Jaguar's stunningly beautiful C-X75 hybrid concept that wowed Salon L'automobile last October in Paris, is to be produced in a limited edition of 250 vehicles with prices beginning at GBP700,000 (US$1.15 million) and running to GBP900,000 (US$1.5 million).
The C-X75 will be developed in association with Formula One constructor Williams F1 and though the specification has changed significantly from the Paris car the 330 km/h C-X75 will still be one of the fastest production cars in the world particularly off the line where its 0-60 mph time will be significantly less than the magical 3.0 second mark, and a lot faster than the concept's claimed 3.4 seconds.
Emission-wise, the production version will still emit less CO2 than 99g/km, but its electric-only range has halved from the concept's 110 km to just 50 km.
The two 35 kg, 80,000 rpm lightweight micro gas-turbines of the concept car have been replaced with a compact, but otherwise-unspecified, forced-aspiration internal combustion engine and there are now two electric motors (one on each axle), instead of the concept's four wheel motors. How close the production model will come to the concept's 780bhp and 1600Nm (1180lb ft) torque output was not revealed.
The enrollment of Williams F1 in the development of the production vehicle seems to add momentum to a growing trend of association between Formula One constructors and elite sports car manufacturers.
Ferrari and McLaren are the best known of the F1 frontrunners for their fast transfer of motorsport technologies to sports cars, though Renault, Mercedes and more recently the Team Lotus purchase of Caterham means that now six of the twelve F1 constructors are transferring their leading-edge go-fast expertise to road cars.
With a carbon fiber chassis, clearly the biggest attraction of Williams F1 was its knowledge of weaving black magic, but not far behind that expertise in terms of relevant skills sets is its bleeding edge knowledge of vehicle aerodynamics and its vast knowledge of hybrid technologies.
Williams Hybrid Power has developed a novel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) using an electromechanical composite flywheel that is both highly efficient and cost-effective.
Though there's no intention this form of KERS might become part of the C-X75 bag of environmentally-friendly tricks, should the relationship bear fruit, mutually-beneficial collaboration between technology companies seems to be the way of the future.
Whatsmore, Williams' knowledge of hybrid technologies was specifically mentioned in the Jaguar press, so who knows what the future may bring as Jaguar seeks to reclaim its once world-leading automotive sporting heritage.
Similarly, while it was a disappointment that the innovative 80,000 rpm micro gas-turbines weren't ready for production in the short time frames Jaguar is envisaging, Tata (Jaguar's owner) has purchased a large stake in Bladon Jets, and hence there's every possibility that micro turbines will yet make a subsequent version of the C-X75.
Jaguar is already receiving expressions of interest on the internet from prospective purchasers of the C-X75. Alternatively, you can call 0800 015 8605 in the UK, 400 820 8955 in China or +44(0)1932 335370 or +44(0)1932 335365 from elsewhere.
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