Jaguar has made waves on the eve of the Paris motor show with a surprise ultra-low emissions supercar that could catapult it back into the rarefied market it left in 1994, when the 217mph XJ220 ended production.
The C-X75 pictured here has been unveiled to the world’s media at the Paris show’s press day today. Jaguar officially describes it as “a commemoration of 75 years of Jaguar heritage, and a glimpse at the design cues and technology that will characterise our cars in the future.”
But internally, as Autocar can reveal, Jaguar considers the car almost wholly realistic for production and it has ambitions to bring it to the road, relaunching Jaguar as a powerful, forward-looking force in the supercar world.
“With the current XK, XF and XJ, we’ve refreshed and enhanced the public’s perception of the Jaguar brand,” explained deputy design director Julian Thomson. “The time’s right for us to push on again. To make people aware that we can make an even more exotic and special kind of car — a true supercar that’s sustainable and future-proof, and that also combines performance, luxury and beauty in a way that only a Jaguar can.”
What makes the C-X75 particularly remarkable is its experimental powertrain. Powering this 4.6m-long, 205mph, two-seat berlinetta are four 195bhp electric motors, one at each wheel. They give a combined 780bhp and 1180lb ft of torque, and provide for zero-emissions running, dynamics-enhancing torque vectoring, and pace that even an XJ220 couldn’t match: 0-62mph in 3.4sec, 0-100mph in 5.5sec and 0-186mph in a Veyron-beating 15.7sec.
“The electric powertrain gave us total freedom to give the C-X75 absolutely perfect stance and proportion,” said Thomson. “In conventional supercars, you’re hampered by accommodating a large piston engine, but using four relatively small electric motors instead meant we could keep the car low to the ground and put the driver precisely in the middle of the wheelbase, right where you’d ideally like to be.”