picture postJaguar B99 concept: Bertone’s unappreciated gesture

2011 Bertone Jaguar B99 concept banner


2011 Jaguar B99 concept

The seductively shaped Jaguar B99 concept, which is slightly smaller in all dimensions than the 2016 Jaguar XE, debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. But you wouldn’t have found the concept displayed along with Jaguar’s other cars.

2011 Jaguar B99 concept

It was Bertone that displayed the B99 since they’d designed and built it. In fact, the name, which stands for “Bertone 99,” is a nod to the Italian design company’s 99th anniversary. Proposed as a possible successor to the unloved FWD X-Type, Jaguar reportedly told Bertone thanks but no thanks, explaining they’d already charted a course that moved past retro and into a modern styling language.

2011 Jaguar B99 concept

If you ask me, the B99 was a perfect balance of retro and modern, showcasing unmistakable Jaguar heritage. Bertone described the theme as “dynamic imbalance” which is the combination of linear and leaping lines, the latter being compared to the muscles of “a sprinter seconds before the gun shot.” The description continued, saying, “The powerful hips are poised and ready to pounce, demonstrating the silent power the car exudes” (a hallmark of classic Jaguar design).

2011 Jaguar B99 concept

Though, at a distance, it could pass for a two-door, the B99 actually had four. Access to the undoubtedly cramped rear seating area was gained via rear-hinged rear doors which likely eased the process.

2011 Jaguar B99 concept

Notice the front lighting and trim is all repeated at the rear. Even the grille (which, by the way, has some sort of funky surfacing around the inner rim) is mimicked by an inset at the back. Of note, the classic leaping Jaguar hood ornament was included but, for pedestrian safety, has motion sensors that activate electric motors to pull it under the hood, according to Bertone, at the speed of an airbag deployment.