Jaguar has confirmed that its Paris show-stopping C-X75 concept will go into (very) limited production as an exclusive hybrid supercar - but without the twin Bladon gas-turbine engines that made the concept so special.
Instead, the primary power source will be a small, fiercely boosted petrol engine, supplying a powerful electric motor on each axle to deliver all-wheel drive. Jaguar hasn't given any technical details but quotes performance of 0-100km/h in less than three seconds, 0-160km/h in less than six seconds and a top speed of more than 320km/h - at a cost of less than 99g/km.
Jaguar brand director Adrian Hallmark said: “People expect Jaguar to be innovators - that's when we're at our best.
“The C-X75 received an incredible reception as a concept; we've been building on that momentum and there is a clear business case for this exclusive halo model.”
Director of design Ian Callum added: “We were always determined that the C-X75 would be as striking on the road as it was in concept form. This will be the finest looking and most innovative Jaguar yet produced. Even in the world of supercars, we can still produce the most beautiful.”
The production C-X75 will be developed in association with Williams F1, which will provide engineering expertise in aerodynamics, carbon composite manufacture (the chassis will be made of carbon-fibre) and hybrid technologies.
Jaguar says it will continue to develop the micro-turbine technology that was showcased in the Paris concept car; parent company Tata has taken a significant stake in Bladon Jets as a medium-term strategy that will play a part in future Jaguars.
But, to bring the concept to showroom reality within a viable timescale, the C-X75 will have a more conventional, small-capacity, highly-boosted internal combustion engine with one powerful electric motor at each axle.
Engineering director Bob Joyce explained: “The engine's compact size allows it to be mounted low in the car for optimum weight distribution and to retain the concept's stunning silhouette. This will make the Jaguar C-X75 a bona fide hybrid supercar capable of silent electric running with a battery-only range of more than 50km.
Only 250 will be built, each costing £700 000-£900 000 (R7.8 million-R10 million) depending on market and local taxes.
Sir Frank Williams pointed out: “Williams has always considered itself an engineering company; this project will allow us to combine our technical expertise to create something truly exceptional.”
And Tata CEO Carl-Peter Forster summed up: “This is the Jaguar of the future. Never before has this company launched such an ambitious, vehicle programme - but this is why Tata invested in Jaguar in the first place.”