If this were the teaser to a movie, you would definitely go and see it. In car terms, the Jaguar C-X75 is like Avatar, Terminator II and Titanic all rolled into one. Hell, you wouldn’t just go, you’d track down James Cameron, find that time machine from Terminator and invest in the making of the damn thing. The teaser goes like this: 0 – 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds; top speed over 320 km/h; 7-speed F1 style paddle shift transmission; mid-engined; light weight, carbon fibre chassis; 1.4 L/100km fuel consumption; and probably all at a price that makes the Bugatti Veyron look like a school bus by comparison.
Jaguar has once again, like they’ve done with many a concept car over the decades, promised the world with the details of their C-X75 hybrid supercar. Why Jaguar? When have you reliably ever delivered on one of these lavish concepts? What happened to the gas turbine, snorting, rocket thrusters as a form of propulsion? No it apparently has a 1.6-litre petrol engine. For Jaguar’s sake let’s hope it isn’t an engine that’s all talk and no trousers this time around.
The Jaguar C-X75 supercar will be powered by a 373 kW 1.6-litre, twin-turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid drivetrain. In addition, two high-powered electric motors and a battery pack will be mated to a 7-speed automated manual gearbox and the entire power unit will be capable of revving up to 10 000 r/min. The twin-charged 1 600cc engine uses a supercharger to boost from low revs and a turbocharger assists after 5 500 r/min. Jaguar justify their use of such a small power plant by saying they expect high-performing, small capacity 1.6-litre units to form the basis of motor racing going into the future; as they were once upon a time in the small capacity, turbocharged days of F1.
Why should we believe Jaguar on this matter? Oh, I remember, they were so competitive in F1 when they last competed (insert sarcasm here). It is claimed that the Williams F1 team will help construct the car entirely from carbon fibre with aluminium used to strengthen the crash structures front and rear. The C-X75 will incorporate KERS and regenerative brake technology, which Williams F1 have experience in as well. The batteries in the C-X75 can be charged through a domestic power supply, making this the first plug-in supercar to travel almost 60 km purely on electric power.
Power from the two electric motors, positioned over the rear axles, will be sent to the front wheels and allows the C-X75 to effectively operate as a four-wheel drive. Jaguar say the car could be ready for market as soon 2014. It will have a very limited production run, in the region of 200 – 300 units, each with a staggering price tag of around R10 million (£800 000). Okay, okay, so the Jaguar C-X75 will be the fastest hybrid plug-in car ever, it will use no fuel and cost more than a very special house. Of course this bedroom pinup is not difficult to sketch and model because until we see it in working prototype form, we’re sorry Jaguar, it is simply pie in the sky stuff.
Those performance figures are, as of now, still only in the imaginations of its inventors. We sincerely hope you do come through on your promises Jaguar and bring this thing to reality. Until then, there is another prickly issue. To the millionaires amongst you, and dont all leap up at once, who by show of hands wants their £800 000 super-duper-car to have a 1.6-litre engine in it? Yeah, I thought so. But lets cross that bridge when we get to it shall we. Hopefully when the C-X75 actually exists.