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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

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.

Photo by: Jaguar

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

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.

Photo by: Jaguar

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

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.

Photo by: Jaguar

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Super-eco, part II

When plugged into the grid, the Jaguar's Lithium-ion batteries take six hours to charge up.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Theatrics

Electro-luminescent cabin lighting is used to imbue the car with a certain mood.

Photo by: Jaguar

Touch it

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.

Photo by: Jaguar

Danger zone

The instrument pack is said to mix design elements from the company's XJ limousine and jet fighters.

Photo by: Jaguar

Inspiration

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Flappy

There are two fuel flaps: one accepts petrol and the other hides a power socket.

Photo by: Jaguar

B&W

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

C'est fragile

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Fixed

The Jaguar's deep bucket seats are fixed, so the instrument pack, steering wheel and pedals move instead.

Photo by: Jaguar

Remind you of something?

The C-X75's wheels are designed to look like the blades used in the micro-turbine engines.

Photo by: Jaguar

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.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia
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