PAG's got a couple of hits: Volvo XC60, Jaguar C-XF
Concept cars aren't special not because of what they are - fanciful diversions from the real meat and potatoes of the car biz - but because of what they represent. They represent the future. They represent hope for better technology. Better engineering. Better driving. And I can't get enough.
Thankfully, Ford's Premier Automotive Group - a Euro-centric group of brands that includes Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, and the soon-to-be-sold-off Aston Martin - obliged my desires, as it plopped two big, fat concept cars down on the Cobo Arena floor. And that bit about the future? It could never be so apt as here, since both of the vehicles unveiled accurately previewed models that you and I will be able to buy very, very soon.
First up was the Volvo XC60 concept, a vehicle designed to fill the gaping hole in the Swedish automaker's lineup where a right-sized crossover SUV would fit. The crossover's styling serves as an accurate look at how the company's cars will look in the near future.
Elements such as the trapezoidal grille, angled headlamps, more muscular rear quarters, and spread-out, retro rear, will all wriggle their way through the rest of the company's offerings. The XC60 is powered by a 3.2-liter, 265-hp E-85-capable six and is also equipped with Volvo's new City Safety system.
City Safety is a program that helps prevent XC60 drivers from rear-ending folks at low speeds by monitoring the road ahead; if it detects that the driver isn't stopping quickly enough, the car applies the brakes. It brings to mind Mercedes-Benz's Distronic, but that system requires the cruise control to be activated.
The second and final reveal was easily the best, however. Jaguar debuted the C-XF concept, and, boy howdy, is it a looker.
A concept version of the S-type replacement, the C-XF oozes personality. As Volvo's XC60 does for that company's future cars, the C-XF showcases the design strategy for all Jaguar sedans going forward. Gone are the obviously retro designs with knobs and bumps and dual headlights and (pip-pip, and cheerio!) they've all been tossed in favor of a leaner, more modern language that somehow still manages to hew closely to Jag tradition.
According the Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum, the change was made because the company felt it was high time the British marque reclaimed its place as the world's premier builder of sports sedans, a title it held throughout the 1950s and 60s on the back of models such as the Mark 2 and the series-1 XJ.
I'm not ready to move Jaguar to the front of the line just yet, but with fantastic styling and innovative interior treatments like carbon-fiber pattern leather seating and blowtorch-scorched wood trim, the XF is a great step in the right direction.
Posted by Erik Johnson, Automobile Magazine 3:59 PM 1 Comments | Add a Comment
Some of the new concept cars look like they were designed by the same people that dreamed up those flashy, multi colored, stupid looking athletic shoes they are now trying to sell us!!
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