The world’s only remaining Jaguar XJ13 parked outside of the Rodin museum in Paris was quite telling. For Coventry’s amazing mid-engined Le Mans racer has been the main inspiration for the equally amazing (not to mention surprising) C-X75 concept.
In the metal it’s easy to see why too. The C-X75 is a much bigger car than the XJ13 and, to be honest, much bigger than the photographs suggest (think Lamborghini Murciélago dimensions rather than Porsche Boxster). No doubt that it’s equally arresting to look at though.
Once the hubbub had died down I spent a good 20 minutes just staring at the thing from every angle. I didn’t find one odd or jarring line on the car. In truth, the front and profile views are more favourable to my eyes than the rear but from certain angles the rear haunches are remarkably reminiscent of the E-type, so maybe I’m wrong on that front.
No-one got to sit in the thing tonight, so my view of the cabin was judged from peering in through the shallow side windows.
The materials and textures look top notch, but the whole look seems far more fantastical than the exterior to be honest. One interesting factoid came from Jag’s advanced design director Julian Thomson, who said that the C-X75’s propulsion system has allowed the driver to sit a full 10 inches further back than mid-engined cars normally allow.
Thomson also admitted to us that the front end of the concept could sit just as well on a conventional front-engined car. And in truth the C-X75 is unlikely to be produced as a mid-engined supercar.
Just like the XJ13 it’s destined to have a short shelf life, with the front end being the inspiration for the next XK and XE sports cars and the turbine, range-extending powertrain finding its way on to future Jags and Land Rovers.
Shame. With a more conventional engine and cabin this car could go on sale tomorrow. I reckon it would be a smash hit.