Stunning concept speaks volumes for the cars Jaguar will make in the future

Our Verdict

Jaguar C-X75

Aborted million-pound Jaguar C-X75 expands the supercar’s brief, sacrificing almost nothing on speed or mind-blowing theatricality

  • First Drive

    Jaguar C-X75

    Stunning concept speaks volumes for the cars Jaguar will make in the future
Steve Cropley Autocar
14 November 2010

What is it?

The Jaguar C-X75 concept rocked the recent Paris motor show. According to Nigel Taylor, the concept's lead engineer, C-X75 was spun off Jaguar's Limo-Green hybrid saloon project, as a kind of skunk-works job.

The result was C-X75, a car with a remarkably low weight of 1350kg and consequent spectacular performance: 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 5.5 seconds, 0-300km/h (186 mph) in 15.7 seconds, and a top speed of 330km/h (205 mph).

Apart from its wonderful shape – which brilliantly combines 2015 modernity with surfaces and proportions that could only be from Jaguar – the C-X75's twin showpieces are tiny turbines, made in Worcestershire by Bladon Jets, but unlike jet cars of the past they don't drive the wheels. Instead, they run tiny, fist-sized generators to make electrical power for what is actually a four-motor, four-wheel drive electric car.

The car has an electric-only range just short of 70 miles. With this and the 60-litre diesel fuel tank, it has a 560-mile range – an average of under 30mpg. These are extraordinary, rule-changing figures for a car with 778bhp and 1180 lb ft of torque on tap.

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.

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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.

Join the debate


15 November 2010

Atomic batteries to power...turbines to speed...

15 November 2010

.....Warp factor 1 Mr Sulu! lol

15 November 2010

A real innovation, I do hope they can produce it? The styling of the C-X75 is clearly Jaguar, some of it's lines remind me of the classic one-off XJ13.

15 November 2010

Incredible design and ground-breaking new tech that promises much for the future.

I read when news of the C-X75 first hit that jaguar might make it ... 'the concept car we simply have to build' or something similar. Can't say I'm surprised but your article suggests that it will not happen. One thing Jag must learn is that they show-cased many concepts in past years but nothing ever seemed to come of them. Soemtimes it's good to actually 'do it'.

Anyway I'm a big Jag fan and am so pleased they got the backing. Clearly they have the talent. Just a shame one of the filthy rich British companies and/or individuals didn't stump up the paltry £1 billion to buy JLR and set it free on the road to success, and profit. So few are worth their salt in today's world and seek to make nothing, which is why Britain's future is not very rosey. Jaguar is an exception!

EU Referendum now. Let the people speak.

15 November 2010

If Jaguar are unable to build this car with its current propulsion systems, I hope they still build it with a different engine, obviously not with a Mini WRC engine of course.

15 November 2010

So it'll be the XJ then?,because this concept doesn't have an ounce of Jag-ness about it!,the saloon will be the real money maker, car's with Thunderbirds and Joe90 propulsion systems are too out there,and i've said before, why not produce affordable, ultra clean car's for the masses especially in this time of austerity, surely that's not beyond making profit, is it?.

Peter Cavellini.

15 November 2010

Oh for goodness sake, just build it.

To live is to drive

15 November 2010

Its a real shame that Jaguar has not made any real effort for the British public to view this in metal.

15 November 2010

@Peter Cavellini. What are you on about? There are huge dollops of old Jaguarness all over this. The back window looks like it's been lifted straight from an E-Type. The overall shape is XJ13 (rear haunches, rear lights in particular). The grille is a cracking combination of the old oval and the new rectangle (which is itself 60's Jag). It's achingly beautiful and shows that the guys in charge of Jag design are bang on the money (as an aside, the original MB CLS was seen as 'Mercedes doing a Jaguar' but do you think someone like Callum would have churned out anything remotely like the monstrosity that is the new CLS?). No chance. These guys have got real taste and they're WAY ahead of the Germans again.

15 November 2010

[quote bentleyboy]For goodness sake, just build it.[/quote]

Oh grow up, for goodness' sake.


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