum, Jaguar's design director. 'Concept cars like this provide an incomparable opportunity for us to try out new ideas and to experience them in a full-size, three-dimensional format. We're looking forward to learning a great deal from the reactions of the public too.'
The R-Coupe was not intended for production, but it embodied themes and ideas that could find their way into future Jaguars. The concept is not based on any current or proposed Jaguar chassis, though it is constructed around a realistic four-seater package and a V8 powertrain. Further examples of advanced technology incorporated into the car's design include F1-style ‘paddle shift' gear-changing, headlight beams that follow steering direction, electronic door releases, personalization of the interior environment for each occupant and a futuristic, voice-controlled telematics system.
Engine & performance:
Power: 240 hp
Top speed: 251 km/h
0-100 km/h: 5.5 s
Length: 4115 mm
Width: 1732 mm
Height: 1090 mm