It may not ever reach production, but these videos show prototypes of the wild Jaguar C-X75 supercar running on Jaguar's test track. The plug-in hybrid supercar was officially canceled last winter, so this is one of our only opportunities to see and hear it on the move.
Last December, Jaguar announced that economic downturn meant it would scrap plans to sell a production version of the C-X75. Although only about 250 units were planned, a price tag of at least $1.6 million would have made it difficult for the company to sell the cars. The company says that the decision was made, "as a result of the global economic climate."
As promised, however, Jaguar still built a handful of prototypes and demonstrated them on video and for U.K. publication Autocar. Vehicle manager Rob Atkin says the Jaguar C-X75 meets its trio of design goals: "The speed of a Veyron, the range of a Volt, the CO2 [emissions] of a Prius."
The secret to that performance is a 502-hp, 1.6-liter turbo- and supercharged gasoline engine that revs to more than 10,000 rpm, along with a battery pack and a pair of electric drive motors good for 390 hp. All told, the car sends over 850 hp to all four wheels. It can hit 100 mph from rest in less than six seconds, or cover 37 miles on electric power.
Despite all that performance, Autocar reports that the Jaguar C-X75 is reasonably easy to drive, and nearly as comfortable and compliant as a more ordinary Jaguar. In all-electric mode, performance is reportedly on par with a hot hatchback like a Volkswagen GTI. With the gasoline engine working, Autocar says acceleration feels as strong as the Bugatti Veyron that Jaguar wanted to target.
The Jaguar C-X75 was originally introduced as a styling concept to mark the company's 75th anniversary. Response to the car was so strong, however, that Jaguar decided to build it. Plans to use the concept's turbine engines were scrapped, and Jaguar instead partnered with Williams to build the Formula 1-inspired four-cylinder engine and plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Despite the fact that the Jaguar C-X75 will not go into series production, the company says lessons learned from its development will inform future Jaguar products. The company is expected to keep three of the five prototype cars built and auction the remaining two off at a later date.
For what may be your only chance to see and hear the Jaguar C-X75 driving under its own power, check out the videos below.
Sources: Jaguar, Autocar