What’s it like?
For all its exotic nature, the C-X75 is relatively simple in concept. It is smaller and lower than most supercars of its awesome potential, yet it has generous conventionally hinged doors, sensibly sized windows, reasonable rear vision and a roomy cabin.
Driving is simple, yet as you slip behind the wheel and into the hard seats (understandably shaped for show appearance, not long distance comfort) it's hard not to lose yourself in admiration for the profusion of entirely fresh ideas in this car. There's a beautiful one-piece 'sculpture' of panel-beaten aluminium, lining the whole door aperture.
Ian Callum says Jaguar's major suppliers were encouraged to “get crazy” with concepts, so the doors and bulkhead are covered with upwards of 250 tiny Bowers & Wilkins directional speakers, the size of those in mobile phones, for a completely new quality of sound.
The twin-dial instrument layout is actually a TFT screen, with gimbal-style readouts for speed and power consumption (the dream ticket is to be charge neutral and the right-hand dial shows you how to do it) while LED bars around the outside show you how far – or whether – each turbine is in action. They take about 15 seconds to spool up, and according to Nigel Taylor, are very quiet when you're in the car.
There's another screen between the dials for iPhone-style pages for other functions, plus a circular display on the console to show the functions of the elegant fore-aft 'gear' selector. Actually, the 8000rpm electric motors are simply geared to the wheels at a 3.1 to one reduction ratio, and need no clutch, but there are Normal, EV and Track modes which alter the instrumentation.
In Track, for instance, you can pull up a timing screen, set the suspension for a stiffer, lowered set-up, and even pull up a map of the circuit you might be driving on – complete with real-time advice about cornering lines and braking points. It would take quite a pessimist to say this electric car was less than inviting and exciting.
The C-X75 drives at present like a concept car, with heavy steering, a restricted lock and less performance than its exotic specification implies. Neither is it ever likely to be made for production, though designers and engineers insist that – like Limo Green – it has taught them a tremendous amount, and its shapes and ideas will survive.
Should I buy one?
Despite its one-off nature there are important and enticing facets for the supercar driver, including good visibility and an airy cabin, a driving position exactly between the front and rear wheel pairs that – for once – is entirely uncompromised by the mechanical layout.
This car, designed in Whitley and made entirely in Gaydon speaks volumes for the capabilities of those who made it, and for the fine new Jaguars they are preparing for us to buy.