10 000rpm screamer for Jag sports car
We weren't the only ones blown away by the utterly stunning C-X75 concept at the 2010 Paris motor show; whether seen as a rolling work of art or a pointer to the future of the automobile, it was an absolute showstopper.
But a number of people voiced concerns that the only major components over which Jaguar had no control weren't there: the two miniature Bladon Jets gas-turbines (each not much bigger than a rugby ball) which were to power the concept's generator were in fact dummies, because the real ones weren't ready in time.
Onejournalist said – rather unkindly as he was quaffing Jaguar's champagne at the time – that those gas turbines would prevent the concept from ever making it into production.
Well, he was right.
And he was wrong, because, according to Autocar magazine, the production C-X75 won't have gas turbines.
Instead, its primary power source will be something out of a superbike rider's wish list – an all-alloy, 1600cc four-cylinder engine with both a turbocharger and a supercharger, that revs to a screaming 10 000rpm and delivers in excess of 375kW.
And that has made possible another fundamental change: instead of being an extended-range plug-in electric vehicle like the concept, the production C-X75 will be a true hybrid, delivering all the power from the combustion engine and both electric motors to the wheels when maximum performance is called for.
And how much performance is that?
Autocar says Jaguar engineers are quietly confident they can deliver 0-100km/h in less than three seconds (that's 0.95g!) and a top speed of better than 325km/h.
Even driven as a pure electric, the production version will accelerate from 0-100 in six seconds flat and its 600V battery pack should give it a range of more than 50km.
The engine can, of course also charge the batteries, so the car could be driven as an extended-range electric vehicle - like the Opel Ampera, only faster.
The C-X75 will be built on Jaguar's first carbon-fibre monocoque, consisting of a tub and a rear sub-frame, developed with help from the Williams F1 team.
And the cost?
Jaguar says it plans to build 250 C-X75's at a cost of between £700 000-£900 000 (R9 million-R11.7 million) each, depending on market and local taxes. Ouch.
Mind you, we don't think they'll have any trouble selling them.