What's Wrong With This Picture: Baby Jag By Bertone Edition
Doesn’t that profile look familiar? Haven’t we seen that somewhere? Having taken the British brand in a bold new direction after decades of stylistic stagnation, Jaguar’s chief designer Ian Callum is letting Bertone take the lead in setting a stylistic direction for Jag’s forthcoming 3-Series competitor… and Bertone seems hell-bent on dragging Jag back to its XJ-obsessed recent past. But Bertone design director Mike Robinson won’t cop to the seemingly obvious charge, telling Autocar
Jaguar is looking at a new design direction and a small car — and we think this is the right style, with a very light glasshouse and the visual weight concentrated on to the wheels… I’m an anti-retroist. This is not an old classic design. It’s a new classic.
But is it? The (B) pillarless four-door screams XJC in proportion, and the whole effect is of a step backwards. Besides, when classic XJ proportions meet a 3-Series-sized chassis, the interior is going to face some serious space restrictions. In any case, Callum took one the boldest steps in automotive design when he left the XJ styling cues behind and penned the XF and the stunning new XJ. With this B99 concept, Bertone just seems to be muddying the waters. Let’s hope Jag keeps rejects the concept and keeps design of its forthcoming smaller luxury sedan in-house.
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I really like the design, I think it's a lot more distinctive than the 3 series, C class and Audi. If they can put a car into production that comes close to this concept I think it would sell. How well it sells is another question as last time I checked the U.S. sales of the XF and XJ were dismal. I can't say I'm a big fan of the new XJ (at least yet) but I do like the XF. I don't think the XF looks at all like any Infiniti/Lexus model but it sells in very low numbers in the U.S. compared to other cars in the segment. This concept probably would not be priced much below the XF and as others have mentioned I agree that the styling does a nice job of blending traditional Jaguar styling cues with a modern interpretation. Most automotive experts agree the old XJ was the prettiest sedan ever produced but it had run its course. IMO Ford made of huge mistake with the last version by not changing the bodystyle, you could barely tell the difference between it and its predecessor even though it was an entirely new car. The dismal sales level reflected that most potential buyers felt the same way. To me this concept is a head turner.