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Look out Porsche, it's the Jaguar C-X16

Last month, we got terribly hot under the collar when Jaguar released a tantalising teaser sketch of a sub-XK production concept. Well, this is it. It’s called the Jaguar C-X16. And it’s gorgeous.

Some facts, if you permit. It’s a two-seat, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe built on an aluminium architecture and offers perfect 50:50 weight distribution. It measures 4,445mm long and 1,297mm tall (for reference, the new 911 measures 4,535mm in length). It’s also the smallest Jaguar built since 1954 and the XK120, we think you’ll find.

See pics of the Jaguar C-X16

Up front there’s a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine producing 380bhp and 332lb ft of torque. But that’s not all. Integrated into the eight-speed gearbox is a motor generator mounted behind the seats that draws power from a battery pack (itself charged through brake energy regeneration, like KERS on an F1 car) that provides 95bhp and 173lb ft of boost via a steering-wheel-mounted button. A boost button, if you will. Boost buttons are good.

0-62mph takes 4.4 seconds, top speed is 186mph and the acceleration from 50-75mph takes just 2.1 seconds. Should you run out of juice, the C-X16 can travel up to 50mph on electric power alone while CO2 emissions sit at just 165g/km.

And the interior is less concept-car space fiction, more production-car reality too. The doors get grab handles - a statement of intent, no doubt - the instruments are regular dials and the aircon knobs have little screens on them displaying the temperature. The carbon-backed seats might be a tad uncompromising, and you can probably spec something less red, but otherwise it’s all business in here.

Now, the good part: it’s going into production. Soon. We’ll likely see the C-X16 at the end of 2012 with a naturally-aspirated V6, supercharged V6 and a hybrid. Diesel and V8 variants will probably follow, if you ask nicely…

Jaguar design chief Ian Callum said: “Jaguars have always been dramatically different. With the C-X16 we have moved the current award-winning design language on to the next generation, creating a car that is the very essence of future Jaguar performance.”

And it’s currently making its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show, where it’s winning “car of Frankfurt” fairly easily…

The full story of the Jaguar C-X16 is exclusively in this month’s Top Gear magazine - out now

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