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2007 Detroit Auto Show: Ford PAG Reveals Jaguar and Volvo's Future Design Directions - VIDEO ENHANCED

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Jaguar C-XF Concept

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Volvo XC-60 Reveal

DETROIT Auto Show January 7, 2007; Ford’s Premier Automotive Group gave two new concepts from Volvo and Jaguar their worldwide debuts today at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in a late-day press conference.

First up was the Volvo XC60, a crossover concept whose design elements “will be incorporated into future Volvos,” said Steve Mattin, design senior vice president. “We’re about to elevate our design DNA to an entire new level by pumping up the car’s visual body weight.”

Jaguar showed the C-XF, a sedan that evokes the look of a coupe with a sweeping silhouette not unlike that of recent XK coupes. “For a four-seat sedan, proportion and stance doesn’t get much better than this,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design. He said the car heralds the future of Jaguar design.

Mattin said the new design direction will further distinguish the Swedish marque. “If you say you can recognize a Volvo from 50 meters today, I want you to get to the point where you can actually spot that from twice the difference in the future,” he said. The concept points the way to the next production XC60, scheduled to reach showrooms at the beginning of 2009.

Unusual design elements include a glass tailgate whose bottom third slides up and down for loading small items, and a “floating” electronic center console. The intention, according to Mattin, is to create emotionally charged surfaces and lines that will banish forever the idea that Volvos are boxy.

The Jaguar C-XF is a look to the future while recalling the past. Callum sees in the taut and efficient surfaces of the C-XF the purity of line, stance, and proportion that set the classic Jaguar sports cars apart. “Today Jag is reclaiming its place of a number of years ago, when we produced some of the greatest sports cars in the world,” Callum said. “I use the word ‘sports’ deliberately. It was our mantle … and we’re taking it back.”

The car’s sweeping silhouette is accomplished by an unbroken shoulder that “fits perfectly into the haunch over the rear wheels,” said Callum. “These elements endow the car with a visual latent power.” Furthering the aggressive image, the car’s face is made almost menacing with slit-eye headlamps and hood scoops.

“Our future is even more exciting than this car,” said Callum.