TURIN -- Italian design house Bertone focused on interior space when creating the B 99 concept that previews a potential new entry-level sedan for Jaguar.
The B 99 is about the same length as a BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C class at about 4500mm, but has a wheelbase longer than the 2910mm of the Jaguar XF large sedan. At 1950mm wide, the B99 is also 75mm wider than the XF to offer limousine-sized interior space.
"We wanted to create a compact sedan that could offer the same roominess of a much larger vehicle," Bertone chief designer Mike Robinson told Automotive News Europe in a phone interview.
To improve accessibility, the B 99 has no B-pillar and also features rear-hinged rear doors.
Robinson said the B 99 was made by Bertone in agreement with Jaguar as a view to a possible replacement for the X-Type that was discontinued in 2009.
Jaguar plans to launch an entry-level sedan in 2013-2014 to boost sales. The X-Type was the company's biggest seller.
With the B 99, Bertone is the only Italian design house to have created five different Jaguar models. The previous models were the 1957 XK 150, of which only four were built, and three concepts: the 1966 FT, the 1967 Piranha and the 1977 Ascot.
The B 99 uses a full-hybrid power system created by Bertone Energy, the company's new division dedicated to renewable energy research.