April 2004 - Jaguar Press Release
The Concept Eight is
not about cramming in half an hours work on the way to
and from the airport, It is a car that exudes British good taste
and calmness. It has a very relaxed but contemporary feel about
it. Jaguar is not an all work and no play company
and the Concept Eight reflects that. When you ride in it you
should get the same feeling of well-being that you would enjoy
if you stayed in the latest trendsetting hotel." Julian
Thomson, Chief of Advanced Design, Jaguar Cars.
The launch of the New XJ Long Wheelbase marks
not just the return of the seminal luxury British saloon but also
an opportunity for Jaguar Cars Advanced Design Studio to use
the most spacious vehicle the company has ever built as the base
for an intriguing design programme the Jaguar Concept Eight.
This sumptuous luxury saloon blends the best in contemporary British
creativity with the ultimate in automotive engineering to offer
a compelling glimpse of future Jaguars.
The Concept Eight has been designed to reflect
the unique position that Jaguar holds in the luxury car market.
Developed from the New XJ Long Wheelbase saloon, it has been extensively
reworked beneath its broad, single-piece, glass roof to produce
a luxury concept car that is understated and tasteful, yet powerful,
exciting and undeniably glamorous. Making the most of Jaguar's New
XJ Long Wheelbase structure with the longest wheelbase in
its class - the Concept Eight introduces new luxury elements, new
in-car entertainment technology, and new performance styling cues.
British design is acknowledged to be world-leading
in creative areas as diverse as fashion and architecture, interiors
and furniture making. The Concept Eight reflects Britains
standing in design by using the most contemporary materials and
trim to create an environment that is unlike any other luxury saloon.
You wont find lap-top computers, satellite uplinks and plasma
screens inside the Concept Eight, instead you will enter a world
of inch-deep handmade carpets, chilled champagne, Waterford Crystal
and even essential oils to allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy
The biggest luxuries in life are increasingly
just having your own time and space this is what the Concept
Eight is meant to provide. This car is all about travelling in style
to a movie premiere or a party. Its about having fun.
CONCEPT EIGHT DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
We now have a car with more space in it
than any Jaguar ever built, so we thought wed have a bit of
fun and conceptualise something that was about space and luxury
and pampering. Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar Cars
The materials we are using, the way we have
reshaped the interior, the atmosphere we are trying to create
these are all pointers to how Jaguars should look and feel.Julian
Thomson, Chief of Advanced Design, Jaguar Cars
Ian Callums design department went through
a long period of discussion and debate before work began on the
Concept Eight. A great many ideas were discussed and discarded before
the creative team settled on two key themes comfort and indulgence.
The large, cossetting, individual rear seats are perhaps the best
example of that indulgence, for they represent a move away from
a conventional bench-type seat. Ian Callum explains the significance:
You could describe the Concept Eight as quite a selfish car.
Just look at those rear seats. Theyve been split so that you
can only carry two people
but they will be looked after very
That warm red glow will be visible from the roof as well
as from the centre console and under the front seats, tThis
sort of effect is something I would love to use on production
cars in the future. The way people have employed these lighting
techniques in other modern venues uplighting, diffused
lighting and so on that is something I would like to
have in our cars. And why red? Because it is a bit cheeky
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar Cars
The Concept Eights exterior appearance has
also been given considerable thought and nowhere is that
more apparent than its roof. The lightweight aluminium skin that
stretches across the cars upper surface has been replaced
with a single, full-length piece of darkened glass to provide an
even greater feeling of spaciousness within. Around the edges of
the glass panel a strip of LED lighting provides an ambient red
glow that equates with the mood lighting that you might find in
a fashionable bar.
Other exterior developments on the Concept Eight
include brand new 21-inch five-spoke alloy wheels created especially
for the project. Behind the front wheels sit chrome gills which
aid engine cooling and also improve aerodynamic flow to the rear
of the car. New chrome exhaust pipe finishers give the Concept Eight
a purposeful appearance from the rear while a one-off metallic paint
colour, Purple Haze a blend of lush cherry and deep black
will show hints of both colours under changing light conditions.
THE CONCEPT EIGHTS INTERIOR
Seen from any angle, the Concept Eights
interior is as tasteful and welcoming as it is possible to be. Under
the creative vision of Principal Designer Mark Phillips and Colour
and Materials Designer Siobhán Hughes, the cabin of this
long wheelbase concept limousine has become a place of contemporary
luxury and warmth. The biggest change is the rear seats,
explains Chief of Advanced Design, Julian Thomson. They are
very simple forms, very confident, like pieces of furniture. By
splitting them we have tried to generate an ever greater appreciation
of the space and comfort you get in the back of a Long Wheelbase
Between the rear seats runs a centre console that
extends all the way to the front of the cabin an evolution
of a similar design first seen in the Jaguar R Coupe concept car.
This clean, sweeping section is covered with a well-recognised wood
veneer American walnut. But unlike existing Jaguar interiors,
the concept cars walnut trim has a matt finish. Warm and smooth
to the touch, it is a 21st century spin that Ian Callum says indicates
how future Jaguars could both look and feel.
People expect wood and leather to be part
of the Jaguar culture, says Callum, and that is what
we are using but not in the way that people might expect.
The wood capping that runs right throughout the Concept Eight has
a very contemporary matt finish. Its very pure and almost
blatant in its use, but not overly stylised.
The Concept Eight
reflects a modern attitude towards glamour. No dress code is
required to enjoy the back of this car, just an appreciation
of contemporary design, a need for atmosphere and a love of
the unexpected. Mark Phillips, Principal Designer,
Jaguar Concept Eight
The power-adjustable, reclining rear lounge seats
are wrapped in aniline leather as is the upper instrument
panel demonstrating all the natural markings inherent in
a raw material. The lower instrument panel, console, and lower door
casings are all trimmed in nubuck, a soft leather that has been
gently buffed on the grain side to give a velvety surface. Conker,
the dominant rich, brown colour, takes its name from the seed of
the Horse Chestnut tree that is indigenous to the British Isles.
Jonathan Connolly is the sole provider of the Conker leather, providing
a rich textural mix with accents provided by chrome gloss and aluminium.
The combined effect is one of warmth, comfort and sophistication.
To further create a feeling of space and light, an ivory-coloured
leather covers the roof pillars and head-lining.
The final new material used in the Concept Eight
is the remarkably luxurious carpet. Handmade by craftsmen in Chelsea
Harbour, London, its inch-deep Ivory Grey wool is designed to be
as soft and inviting under foot as a favourite rug or throw.
Its not just materials that give its interior
such a sense of modernity and luxury the Concept Eight also
contains hidden extras designed to surprise and delight. Built into
the centre console is a refrigerated compartment that holds a chilled
bottle of Mumm champagne and two specially designed Waterford Crystal
glasses in an aluminium holder. To cater for the unique design of
the glasses they are champagne flutes without bases
a bespoke drawer is built in ahead of the fridge in which to stand
them without spilling a drop. The pampering continues inside two
cabinets hidden in the rear of the front seats, which contain luxury
items such as essential oils and perfumes, a digital camera for
recording the highlights of your evening and even a writing set.
The ambience of the Concept Eight would not be
complete without a peerless sound system. This has been provided
in the shape of a dramatic new system created exclusively for the
car. The spectacular 860W Alpine concept system employs 14 speakers
to recreate sound precisely as the artist intended. The latest speaker
and amplifier technologies have also been incorporated to create
this no-expense-spared installation that takes sound reproduction
to new heights.
two-way front speaker set-up is complemented by a centre fill speaker
located in the middle of the dash. The rear compartment has also
been extensively remodelled to incorporate additional mid speakers
in the rear shelf while increased diameter subwoofers provide a
stirring deep bass sensation. The Jaguars rear doors also
feature the latest DDLinear drivers and soft dome tweeters. As featured
on current Alpine Jaguar Premium Sound Systems, time alignment means
all occupants receive the sounds at precisely the right moment,
wherever they are seated.
Speaking about the system, Alpines Business
Development Manager Nick Bailey said: Collaborating on the
Concept Eight has been a great privilege and has allowed us to showcase
some of our latest technologies. Our team of designers and engineers
is extremely proud to have been approached by Jaguar to create a
system to complement such an incredible car. ENGINEERING THE
The Concept Eight shares the same 3159mm wheelbase
as the New XJ Long Wheelbase 125mm longer than the standard
wheelbase XJ version. But despite that extra length, the driver
and passengers will sacrifice nothing in terms of the class-leading
dynamics and technologies found across the XJ range. Its ground-breaking
aluminium chassis and bodyshell technology mean that straightline
performance and handling are uncompromised, while the Concept Eights
use of the 400bhp 4.2-litre supercharged AJ-V8 engine guarantees
a blend of crushing acceleration and effortless cruising.
The supercharged V8 achieves its maximum 400 horsepower
(298kW) DIN at 6100rpm, a 33 percent increase over the naturally
aspirated variant. At least 86 percent of peak torque is available
from 2000rpm to a peak of 553Nm (408lb ft) DIN at 3500rpm.
Despite its extra length over the standard wheelbase
XJ, the Concept Eight weighs hardly any more and also benefits from
re-engineered and lowered suspension to give it added visual and
dynamic impact. And remember in standard form, the new XJ is some
200kg (441lbs) lighter than the previous generation XJ and around
100kg (221lbs) lighter than its nearest rivals.
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