This is the smaller sports car that has been missing in the Jaguar range, one that’s designed to take on the new Porsche 911 as a proper driver’s sports car. To debut in concept form in Frankfurt next week, the Jaguar C-X16 Concept is a sexy looking thing, a strict RWD two seater with 50:50 weight distribution and a hybrid. It’s a sure thing that Porsche engineers will be snooping around Jaguar’s stand at the IAA!

Billed as a “bold statement of Jaguar’s future design and technological intent”, the 4.4-metre long C-X16 is front engined and rear driven. It has lightweight aluminium bodywork sitting on the next-generation aluminium XK platform, and 50:50 weight distribution. With all those ingredients, and Jaguar’s reputation, there’s no way the production C-X16 will emerge as anything less than a great handling car. We’ll have to wait till late next year for that.

Under the hood is a supercharged all-alloy V6 engine producing 380 PS and 450 Nm of torque from 3.0-litres. This all-new quad-cam engine is a modular development of Jaguar’s AJ-V8 powerplant.

Supplementing it is an electric motor producing 70 kW (equivalent to 95 PS) and 235 Nm, available to the driver at the push of a steering-wheel boost button. Available for up to 10 seconds, this is inspired by the KERS system used in Formula 1. Besides “push to pass”, the electric motor also enables the C-X16 to perform as a zero emissions electric car at speeds of up to 80 km/h on low throttle openings.

The motor draws power from a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the seats. It is predominantly charged through a rear axle electro-hydraulic brake energy regeneration system. The battery is cooled by chilled coolant from the climate-control system, the compressor for which is electrical rather than engine-driven for better efficiency.

The engine is paired to an eight-speed transmission with Stop/Start, recently launched in the XF. Utilising a Twin Solenoid Starter, the system shut down the engine in just 300 milliseconds after the car has come to rest, restarting it in the time it takes the driver’s foot to travel from the brake to the accelerator. First time mated to a supercharged engine, says Jaguar.

Figures? 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, a limited top speed of 300 km/h and in-gear acceleration of just 2.1 seconds between 80 and 120 km/h. The hybrid system helps reduce CO2 emissions to 165 g/km and 14.5 km/l economy on the combined cycle. Yummy!

Gallery after the jump.