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Jaguar's striking R-D6 Concept

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September 13, 2003

Sunday September 14, 2003

The Frankfurt International Motor Show is one very difficult show to steal, but the R-D6 concept from Jaguar, with its distinctive grille, rear-hinging doors, lightweight aluminium and composite structure and twin turbocharged 2.7-litre diesel V6 engine, must come very close.

The R-D6's lightweight structure uses aluminium and composite materials for the chassis and body, giving the vehicle a weight of just 1500kg.

The bi-turbo V6 is a tuned version of the engine that will make its debut in the S-TYPE in 2004. The unit includes innovations such as a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) cylinder to save on weight and produces in excess of 230bhp and 500Nm of torque. Acceleration from standstill to the benchmark 60mph takes less than six seconds and top speed is an electronically limited 155mph.

At 4,330mm long, R-D6 is 342mm shorter than Jaguar's smallest car, the X-TYPE saloon. The compact length is aided by short overhangs front and rear (800mm and 695mm respectively) and a wheelbase of 2,840mm. To create a compact but true four-seater, the RD6 design does not compromise on width or height (2,150mm and 1,390mm).

The R-D6 also incorporates stylish 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 and the aluminium boot finisher engraved with the Jaguar script.

The concept 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.

The interior features extensive use of aluminium and two types of leather throughout and the moulded composite driver's seat is constructed with internal ducts to allow heating or cooling according to driver preference.

When the rear seats are unoccupied, the entire assembly can slide forward to almost interlock with the front seats. This doubles boot capacity and to save you reorganising the luggage, the two-layer design enables any luggage placed on the top to be moved forward with the seats.

The side-hinged tailgate similar to that found on the Jaguar E-type coupe allows rear headroom to be optimised and Jaguar have added a special touch of chic to the ignition switch - a silver button that lies hidden in the top of the gearshift, below a swivelling top piece (like the top of a fighter aircraft joystick) brings the V6 engine to life.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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