75 cat years
Underneath its terribly gorgeous body, the C-X75 packs four earth shattering electric motors, as well as two turbine engines to keep the batteries topped up.
To celebrate the company's 75th anniversary, Jaguar rolled out an eco-friendly supercar dubbed the C-X75.
Like a Volt, part I
Like the Chevy Volt, the C-X75 is an extended range electric vehicle. That is, despite the presence of a petrol-sipping engine, its wheels are entirely driven by electric motors fed by batteries. The petrol engine only kicks in to recharge the batteries when levels get low.
Like a Volt, part II
Aside from all the obvious visual differences (size, sexiness, space and so forth), the C-X75 differs from the Volt in one very key aspect. The Volt's petrol engine is a conventional four-cylinder donk, the Jaguar's consists of two micro-turbines.
Back to the future
Car makers, like GM, experimented with turbine-powered cars in the '50s and '60s. The idea never really got past the prototype and concept car stages, because despite their great speed, handling was problematic, as were the crispy, charred people who stood near the exhaust.
Suck it, part I
The two micro-turbines weigh 35kg each, spin at up to 80,000rpm and require 35,000 litres of air per minute.
Suck it, part II
The vast amounts of air required by the micro-turbines necessitates good aerodynamics and large air ducts, like this one situated between the door and the cabin.
Supercar, part I
The slinky Jag features four electric motors, one for each wheel. They each can generate 145kW of power; in total the driver has 580kW of power and 1600Nm of torque at his or her disposal.
Supercar, part II
The astronomical power and torque figures allow the C-X75 to race to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 330km/h.
Super-eco, part I
Driven a bit more lightly, Jaguar claims a range of 110km on electric power alone and 900km with the help of the turbines. CO2 emissions are rated 28g/km (a Prius officially uses 89g/km) — assuming, of course, that you're using a green source of electricity.
Super-eco, part II
When plugged into the grid, the Jaguar's Lithium-ion batteries take six hours to charge up.
Electro-luminescent cabin lighting is used to imbue the car with a certain mood.
The C-X75's main touchscreen, dubbed Jaguar Co-pilot, is said to predict the driver's needs. For example, it will automatically sync with the driver's smartphone calendars, automatically engage high-performance settings when it detects that it's on a closed track and will suppress superfluous information from the driver, especially on the road.
The instrument pack is said to mix design elements from the company's XJ limousine and jet fighters.
The car's aluminium body panels are 50 per cent recyclable and the style is said to be inspired by the company's 1966 XJ13 Le Mans prototype. We also see shades of Jaguar's last supercar, the XJ220.
There are two fuel flaps: one accepts petrol and the other hides a power socket.
The C-X75's sound system features Bowers & Wilkins "nano" speakers that use this honeycomb mesh as its sound-producing material. The mesh can be found in the door skins, dashboard and behind the passengers. According to the company, this set-up envelopes the lucky occupants in sound, while requiring very little power from the car's batteries.
As this Italian TV reporter found out, the C-X75 show car is rather fragile. Jaguar's staff were very keen for him not to unnecessarily bang the car, so he was told to lift his legs over the wide door sill.
The Jaguar's deep bucket seats are fixed, so the instrument pack, steering wheel and pedals move instead.
Remind you of something?
The C-X75's wheels are designed to look like the blades used in the micro-turbine engines.
Light of my life
LED lights are bright and require less energy than conventional bulbs. Oh, and they can be fashioned into all manner of cool, thin shapes.