Jaguar's C-X75 concept may be sexy on the outside, but what really shifts my gear into overdrive is all the awesomeness that it's got going on under the hood. It's called a concept, but it's a real car, just one that happens to belong to the future.
For their 75th anniversary, Jaguar wanted to create something incredible looking, but also something that gave a glimpse into the future of automotive technology. The C-X75 rides between present and what's to come by being a hybrid supercar that can run on pure electricity and uses micro jet turbines to extend its range with conventional fuels.
Here are some numbers for you: with the turbines providing power directly to the electric motors (which they can do in what's called "track mode"), the C-X75 produces up to 780 horsepower and a crazy 1,180 pounds-feet of torque. This is more torque than a Bugatti Veyron, if you're keeping track. A bunch more. All of this muscle powers the C-X75 from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and up to 90 in about two seconds more. The top speed is 205 mph.
So yes, it's wicked fast. But it's also wicked environmentally friendly. The C-X75 is a plug-in hybrid, and a full charge from a wall outlet gives it a range of over 60 miles. If you need more, gas-powered micro turbines (basically little jet engines) behind the passenger compartment kick in to recharge the batteries on the fly. The turbines spin up to 80,000 rpm and gulp down 6,600 gallons of air per minute — each — which is why the car has those huge air intakes next to the doors, and the turbine exhaust helps push the car down on the road like a giant spoiler. Turbine engines are much more efficient than conventional engines, and they can extend the range of the C-X75 to 560 miles.
We were lucky enough to bend the ear of Stuart Schorr, Jaguar's North American VP of Communications and Public Affairs, and take an in-depth look of the C-X75 from every angle.
Inside, the Jaguar is packed with LCD screens, ice blue LED lights, and luminescent microwires. The driver and passenger seats are fixed in place, so the control console and pedals are individually adjustable instead. The car syncs with your calendars, and if it sees that you're heading to the racetrack (which you'd be doing all the time if you had this car), it'll activate its high-performance track mode and update the LCD displays to show available power and turbine status.
Jaguar has only made one of these cars and they wouldn't let me have it, but turbine power generators could be a real possibility when it comes to efficiently extending the range of electric cars using conventional fuels. Turbines can burn pretty much anything (gasoline, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, etc), they don't need radiators or oil, and they only weigh about 75 pounds each, but it's going to take a few years before they're ready for the mainstream.
Make sure to check out our video interview from the show floor above, plus the image gallery below.
Via Jaguar C-X75