Jaguar to Build 250 C-X75 Hybrid SupercarsBy Scott Doggett May 6, 2011
Jaguar rocked the automotive world last September at the Paris Auto Show when it unveiled the C-X75 concept, a 4-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid supercar the automaker said was equipped with four electric motors putting out 780 horsepower and fueled in part by electricity generated by a pair of thermos-sized jet-style gas turbines. The vehicle was, Jaguar spokesmen reminded reporters weeks later, just a concept.
Today, Jaguar announced that it will produce 250 C-X75 supercars and they will go on sale in the U.S. and elsewhere beginning in late 2013, but they won't contain jet-like engines or nuclear reactors or motors powered by kryptonite. Jaguar now says the car's electric-only mode will be limited to 31 miles, after which a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine will fire up to energize the battery pack. Driving range via two electric motors will be 300 miles between charges (think Chevy Volt).
But Jaguar insists the production C-X75 will be every bit the speed machine its looks suggest. The automaker says the model will be able to accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in under 3 seconds and from 0-100 mph in under 6 seconds. It supposedly will also have a top speed exceeding 200 mph, which is what you'd expect from a car that will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $1.5 million.
Speaking today at the London launch of the C-X75 project, Jaguar Brand Director Adrian Hallmark said the car "will redefine the parameters of performance and sustainability." A "track-only" version of the model, which will be built in the U.K. in a partnership between Jaguar and the Williams Formula One team, will permit the two electric motors and the gasoline engine to directly power the wheels. The electric motors will be positioned in the front and rear and power each axle, delivering de factor four-wheel drive. The gas engine is likely to drive the rear wheels alone.
As for the vehicle's horsepower and torque, Jaguar spokesmen declined to say. That information will be disclosed this September, when Jaguar will release full specifications for the car, they said. While the car displayed in Paris had an aluminum structure, the production reality will have a carbon tub produced by Williams, who will also hone the active aerodynamics and work on the engine and hybrid battery systems.
As for those nifty concept-car turbines? Jaguar's Hallmark said that the technology will be developed. Jaguar's parent company Tata Motors owns 20 percent of British turbine manufacturer Bladon Jets. Hallmark said the technology, as described for use in the C-X75 concept last September, should be production ready by the end of this decade. Hallmark also confirmed that the styling of the car will be almost identical to the concept car and represent "the ultimate expression of Ian Callum's vision for the future shape and design of Jaguar." He suggested that the design will only need to be modified "by a centimeter or two to meet legislative requirements."