The future styling direction of Jaguar will be mapped out by a sleek small saloon concept by Italian styling house Bertone.
Called the B99 — Bertone 99 — the 4.6-metre-long Jag will celebrate next year’s centenary of the design house and shed light on a possible new design direction for Jaguar.
Created in conjunction with Jaguar, the B99 is a Bertone project based around the dimensions of a 4.5-metre-long Mercedes C-class with a slightly lower, sportier roofline. Jag is planning a new compact saloon for 2013/14 and the Bertone design encapsulates the elegant proportions, tight overhangs and sporty stance that the small Jag will need.
“Jaguar is looking at a new design direction and a small car — and we think this is the right style, with a very light glasshouse and the visual weight concentrated on to the wheels,” said Bertone design director Mike Robinson.
The four doors are arranged in a clamshell style and open to reveal a pillarless entrance to an inviting cabin.Key to the design is the Bill Lyons/Malcom Sayer-era proportion, reminiscent of the XJC coupé and Series III, which Jag has fought hard to escape with the fastback XF and XJ.
“Our B99 is definitely not a fastback. We think the fastback lifts the body volume too high above the rear wheels. Jags have always had the weight concentrated on the wheels,” said Robinson.