The Jaguar C-X75 hybrid supercar is “on track” for its 2014 launch and will begin testing in October.
Britain’s sporty luxury brand has built two of five planned prototypes based on the C-X75 concept that was one of the major stars of the 2010 Paris motor show.
The company says all five will be ready for testing from next month, when results will confirm whether 2014 is a realistic release date for the most ambitious, most advanced in its history.
“Because there are so many new technologies in [the C-X75]… you can do the engine separate, you can do the electric motor, you can do the battery, but then you have to put it all together into a car, you’ve got to run it for 100,000km, and then you know where you stand,” Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark, told CarAdvice during a secret reveal of its new F-Type sports car held in England.
“I’ve seen a couple of supercar projects in my time, and one of which was delayed by 18 months just because of temperature management [issues] after they thought they had the solution.
“I don’t think we’re going to have that same kind of problem For that reason, and because it’s such ground-breaking technology, we’re on track, we start real testing in October, the cars are being built, and 2014 is still in our sights as absolute timing for product.
“But until we’ve done all the testing and know exactly what the technical capabilities of the car are, and all the issues have been flushed out, it’s a big X… We don’t know the answer.”
The Jaguar C-X75 will feature construction and drivetrain technologies from the 2010 concept car.
The C-X75 will feature a lightweight, carbon fibre chassis and be powered by a hybrid drivetrain comprising a compact, small-capacity petrol engine and electric motors front and rear for all-wheel drive.
Jaguar has set performance targets of less than 3.0 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint and a top speed in excess of 322km/h to make the C-X75 one of the fastest cars in the world.
It also aims to produce emissions of just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre, and include an electric-only range of more than 50km.
Hallmark says the compact combustion engine weighs just 25kg and has 400Nm of torque, the electric motor has just 15 moving parts, and the aero performance “is just unbelievable”.
The C-X75 will also be capable of swallowing tremendous amounts of air to feed the engine, which is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder boosted by both a turbocharger and supercharger, employs both direct and indirect fuel injection, and is capable of revving to a staggering 10,000rpm.
“[C-X75] will have 1.562 square metres of air intake space, and when you think the frontal area of car is about 1.563 square metres… So to get that was a bit of a challenge but they did it.
“Aero, thermal [management], engine, powertrain [is all looking good], but now we’ve got to take it to v-max, thrash the life out of it, do lots of kilometres… stick it in bends and do 2G and see how it goes.”
Only 250 will be built, with a price tag for any examples made available for Australia likely to cost in excess of $2 million.
Jaguar says it has made a convincing business case for the supercar, though it will also serve as a halo model for the brand.
“[It will tell people] we can build the most beautiful and technologically advanced car on earth,” says Hallmark. “And It will make E-type look like we were practising.”