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Jaguar B99 : Concept Cars

There are those who believe that Jaguar, with new ownership by India's Tata Group, should concentrate fully on the luxury segment and forget trying to be a higher volume premium brand like BMW.

While this strategy failed with the X-Type based on the Ford Mondeo platform, company executives have not abandoned the idea of a smaller Jaguar sedan. This time around, though, the idea is to build it in smaller numbers on a dedicated platform and command a premium price rather than trying to go head-to-head with either the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Bertone offers its vision of what this car could be with the Jaguar B99 Concept, so named to commemorate the 99 years the Italian design house has been in business. The B designates the B class, or compact segment, in which the car would compete.

The design study is a shapely sedan that's 177.2 in. long, 53.1 in. tall and 76.8 in. wide. Nor is the B99 purely Italian wishful thinking: President Lilli Bertone and CEO of Tata Group Motors Carl-Peter Forster maintain a friendly relationship, since Forster's time at Opel. Last year, they agreed on this project financed fully by Bertone, to test public reaction.

Designed by Bertone's chief of design, American Michael Robinson, the B99 blends shapely surfacing with powerful proportions. "It is a typical Jaguar," says Robinson.

The classic cat-inspired rear haunch lends itself to Jaguar's heritage, and the C-pillar is much more formal than that of the current Ian Callum- designed XJ and XF models. The B99 also sports a bit of concept car showmanship with its rear-hinged suicide doors and B-pillarless cabin.

Despite the shapely body concours, there is little else in the way of ornamentation save for the chrome window surrounds, front fender vent and Jaguar "leaper" on the hood. Bertone characterizes this as a "minimalist luxury sports sedan." It is a nice blend of tradition and modernity.

That tradition is also apparent in the interior's large swaths of wood veneer and leather. The stylish cabin would help the B99 command luxury prices, while at the same time allowing its clientele to feel socially responsible as a result of the unique powertrain.

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Sources : Jaguar B99 Concept Photo | Jaguar B99 Concept Article | Jaguar B99 Concept Rear Photo
| Bertone Jaguar B99 Concept Video


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