2003 Jaguar R-D6 Concept
“With R-D6 we set out to create a concept car which would build on the R-Coupe and further develop Jaguar’s new design direction. We also wanted to showcase the latest technology in lightweight vehicle structures and our potent new bi-turbo, common-rail V6 diesel.” Mike Wright Managing Director, Jaguar Cars
Jaguar Director of Design, Ian Callum, and Chief Designer, Advanced Design, Julian Thomson, marshalled the efforts of a small team of groundbreaking designers who seized the opportunity to realise their ideas for the future of the Jaguar marque well before they appear in production form.
“R-D6 represents the pure, sensuous and sporting design that will feature in all new Jaguars, but more than this it is a vision of the future of premium motoring: beautiful, fast, agile, efficient and fun. The fact that it is the most compact four-seater Jaguar ever and defies categorisation makes it even more intriguing and desirable.” Ian Callum Director of Design, Jaguar Cars
Observers will point to ‘classic’ Jaguar
design cues – such as the grille – on R-D6, but it is important to
realise that such features are there not because they commemorate
Jaguar’s past, but because they are intrinsically ‘right’ for a
thoroughly modern Jaguar.
R-D6 also takes advantage of Jaguar’s lightweight structure strategy, as pioneered in the new XJ saloon. Using aluminium and composite materials for the chassis and body, R-D6 weighs just 1500kg. This allows it to capitalise on the power – and, more importantly, the torque – delivered by its V6 engine.
And it’s the engine that will surprise many people – although, when you think about it, a high-performance 2.7-litre diesel engine makes perfect sense. Confirming Jaguar as a potent new force in the world of large-capacity diesels, the bi-turbo V6 is a tuned version of the engine that will make its debut in the S-TYPE in 2004. With horsepower in excess of 230bhp and a massive 500Nm of torque, the V6 diesel engine endows R-D6 with the pace to satisfy its looks and R-Performance rating. Acceleration from standstill to the benchmark 60mph takes less than six seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 155mph.
Distinctive, confident and original, R-D6
has a beautiful, pure style that triggers a simple desire: I want one.
Its distinctive blend of attributes inherent in the Jaguar psyche – emotional engineering, stimulating performance, intelligent technology and downright sexy design – makes R-D6 instantly recognisable as a true Jaguar. But the styling of the car – its lines and shapes, its sheer presence – heralds a design direction that makes no apologies to past, present or future.
“Respect for a glorious heritage doesn’t stop us putting in place the foundations for future generations of thrilling, dynamic Jaguars that aren’t afraid to challenge perceptions. That’s what R-D6 is all about.” Julian Thomson Chief Designer, Advanced Design, Jaguar Cars
At 4,330mm long, R-D6 is 342mm shorter
than Jaguar’s smallest car, the X-TYPE saloon – and 760mm shorter than
an XK8 coupé. The compact length of R-D6 is aided by short overhangs
front and rear (800mm and 695mm respectively) and is achieved with a
wheelbase of 2,840mm.
To ensure R-D6 is a true four-seater, the design team refused to compromise on width or height (2,150mm and 1,390mm) but succeeded nonetheless in crafting a beautifully compact coupé that has all the road presence – and more – that you expect of a Jaguar.
Whether it is the grille that draws your eye, or the vents integrated into the bonnet and flanks of the car, or the aluminium finisher swooping over the entire side glass area, there is some instant attraction for everyone in the design of R-D6.
The headlights reveal a fresh interpretation of the twin-lamp style featured by Jaguars so successfully – and naturally – for many years. Both front and rear lights use LED technology to deliver the best possible function while maintaining beautiful form.
For many, though, it will be the details that make R-D6 so irresistibly attractive. Details such as the flush-mounted door handles, which pivot on the front edge to activate an electrical actuator that opens the door; the centrally mounted twin-pipe exhausts; the aluminium boot finisher engraved with the Jaguar script; or even the Leaper on the back of the car.
“We’ve already proved with the new XJ what advantages there are in using aluminium within a lightweight vehicle structure. It’s natural that this technology will feature in Jaguar’s future – and what better place to start than R-D6.” Phil Hodgkinson Programmes Director, Jaguar Cars
The aluminium chassis of R-D6 is similar
to that of the new XJ and is constructed using many of the same advanced
technologies – with all the accompanying advantages, including
outstanding strength, robustness and durability in a true lightweight
Castings such as the front suspension turrets have also benefited from techniques used in the new XJ, while the body is of aluminium and composite materials.
R-D6 rides on 21-inch wheels, machined from solid aluminium specifically for this car. They are shod with unique, ultra-low-profile Pirelli tyres: 255/30 R21 on the front and a massive 275/30 R21 on the rear. Look through the spokes of the beautiful wheels and you’ll see Jaguar R-Performance discs and calipers.
The all-new diesel engine that powers
R-D6 encapsulates the spirit of Jaguar today and at the same time
reinforces the promise of its future. Due to make its debut in a
production Jaguar – the S-TYPE – in mid-2004, the 2.7-litre V6 features
twin turbochargers and the latest, high-pressure, common-rail direct
injection, making it among the most advanced high-performance diesel
engines in the world.
Innovations such as a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) cylinder block – which provides outstanding strength and durability as well as weighing less than a traditional cast iron unit – allied to state-of-the-art electronic engine control systems have given Jaguar the engine that the marque, and many thousands of potential customers, have been waiting for.
“Why not use a sophisticated diesel engine in a luxury sports coupe? Sir William Lyons was never afraid to innovate and if he was alive and running the company today, I’m sure this is exactly the sort of progress he would be embracing.” Mike Wright Managing Director, Jaguar Cars
For R-D6, the 24-valve engine is tuned
beyond road-going levels, but central to its design is the need to
deliver all the power, refinement and spirited performance that Jaguar
drivers demand. The V6 diesel engine that today brings a concept car
fully to life will, in less than a year, be putting a smile
on the face of Jaguar customers.
To appreciate fully the interior of R-D6
takes a while, partly because you spend as much time touching as you do
looking. The materials in the cabin are a blend of classic with a
contemporary twist and modern bordering on the futuristic. And as you
would expect from Jaguar, there are a couple of refreshingly
Aluminium features extensively in both milled and formed guise. Two types of leather – lightly grained, carbon-black aniline and 8mm thick black saddle leather – are used throughout the interior. Satin-finish Black American Walnut veneer complements the Piano Black gloss veneer that was introduced on the new XJ.
Probably the best way to visualise the interior of R-D6 is to imagine yourself sitting in the luxurious, moulded composite driver’s seat, your back supported by a ‘spine’ of tensioned leather that weaves through the structure of the seat and then loops forward at the top to provide an integral head restraint. The seat is constructed with internal ducts to allow heating or cooling according to driver preference.
“To my mind, what you’re looking at is the ultimate luxury sports interior. Don’t just note the fact that there is leather and wood; really study how we’ve used it. Trust me, this is beyond contemporary.” Ian Callum Director of Design, Jaguar Cars
To one side of you is a door featuring
aluminium and two types of leather, and in the centre a section of the
American Walnut wood veneer that runs from the front to the rear of the
cabin. Controls for motorised movement of the seat are integrated into
the recessed armrest. Open the door and a formed aluminium surround is
visible, integrating a Jaguar-embossed leather kick-plate.
Your feet rest on wood, which again runs from front to rear. In the area immediately below the seats and extending partially into the footwell, the wood is obscured by a ‘floating floor’ of tensioned thick saddle leather that ‘flows’ over the transmission tunnel and is also visible at the outer edges of the cabin floor. The 25mm gap between the leather and the wood, aided by apertures in the latter, forms part of the climate-control system.
“When we started work on the interior, we wanted to only use the materials in an ‘honest’ way, so the wood is mostly flat and the leather ‘drapes’ in a natural fashion.” Julian Thomson Chief Designer, Advanced Design, Jaguar Cars