Jaguar has many lessons to learn and things to worry about as it plods down the electric hypercar path already being trodden by Ferrari and Porsche, but one of its principal anxieties is that the C-X75 must have the charisma worthy of a model which registers at the ridiculous end of expensive.
For an electric car this is a common problem, and the manufacturer is already figuring out how it will lever an emotional response from interaction with the drivetrain when no petrol is being burnt. But if our brief experience of a Gaydon test bed is to be believed, the car will no such problems once its four-cylinder tyro has sparked into life.
Suspended on a rig, being intravenously fed oil, water, petrol and electricity through an elaborate spaghetti mess of thumb-fat wires, the engine must be thoroughly warmed before Jaguar’s engineer’s tentatively take it up to 9800rpm - just 200rpm back from its astounding limiter.
The eventual noise, largely unsilenced, filtered or refined is a yowling mesh of whirling metal crescendo. But, with the right ears, it is as pure and enlivening as any engine note with three times the cylinder count. Beneath the battering volume there is the whistle of forced induction as the Eaton supercharger gives way to the single turbocharger at 5000rpm.
While the sound is present on this file, its huge presence is not. This is best characterized three ways: by the goose pimples on my neck, by the physical tremor of the cameras positioned to record the event and by the riotous grin of the man tasked by Jaguar to head up the ‘oily bits’ development of an otherwise chemically-clean product.
Assuming the team can mould this raw all-alloy sound and shape it as the brand already does with its formidable, throbbing eight-cylinder pulse, I’d be willing to bet the C-X75 emerges from its developmental chrysalis with a highly-strung heartbeat worthy of its Veyron-rivaling pace and price tag.